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The Livestock & Home produce thread - An Alternative investment

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Thought I'd post this here .........

 

Spent a rather sleepy Sunday watching old episodes of 'Out of Town', a program that my Grandfather watched regularly. Although the episode's are now 30 years old it gives a fascinating insight into the change that the age of oil has had upon everything from hand tools to the importance of geographical location in the UK. The presenter Jack Hargreaves (RIP) had an incredible depth of knowledge and told great stories of the everyday lives of the ancestors which we have become detached from through time.

 

Here's a part of one episode where he tells of 'Market Day' ...............

 

From: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyXZY5VCR00

 

 

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Thought I'd post this here .........

 

Nice video, obviously I never watched anything like this when I was a kid. It's funny how I now find videos like these interesting, I must be getting old - lol

 

 

 

yet I do see a comparison between the "open junk market" and the rise in "boot sales" around my area.

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Ok, Here is an update and current planting list for 2010

 

Down to 3 Chickens at the moment, lost another one in mysterious circumstances about a week or so ago (MIA) presumed dead. Quite sad for me personally, “little red” as she was known was my best layer.

 

Anyway, I’m still getting 3 eggs a day and they have been very reliable through the winter. I'll be looking at "restocking" sometime around Easter.

 

Have purchased my seeds for the year from my local (independent) garden centre, I could bore you with a slightly funny story about an extremely attractive lady who was serving both myself and my Mrs when she started talking about the "French Trio" (Three crops on one patch, Sweet Corn, Runner been and a squash) and my Mrs eyeballing me and watching my squirm as I so desperately wanted to twist it into an innuendo.

 

When I got home I had a quick look on the internet and I couldn’t find much about it...... hmmmmm :lol:

 

Planting list for 2010

 

Runner Bean - Polestar

Pea - Hurst Green Shaft

Sweet Corn - Passion

 

Potato - Mais Bard (First Early)

Potato - King Edward (Main Crop)

Beetroot - Bolthardy

Tomato - Gardeners Delight (Small Tomatoes)

Tomato - Tigerella (Fancied a change this year)

 

Cucumber - Socrates

Courgette - Soleil

Courgette - Romanesco

Aubergine - Black Beauty

Squash - Butternut

Chillies/Peppers - Antohi Romanian (Sweet), Golden Bell (Sweet), Friggitello (Sweet), Jalapeno (Hot), Hungarian Hot Wax (Hot) Red Cherry (Hot)

 

Broccoli - (Spouting) Early Purple

Brussels Sprout - Evesham Special

Cabbage - Hispi

Carrot - Amsterdam 3 (Sprint)

Parsnip - Gladiator

 

Spinach - Perpetual Spinach

Rocket - Wild Grazia

Lettuce - Little Gem

 

Leek - Mussleburgh

Onion - Stuttgarter Giant

 

Also found a packet of Cauliflower Seeds from a couple of years back..... so i'll try and get these germinated as well.

 

I'll also be trying some "sprouting seeds" for the first time - These can be grown on into "Micro greens" but I’ll be whacking these into a stir fry.

 

Alfalfa

Broccoli

Mung Bean

 

 

Total spend on seeds/bulbs/tubers = £55.00 approx

 

Also have about 25no Strawberry plants from the runners of last years 3 or 4 strawberry plants.

 

 

Last year I got caught out by an unexpected frost.... this year however I'm thinking mid/late march as the Summers seem to be getting "longer" however, I’m tempted to try a solar planting method to see if there’s any fact in it.

 

http://www.gardeningbythemoon.com/phases.html

 

Updates as they occur

 

 

 

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A quick update,

 

So far had some fantastic germinations nearly everything sown in trays and in "peat pots" germinated and I've started getting things in the ground. I'm about 4 weeks behind at the moment due to this prolonged cold winter so I’ve been (possibly) overcautious.

 

Still got the Brassicas to sow, this will be done this week.

 

The strawberry plants in the green house however are going like the clappers, and i'm really looking forward to the first taste of summer.

 

Chickens are still productive. I got a new home coming soon for them which will also allow me some expansion so hopefully I might even get up to a dozen birds in there :)

 

 

Just as an open question to anyone reading this thread, if I were to purchase a 25kg sack of potatoes and offer payment in eggs, how many eggs would equal a "fair deal?" I've already got a figure in mind but I'd love to get a second opinion.

 

 

 

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Just as an open question to anyone reading this thread, if I were to purchase a 25kg sack of potatoes and offer payment in eggs, how many eggs would equal a "fair deal?" I've already got a figure in mind but I'd love to get a second opinion.

 

Great thread, some you just miss. Can't believe fruit tree grease, what a find.

