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The Livestock & Home produce thread - An Alternative investment

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From the gold thread,

 

...... anyway im ordering some chickens

eggs are the new currency

 

I have actually purchased 6 chickens at the cost of £11 each around mid 2008, and after a few weeks of getting them settled down and feeding them approximately 1 bag of pellets a month (cost of £6.50) I am currently getting at least 36 eggs per week.

 

http://www.poultry.allotment.org.uk/Chicke...s_economics.php

 

There are a few very good posts regarding producing food and the cost of it, and it got me wondering if there are many other GEI members who are currently “digging in” and producing home grown food ?

 

 

Currently in the greenhouse:

 

Tomotoes (Bush, Moneymaker & Roma (Seedless)

Sweet corn

Leeks

Beetroot

Courgettes (variety “Gold rush” lol – couldn’t resist growing these)

Runner beans

Cucumber

Strawberries

Various salad leaves

 

Currently sown in the ground:

 

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

 

Some useful links :

 

http://www.allotment.org.uk/vegetable/gene...table-chart.php

 

http://www.poultry.allotment.org.uk/index.php

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From the gold thread,

I have actually purchased 6 chickens at the cost of £11 each around mid 2008, and after a few weeks of getting them settled down and feeding them approximately 1 bag of pellets a month (cost of £6.50) I am currently getting at least 36 eggs per week.

 

http://www.poultry.allotment.org.uk/Chicke...s_economics.php

 

There are a few very good posts regarding producing food and the cost of it, and it got me wondering if there are many other GEI members who are currently “digging in” and producing home grown food ?

 

 

Currently in the greenhouse:

 

Tomotoes (Bush, Moneymaker & Roma (Seedless)

Sweet corn

Leeks

Beetroot

Courgettes (variety “Gold rush” lol – couldn’t resist growing these)

Runner beans

Cucumber

Strawberries

Various salad leaves

 

Currently sown in the ground:

 

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

 

Some useful links :

 

http://www.allotment.org.uk/vegetable/gene...table-chart.php

 

http://www.poultry.allotment.org.uk/index.php

good idea

 

made some raised beds two years ago

 

need to spend more time on them though as yields are not great

 

main reason for starting project is that i want to avoid all the GM and chemical foods

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I have to say, I would fully recommend getting some chickens, and when you actually see how yellow a yoke can be compared to the crap out of Tescos etc (Hope I don't offend any Tesco shoppers on here) you'll see why. and they also have there own personalities as well, watching them establish a "pecking order" really gives a good a perspective on life, not to mention the comedy value as they follow you around the garden.

 

 

Some other links :

 

Setting up a wormery - http://www.envocare.co.uk/wormeries.htm

 

Crop rotation - http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profiles1200/crop_rotation.asp

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I'm on it.

 

Just planted peas, strawberries, potatoes, onions, garlic, beetroot, carrots. Pruned the peach trees and vines and planting corn next week. Worried about lack of rain though.

 

Mother in law butchered a pig in the kitchen last Sunday. 150 euro for half a side and the meat will last all 6 months. Sister is trying to breed rare pigs in Lancashire. Council are all over it though. Shuffling paper and stopping things happening.

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I'm on it too.

 

Buying 30 acres in NW france.

 

Sheep, Artichokes, Soft fruits and Asparagus for cash.

 

Chucks, veggies, wood for us.

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From the gold thread,

 

I have actually purchased 6 chickens at the cost of £11 each around mid 2008, and after a few weeks of getting them settled down and feeding them approximately 1 bag of pellets a month (cost of £6.50) I am currently getting at least 36 eggs per week.

 

hen house arrived

 

rescuing three battery hens this weekend

 

will post how we get on

 

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I'm on it.

 

Just planted peas, strawberries, potatoes, onions, garlic, beetroot, carrots. Pruned the peach trees and vines and planting corn next week. Worried about lack of rain though.

