Dedicated to reviving the lost art of self-reliance.

Garlic update December 30, 2012

Filed under: Gardening — revivalnatural @ 3:33 pm
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The great garlic experiment is somewhat a draw. The plants in miracle grow organic choice and vigro organic seem to be doing about the same. One thing I have learned from this experriment is that garlic grow lots of roots. I think I will be transplanting these into the ground next week. The roots are already escaping the pots now. I’m curious to see what things are going to look like when I transplant them. I can tell you now that larger pots would be needed to try growing garlic to maturity in a container.



Filed under: Gardening — revivalnatural @ 3:20 pm
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Of the seeds I planted about a week ago, the radishes are first to come up.


Dragonfruit update

Filed under: Gardening — revivalnatural @ 3:17 pm


I only see new growth on one of the dragonfruit cuttings. It is one that had started to rot and I thought for sure it was a gonner. Instead it is first to grow:-)


December 21, 2012

Filed under: Life's Little Riches — revivalnatural @ 6:57 am


Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they’re passionate. Craig Rogers is the shepherd and owner of Border Spring Farm Lamb in Patrick Springs, Virginia, where he raises and sells pastured raised “Animal Welfare Approved” lamb to acclaimed chefs across the country. He is a vocal advocate for rural small farms.

Over the past couple of years I have been able to share some of my thoughts with readers of Eatocracy with articles in 5@5 and Chefs with Issues. The comments posted after those articles are often upsetting for a farmer to read.

I’ve read claims like “American farmers, among the wealthiest Americans…” I have also come across people who believe that “Americans are taxed 20B USD (!!) a year in farm subsidies, so I feel I have already purchased your produce.”

So I thought I would share…

View original post 832 more words


Planting outside December 19, 2012

Today I refurbished the tiny garden I have been trying to grow things in this year.  I have winter squash that have been producing flowers for months now but nothing more and I was about to pull them when I noticed a TINY little baby squash.  So the two winter squash (from a plant swap so variety unknown) will get to stay for now after all.

I lifted some Greek Oregano out of the middle of the bed and moved it to a back corner, behind a lavender that managed to survive.  The entire bed is only 4’x4′ so I can reach everywhere but the back corner.  I planted some Sugar Snap peas in a circle around the squash and then the edges near there with some Tall Top Early Wonder beets.  In the center of the one side I planted some Dinosaur Kale in a staggered row.  In the corner I did a bunch of Cherry Belle radishes.  Along the side of that in the middle of the side I did a row of Rainbow Mix chard.  In the next corner is Bronze Arrow lettuce, which is a loose leaf variety.  Behind that I planted 4 rows of carrots.

I know this must sound like a huge amount for such a small space but keep in mind I am talking about a row that is 12-18 inches long.  For seed spacing I try to get them about as far apart as it says to thin the seedlings to.  I can always plant a couple more seeds in a week or two if there are any thin spots.  I got the idea to lay it out like this from the book “Mini Farming: Self Sufficiency on 1/4 acre” by Brett L Markham.  The book takes a very holistic approach to creating a small urban farm including great tips on maximizing the amount of food grown in small spaces.  This will not be the only method (not by a long shot) that I use on my .3 acre plot but expect to see the influence throughout the “Kitchen Garden” as it develops.

All of the seeds I planted today are organic.  Everything except the radishes came from Bountiful Gardens.  I have to say again, I highly recommend them to anyone looking for organic heirloom seeds.  The radish seeds are from Burpee and I got them at Lowe’s.  Burpee does have a good selection of organic seeds available but do be aware, as you look at their website, that most of their seeds are not organic.


I ordered more seeds today too :D December 18, 2012

and I mean a bunch more….like a quarter million seeds 😀  If you scroll down it tells you what all is in there.  I only have .3 of an acre so I don’t think I will be using all of these this year.  They are all heirloom so I can do some seed saving and never have to buy seeds again.  The seller has a great store with many heirloom varieties, including some I hadn’t seen before.


Updates: I know it is early but…

Filed under: Gardening — revivalnatural @ 4:04 pm
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I’m getting a bit ahead of myself but I couldn’t help it. I planted some tomatoes this morning. I wasn’t going to start until January but I decided getting a cherry tomato (Chadwick’s Cherry) going to have for early tomatoes would be good. I also started a couple of the Giant Italian Tree Tomato seeds just because I want to see how well they do. The cherry tomato seeds are from Bountiful Gardens and the Giant Italian Tree Tomato seeds I bought from e-bay. The seller sent some Italian Heirloom and Roma seeds as well and a page of great tomato growing tips. This is the first time putting any of them in soil so I am anxious to see how well they germinate. I have been keeping the seeds in the fridge as called for in the sellers instructions. I was feeling experimental so I planted 2 tomato seeds and one sugar snap pea seed in each pot. Once those have all come up and get moved to a bigger pot I want to plant marigolds and basil as additional companion plants for the tomatoes. I plan on keeping the cherry tomato in a container but will likely put the tree tomato in the ground at some point before it takes over the world.

The “tree tomatoes” are basically indeterminate tomatoes.  This means that there is no predetermined size for the plant.  It will keep growing and growing as long as it is allowed to and can be trellised to look like a tree if you like.  They can also be allowed to vine along the ground if you prefer.  If you don’t have much space for gardening look for a determinate variety of tomato which will stop growing at some point, usually 3-5 feet tall/wide.  Indeterminate varieties can vine for 20 feet or more so if not on a trellis they take up a ton of space.  They will keep producing as long as the weather permits though so if you have a long growing season or a green house they are worth an effort.

I peeled some grapefruit seeds that I have been drying for a while and started them in some soil this morning. Peeling them is supposed to help speed germination since the outer coating is waterproof and would have to break down before it would allow water into the seed to start the process.  From what I have read it can take months for this process to happen.  With peeled seeds I should see germination within a couple weeks.  This is a first try so wish me luck 🙂

The garlic from the great garlic experiment is starting to poke through the surface in both pots.  I have them sitting outside and both pots seem to be doing about the same so far. I am really curious to see how things progress.  I also took one bulb and planted its sections into a hugelkulture mound by what will be the driveway of the correct property.  Those ones were all peeking out a week ago.  I think the mound is keeping them warmer than the ones in pots.

I saved a sweet potato on Thanksgiving and have it in water to (hopefully) make sweet potato slips.  I forgot to start it in water right away so it sat on the windowsill in the kitchen for a week or two before I actually put it in a cup of water.  I’m not seeing any little sprouts or roots yet but time will tell.  I want to get a couple more to try starting as well.  Sweet potatoes can make many new plants from one sweet potato but just buying one at the store and putting it in water doesn’t always work for some reason.  I’m not sure why but this seems to be true of organic ones as well as non-organic.  The one I have now is not organic but I want to pick a couple up from Earth Fare to try starting as well.  To be honest I don’t worry about organic nearly as much as I worry about non-GMO and as far as I know they haven’t gotten to the sweet potatoes yet…


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