 

My guess would be around 30, based on paying £5 for farm sack wilja's and £1ish for x6 free range locally.

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discovered fruit tree greease so that should improve the apple and pear tree growth next year - ants were harvesting an abundance of aphids this spring/summer

 

Just googled that, I get inundated with ants, may i ask any brand recommendation please? Anyone?

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Great thread, some you just miss. Can't believe fruit tree grease, what a find.

 

My guess would be around 30, based on paying £5 for farm sack wilja's and £1ish for x6 free range locally.

 

 

Thanks for that, much obliged :)

 

I'm currently thinking of offering a barter agreement with a chap I know who supplies potatoes, and initially thought of offering up 18 eggs for a sack but I suppose that is a bit cheep from my end so I think I’ll offer up 2 dozen/24no eggs for a 25kg sack of Maris Pipers.

 

Actually....... looking at that, 1 egg = 1kg of Potatoes. (or there abouts.) Not sure if that's going to work for any "double yokers" though.

 

 

 

£1ish for six eggs, I personally was thinking £1.50 there’s a whiff of inflation about you know ;)

 

 

 

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............... any brand recommendation please? Anyone?

 

Not used it myself as my trees are still far to small. Best suggestion I can think of is to ask someone at a well established independant Garden center, I find they are normally very helpfull.

 

 

 

Just been looking through the RHS "Bible" and found the following - Grease Banding. Bio Boltac Greasebands; Vitax Corry's Fruit Tree Grease.

 

 

Also says (but this is for use mainly on lawns and shrubs so i'm not sue this is a good approach for application to Fruit trees) but it says the following........

 

Control, Ants are ofter abundant and impossible to eleminate; as far as possible thier presence should be tolerated, if the problem is severe, water plants with HCH or pirimiphos-methyl.

 

 

 

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£1ish for six eggs, I personally was thinking £1.50 there’s a whiff of inflation about you know ;)

 

Things are cheaper my way (midlands) than your posh south :lol:

 

Local famer tried to up from £5 -£6 for his spuds, too many others didn't budge, his trade did. Think farmers round here, have never heard of cartels.

 

Egg's may be as high as £1.20, but hey don't give too easy, see what he's happy with. I'm sure I don't need to say you wouldn't be the first to act dumb and innocent in a business deal :rolleyes:

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........... you wouldn't be the first to act dumb and innocent in a business deal :rolleyes:

 

 

I'm trying to get it down to an artform - :lol:

 

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My garden is 30 foot by 15 or so in north-west London.

 

I am using approximately 10% of it to grow some food.

 

Experiments so far:

 

Beans from last year grew back. Instead of taking them up, I left a couple of the withered plants in the ground and they started to grow again.

 

Last year I got approximately 8 lb (3.9 kgs) of beans from one plant. This year I reckon it'll be nearer 15 lbs of beans from one plant as I am encouraging the one plant to grow up as many poles as possible.

 

Potatoes (in growbags) - have an absolute abundance of spuds, 2 full big grow bags. Gonna be at least 50lb of spuds (24.8kgs)

 

Also I have enough chits (sprouted spud tops) to grow at least the same amount again, which I'll plant in August for some lates.

 

Also I have area of weeds just behind my growing bed, and some of the spud tops I chucked on there have rooted and I have a couple of potato plants growing there too (probably another 5lbs of spuds).

 

Peppers growing in pots. Single plants growing strong and now 2 foot tall.

 

Pepper seedlings growing in one large pot, will need to thin them out and put them in to individual pots within a week or so. Hopefuly I'll get a couple of lbs of peppers this year (I love grilled peppers).

 

Growing bed approximately 10 foot long by 2.5 across. I dug up some of the lawn at the bottom of the garden, watered it and then laid about 4x50 litre topsoil bags to form a better growing base.

 

So far I have 10 sweetcorn plants, now 2 ft high - made the mistake of seeding some of these too close together, so large areas of my bed have nothing growing in it.

 

And about 150 carrot plants - seeded these too close together as I had heavily watered the soil and was gently sprinkling seeds onto the mush, when a fox jumped over the back fence and the alarm of it meant the seeds went everywhere.

 

The Beetroot has not made an appearance yet (Bolthardy), whether it will or not - who knows?

 

Strawberries - a couple of plants are bearing fruit, usually no more than 10 strawbs per plant, which I am looking forward to eating about 2 to 3 lbs of strawberries.

 

Also my Nasturstions (sp?) are going great and I will eat these in a nice salad.

 

Herbs - one simple large patio pot is now overflowing with chives, mint, basil etc. Didn't realise it was still thriving, as hadn't given it any attention.