 

Mother in law butchered a pig in the kitchen last Sunday. 150 euro for half a side and the meat will last all 6 months. Sister is trying to breed rare pigs in Lancashire. Council are all over it though. Shuffling paper and stopping things happening.

peaches - are they ok re frost

 

whereabouts in the uk are you

 

im in doncaster - mum used to have a peach tree but no peaches made it

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peaches - are they ok re frost

 

whereabouts in the uk are you

 

im in doncaster - mum used to have a peach tree but no peaches made it

 

I'm from Bolton/ Salford way but moved to Bratislava two months ago. It almost never rains here. Gardening is very different but the peas are growing really quick now and strawberries will be ready in a month I'm told.

 

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hen house arrived

 

rescuing three battery hens this weekend

 

will post how we get on

 

 

Good luck,

 

The only draw back to rescue chickens is that they'll obviously be past thier "peak production" but i'm sure they'll very much enjoy being outside.

 

I feed mine on Layers Pellets and a couple of handfulls of corn per day and any left over scraps from the kitchen table. The chickens I got go crazy for leftover dog food if the dog refuses it. I wouldn't throw them any peelings, thats really for either a wormery or a composter.

 

Look forward to hearing how you get on with the chickens :)

 

 

 

 

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There are a few very good posts regarding producing food and the cost of it, and it got me wondering if there are many other GEI members who are currently “digging in” and producing home grown food ?

 

 

Currently in the greenhouse:

 

Tomotoes (Bush, Moneymaker & Roma (Seedless)

Sweet corn

Leeks

Beetroot

Courgettes (variety “Gold rush” lol – couldn’t resist growing these)

Runner beans

Cucumber

Strawberries

Various salad leaves

 

Currently sown in the ground:

 

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

 

Some useful links :

 

http://www.allotment.org.uk/vegetable/gene...table-chart.php

 

http://www.poultry.allotment.org.uk/index.php

 

How much space have you got?

Any problems with the neighbors?

 

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How much space have you got?

Any problems with the neighbors?

 

The neighbours I have are as good as gold, they even suggested to me to get a cockerel, the downside is that they are always trying to buy eggs from me - lol - but I’ve got a good relationship with them, so no hassle there.

 

The place I’m renting is in a fairly rural location, the garden is a fair size.

 

Dimensions are approximate (Ft)

 

Chicken coup 15 x 10

Contains 6x chickens (One of which has recently turned "Broody")

 

Main Veg Patch 30 x 8

Containing

25x Sweet corn (aiming for at least 50 heads of corn)

8x courgette

Section of Chard

Section of Beetroot

5x Runner beans (I've had 5 failures)

 

And still a little it of space to put in some more veg

 

 

Green house 8 x 6

6x Cucumbers (have started harvesting, 2no so far)

4x Strawberry (First ones are nearly ready)

10x Tomato (Moneymaker and Roma)

4x Tomato (Bush type "Tumbling Tom")

Also...

Tray of leaks ready to go in the ground

 

 

The Patio 10x10

6x various Potatoes being grown in tyres

3x hanging baskets of "Tumbling tom"

1x large tub of Carrots

1x trough of lettuce

1x green courgette

1x small Cherry tree (Netted)

 

Around the garden

8x Tomato (Money maker)

1x White grape (not expecting much from this for at least a couple of years)

 

Has some failures, both Brussels sprout & broccoli seedling didn't really work out, and first batch of sweet corn also failed (my suspicion on the corn could be that of a rabbit problem) also lost 5 runner beans as the weather hasn't been to good.

 

Lessons learned this year...... is not to put your seedlings in the ground to early, and don't sow the seeds until very late march. (I started in mid Feb)

 

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Good luck,

 

The only draw back to rescue chickens is that they'll obviously be past thier "peak production" but i'm sure they'll very much enjoy being outside.

 

I feed mine on Layers Pellets and a couple of handfulls of corn per day and any left over scraps from the kitchen table. The chickens I got go crazy for leftover dog food if the dog refuses it. I wouldn't throw them any peelings, thats really for either a wormery or a composter.

