This might be my favorite episode to date on the Rise Up Radio Show! John Bush rocking the mic on lrn.fm.
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On the March 12th, 2013 edition of Rise Up Radio, John Bush chats with Kirby Fry about permaculture, earthen homes, and natural living.
Well, today our peppers and tomatoes were drooped like crazy from the first freeze. I went ahead and harvested all the fruit except the green traveler’s tomatoes because that plant had minimal damage (I did harvest from the damaged branches. Here is a photo of our tomato/pepper loot from today. I also have a pile of large traveler’s tomatoes that fell off while rearranging the vine last week that are about to turn red. I’m thinking salsa!
I plan to dry the cayenne peppers for medicinal use – will they still be worthwhile since they are harvested green? The others are green bell, jalapeno and I the name of the long large peppers slips my mind (I’ll update this post when I remember!).
The 16 eggs are also from today. We were down to about 5 or 6 a day and could not figure out why. Then we noticed the roosters were literally harassing the hens and fighting over them to mate. We slaughtered four roosters this past weekend and the next day our egg production increased to 12 eggs, 13 eggs and today 16. We’re back! Click here to read about the slaughter from the perspective of the cook!
I took photos of the garden and the damage that I’ll post sometime over the next few days at www.blushfamilyfarm.com.
How did your garden fare in the freeze, Texans?
Since tumblr is jammed up today, I’m adding some additional photos here instead of the Blush Family Farm blog (not of the freeze, just the loot). In hindsight I decided to harvest the rest of the travelers tomatoes so the plant could focus on healing itself totally, even though it was minimally damaged. I’ve added photo of the loot updated with the new tomatoes as well as a small bunch that had fallen off the vine last week and is nearly ripe. The second photo is baby Aliana snagging a tomato for a snack!
In the late spring of 2011 John and I broke ground on our first raised garden bed. After researching various methods we decided to utilize the hugelkultur method where you bury rotting wood underneath your soil. This serves several purposes. First, it provides nutrients to your garden. Second, it provides water to your garden during times of drought (the soil loses moisture faster than the wood). Third, it provides natural aeration (brings oxygen to your soil). Fourth, it provides beneficial bugs with a reason to dig around in your soil. Fifth, the decomposition of the wood provides warmth to your plants’ roots at during the late fall and early spring, extending your gardening season.
I literally watered our first and best made hugelkultur bed three times this summer. And it wasn’t just any summer. Months of 100+ degree heat and little rain for weeks at a time left many gardens suffering. Not ours. It flourished with very little maintenance! Our tomatoes were planted in flower beds that already existed on our property before we arrived (no hugelkultur beds) and I had to water them two to three times a week. That’s a huge difference in hose-water consumption!
Here our photos from our hugelkulture experiment (more at www.blushfamilyfarm.com):
Below you see the empty bed. Two cinder blocks high, with one layer of cinder blocks buried below ground level.
Next you see our cinder block-high layer of wood inside the raised bed.
We then alternated horse manure and soil that originated from the hole where we made the bed.
This has been our most productive bed in the garden! I believe the fact we cemented the cinder blocks together makes all the difference (our other beds are simply stacked…
Again, for more pics from our home garden please visit www.BlushFamilyFarm.com!
Here is a photo thread on the Survival Podcast that shows pics of other people building massive hugelkultur beds! http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=28431.0