 

Look forward to hearing how you get on with the chickens :)

got them last week

 

very nervous at first but now more confident - the hens that is not me

 

getting three eggs a day from three chickens

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The neighbours I have are as good as gold, they even suggested to me to get a cockerel, the downside is that they are always trying to buy eggs from me - lol - but I’ve got a good relationship with them, so no hassle there.

 

The place I’m renting is in a fairly rural location, the garden is a fair size.

 

Dimensions are approximate (Ft)

 

Chicken coup 15 x 10

Contains 6x chickens (One of which has recently turned "Broody")

 

Main Veg Patch 30 x 8

Containing

25x Sweet corn (aiming for at least 50 heads of corn)

8x courgette

Section of Chard

Section of Beetroot

5x Runner beans (I've had 5 failures)

 

And still a little it of space to put in some more veg

 

 

Green house 8 x 6

6x Cucumbers (have started harvesting, 2no so far)

4x Strawberry (First ones are nearly ready)

10x Tomato (Moneymaker and Roma)

4x Tomato (Bush type "Tumbling Tom")

Also...

Tray of leaks ready to go in the ground

 

 

The Patio 10x10

6x various Potatoes being grown in tyres

3x hanging baskets of "Tumbling tom"

1x large tub of Carrots

1x trough of lettuce

1x green courgette

1x small Cherry tree (Netted)

 

Around the garden

8x Tomato (Money maker)

1x White grape (not expecting much from this for at least a couple of years)

 

Has some failures, both Brussels sprout & broccoli seedling didn't really work out, and first batch of sweet corn also failed (my suspicion on the corn could be that of a rabbit problem) also lost 5 runner beans as the weather hasn't been to good.

 

Lessons learned this year...... is not to put your seedlings in the ground to early, and don't sow the seeds until very late march. (I started in mid Feb)

struggled with sweetcorn last year - only one per plant

 

just planted rocket, toms, broccoli, sage, sprouts and courgettes - courgettes did the best last year

 

have planted three apple trees, two cherries, one pear, one plum, thornless blackberry (two years ago doing very well) thornless loganberry - not doing as well, strawberrries in planters - but not great yields last year

 

also have an old greengage in the garden (very good for crumbles)

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got them last week

 

very nervous at first but now more confident - the hens that is not me

 

getting three eggs a day from three chickens

 

Blimey you're doing better then me at the moment, In my coup the "hen leader" (top of the pecking oder) has decided she wants to sit on some eggs, and it's starting to effect the other chickens, (i'm down to 3 or 4 eggs per day off 6 Birds) built a Broody coup and stuck her in that.... but it had no effect.

 

A cockerel however may change things ;) and i'm currently sourcing one.

 

I'll keep you posted....

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..... courgettes did the best last year

 

Courgettes are fantastic things to grow, I had loads off 3 plants last year. Hopefully i'll be selling some this year.

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Inspired by a close friend I've been growing fruit and veg in my backyard for the past two seasons. Unfortunately my yard is of courtyard size and I have limited growing opportunities, especially as it's east facing. I've had my name down for an allotment which is within spitting distance from my house for two years but have had no word on it's availabilty yet.

 

Though last year I was merely playing about this year I've tried to plant a good array of plants not to survive off the crop, I'm under no delusions of what such a small piece of land can yield, but to gain some experience of growing and to learn for myself what conditions the plants thrive under and what preventative measures you can take against pests etc. in the hope that once I get an allotment I wont make any schoolboy errors!

 

This year I'm playing with .................

 

Peppers

Salad Onions

Chives & Thyme

Galia Melons

Courgettes

Lettuce

Sunflower

Peas

Potatoes (already had my earlies lifted and will be enjoying them with tonights meal)

Leeks

Carrots

Runner Beans

Radish (eaten)

Tomatoes

 

I would be interested to know how many people grow from seed and how many purchase young plants. Personally I enjoy growing from seed (scratch) as I almost feel buying a young plant from a shop would only give a 1/3 of the experience and knowledge.

 

Sounds like you've got some excellent conditions there Silent Reader to play to your hearts content.

 

 

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We are growing

 

grapes

peaches

strawberries - just harvested

cherries - just harvested

carrots - doing well

peas - ready next week, never seen anything grow so fast

celerac - planted yesterday from seeds germinated at home

potatoes - lots of these.

leeks

onion - don't like direct sun

chives- don't like direct sun

beetroot - planted to far apart in one row and to close together in the next.

parsley

tomatoes

apples

pears

walnuts

 

radish have just disappeared. Not sure what's happened to them.

 

I'm still learning a lot. I think next year I will pay more attention to protecting the plants from the sun. Something grown on a lattice could shade the more exposed parts of the plot. It's south west facing on the side of a hill. We couldn't live of what we have grown but if we work out how to get more per m2 then we could get close. At the moment the only fertilizers used are the grape skins after pressing the wine.

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May I also ask the question whether any of you have had any tutorship prior to starting your projects or whether you have had to gain knowledge from books, tv progs and/or internet based sources ?

 

My Grandparents always kept aside an area of their gardens for a veggie patch and greenhouse to produce some homegrown food and they always tried to teach me about growing but sad to say on reflection I did not listen and only paid attention out of courtesy. My parents never kept a stocked garden ..................

 

It strikes me from observation that the skills and desire to grow fruit and veg on your own land has skipped a generation and with possible future scenarios is a little disconcerting.

 

 

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May I also ask the question whether any of you have had any tutorship prior to starting your projects or whether you have had to gain knowledge from books, tv progs and/or internet based sources ?

 

My Grandparents always kept aside an area of their gardens for a veggie patch and greenhouse to produce some homegrown food and they always tried to teach me about growing but sad to say on reflection I did not listen and only paid attention out of courtesy. My parents never kept a stocked garden ..................

 

It strikes me from observation that the skills and desire to grow fruit and veg on your own land has skipped a generation and with possible future scenarios is a little disconcerting.

 

 

When anything is done, it's checked by the in-laws. They have had the land for a long long time and they know what works. My parents have large garden but just use it to let the dogs run in. After trying to cut the overgrowth with a strimmer and getting splattered I will not even attempt to grow anything in that.

 

Regards to future generations, most people I know outside are starting to grow something. Having said that I know a-lot of hippies. IMO the knowledge has skipped the most of the babyboomers. They are the people ordering homegrown organic veg from the internet and paying £50 per box every month FFS.

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May I also ask the question whether any of you have had any tutorship prior to starting your projects or whether you have had to gain knowledge from books, tv progs and/or internet based sources ?

 

Any knowledge that I've picked up is through friends (word of mouth) the Internet and two first class books, one of them being the RHS Encyclopedia of gardening, which I strongly recommend. I did have the good fortune to have been given these books by a family friend.

 

For me personally THRIFT is a major factor, and the rewards are fantastic.

 

But how far can you go towards actually living off it would take a lot of labor, so I’m quite interested as to how fruit and vegetates will be grown with new technologies being invented. I mean, there are things you can do to contribute to energy saving buy installing solar panels etc, but will technologies such as hydroponic systems help someone such as a small holder be able to yield enough produce to feed themselves? their family ? or maybe even their community ? and this is a subject I need to educate myself on.

 

 

 

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I too keep chickens in my garden in Wandsworth..

 

We always have foexes around so I am wary about letting them run free during the day.

 

I have two in an eglu which I have had for about six years. One of mine has turned broody too and has barely emerged from her nest for weeks.

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thought this was worth posting

 

6,000lbs of food from 10% of an acre

 

http://lewrockwell.com/orig10/spirko5.1.1.html

 

 

The individuals putting in gardens today are not thinking solely about today’s recession, they are thinking about tomorrow’s possible depression along with probable future food shortages. They are thinking long-term and understand that while today’s cash outflow is a break-even, next years and subsequent years represent independence from at least some portion of the “food system.” They also realize that long term much of our global agriculture system is in real trouble and it may not be very long before capacity of production becomes heavily eclipsed by the most basic need the global population has, the need to eat every day.

 

So what are the biggest threats we have to our food supply today? They include…

 

* Grain production has been maxed out and we have failed to meet global grain demands for 6 of the past 9 years.

* Enough U.S. produced grain to feed a half billion people for a year will be converted to ethanol in 2009.

* Many nations are now creating long-term contracts with other nations to lock up the grain being produced by the few remaining large net exporters.

* China, India, The U.S., The UK, Malaysia, South Africa and Japan are now all “net importers of food.” Translation: a combined population of over 2.7 billion can no longer feed themselves without foreign dependence.

* Many shallow aquifers have been fully depleted and the largest fossil aquifers in the world are now being depleted. 70% of global water usage is for agriculture and we are running out of the water used for that purpose.

* Companies such as Monsanto are altering food at a genetic level taking massive risks with our food supply by releasing altered genetics into the biosphere via cross pollination.

 

These six threats are just the beginning; we have also lost a huge portion of genetic diversity via the practice of “monoculture,” soil is losing fertility faster then it is being replenished and soil erosion is turning previously fertile land fallow. In short global population and demand for food is rising while the long-term trend of increasing food production is flattening and threatening to soon go into a decline.

 

This is an area where many modern survivalists are finding common ground with an unlikely ally, those heavily into the eco movement. The two sides are sill miles apart on many issues; survivalists tend to be conservatives or libertarians and the eco crowd tends to be quite liberal and tends toward a socialist or statist viewpoint on many issues. Even on the issues of gardening and permaculture there are often huge differences on why the need exists but what is agreed upon is the need itself.

 

Hence even some of those of the edges of both movements are finding a common bridge in understanding the need to create individually managed sustainable agriculture. In other words it doesn’t mater if it is “global warming” or “incompetent politicians” that will be the cause of a coming food shortage; either way the solution is individual action. That action is as simple as beginning to produce just a portion of your own food. The potential production on even small suburban lots is shocking. One family led by a self-proclaimed “agrarian revolutionary” named Jules Dervaes is currently producing about 6,000 lbs of food per year on 1/10th of an acre! While that is the extreme, if perhaps 30% of suburban homes would produce even 10% of what Mr. Dervaes is producing, can you see how large the impact would be?

 

(This video of Mr. Dervaes’ home is quite inspiring and well worth the 10 minutes required to view it.)

 

Here is the real beauty in producing some of your own food via sustainable agriculture and long-term permaculture techniques…

 

* You can do it now even with containers if you are an apartment dweller

* It has an immediate impact on your personal situation

* It has a positive impact on your health and property value

* It provides insurance against a future shortage of food (personal or global)

* Entering into your second year the savings of cash is significant

* It reduces your dependence upon several systems (agriculture, distribution, etc.)

 

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radish have just disappeared. Not sure what's happened to them.

 

 

I had the same last season with radish (grown outdoors). I put it down to pests (though no evidence to support that claim it was the only thing that I thought would explain them vanishing) so as an experiment this year I kept them in the greenhouse and all plants have been successful and great eating as are my tatties and lettuce. I'm really hoping to get some success out of the melons this year but am down to one plant as my kids decided to kill off the rest in being careless with a football .................

 

A pear tree I planted when I first moved in 9 years ago is fully loaded this season after a couple of years of producing just one or two fruits. I'm unsure as to whether this is due to maturity issues or whether the 'bee-friendly' plants I've grown have helped but it certainly made a nice surprise when my kids came in all excited after being first to spot all the growths.

 

:rolleyes:

 

 

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We always have foxes around so I am wary about letting them run free during the day.

 

A tip I once heard is if you have a dog, to walk it around the area where the chickens are as this helps keep the foxes away.

 

 

thought this was worth posting

 

6,000lbs of food from 10% of an acre

 

http://lewrockwell.com/orig10/spirko5.1.1.html

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCPEBM5ol0Q

 

Thats a fantastic video, and a great link, thanks :)

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