 

Have a 30 foot high Bay Tree (saplings everywere too - this thing is the dominant lifeform in that area of the garden and over into the track behind our flat) in the bottom right hand corner, so any time I fancy it I can pop down the garden and get some of that or some rosemary, and the bees love the lavender, which I managed to revive.

 

Tomatoes - didn't grow this year after last years bumper 20 to 30 lbs of toms from three plants. Bloody squirrels and homicidal blackbird have probably done for them, as the squirrels can never remember where they put their nuts, so will dig up everything in a quest to find their stash.

 

Conclusion. Even with the small amount of space I am using. I could easily double my yield next season.

 

Next experiment will be to grow some peas, more sweetcorn and more fruit. I'm gonna plant an Apricot tree against the south-facing heat-retaining wall of my neighbour's extention, that should grow well in such a good spot.

 

All my missis's flowers are looking lovely too.

 

I only use wastewater from the washing up, which I either tip straight onto the plants, or decant into another bowl, just outside the backdoor.

 

Also I have a mini-wormery and I sometimes use the wormpee (super fertiliser in itself) and pour onto plants and then add a bit of water. Still waiting for the wormscat, might be ready as fertiliser by the end of August.

 

Mistakes: I would definitely cover some plants next time round (cloches on the sweetcorn etc). I would probably buy in a load of ladybirds just to get rid of ants and their aphid colonies (blackfly particularly).

 

And I would defintely shoot those squirrels....

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I would probably buy in a load of ladybirds just to get rid of ants and their aphid colonies (blackfly particularly).

 

Seem to have an infestation of ants and my 2 young pear trees are both covered with blackfly and not flowering (related?) :( WOuld you really expect buying a few ladybirds to work, can you seriously do this? No idea, but frustrated.

 

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Seem to have an infestation of ants and my 2 young pear trees are both covered with blackfly and not flowering (related?) :( WOuld you really expect buying a few ladybirds to work, can you seriously do this? No idea, but frustrated.

 

Get some ladybirds quick.

 

In our front 'patio' garden, we have one mature bush that gets infected/ overrun with blackfly each year.

 

Blue tits and other small birds will eat a lot of the aphids if you can encourage them to perch on the bush (hang a bit of food there), but the two ladybirds I found on there, decimated the plague of blackflys in about a week (they scoffed the lot and beat the crap out of the ants too by the looks of it).

 

You just have to give the ladybirds a reason to stay.

 

I believe you can buy ladybird larvae and mature adults on t'internet and they really are ferocious pest controllers.

 

Good Luck.

 

 

 

 

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Get some ladybirds quick.

 

In our front 'patio' garden, we have one mature bush that gets infected/ overrun with blackfly each year.

 

Blue tits and other small birds will eat a lot of the aphids if you can encourage them to perch on the bush (hang a bit of food there), but the two ladybirds I found on there, decimated the plague of blackflys in about a week (they scoffed the lot and beat the crap out of the ants too by the looks of it).

 

You just have to give the ladybirds a reason to stay.

 

I believe you can buy ladybird larvae and mature adults on t'internet and they really are ferocious pest controllers.

 

Good Luck.

 

You're not wrong, plenty of suppliers on quick look, order going in later; for a country bumpkin can't believe i've never come across this before.

 

Thankyou :)

 

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Beans from last year grew back. Instead of taking them up, I left a couple of the withered plants in the ground and they started to grow again.

 

Last year I got approximately 8 lb (3.9 kgs) of beans from one plant. This year I reckon it'll be nearer 15 lbs of beans from one plant as I am encouraging the one plant to grow up as many poles as possible.

 

If you could keep me updated here I'd be interested to know how this second season crop of beans eats. Last year I used some seeds (white lady) left over from the previous year's purchase of seeds and found most of the crop incredibly 'stringey' and though nutritional value was probably unchanged they were virtually inedible, especially for my kids. I have been trying to identify the cause to avoid a repeat. Though obviously the scenario is different I'm still interested to know whether the age of the plant also has an adverse effect on the crop. Thanks in advance.

 

e2a I believe SR had a similar problem with beans last year and I'd be interested to know if he's made any alterations this year.

 

 

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If you could keep me updated here I'd be interested to know how this second season crop of beans eats. Last year I used some seeds (white lady) left over from the previous year's purchase of seeds and found most of the crop incredibly 'stringey' and though nutritional value was probably unchanged they were virtually inedible, especially for my kids. I have been trying to identify the cause to avoid a repeat. Though obviously the scenario is different I'm still interested to know whether the age of the plant also has an adverse effect on the crop. Thanks in advance.

 

e2a I believe SR had a similar problem with beans last year and I'd be interested to know if he's made any alterations this year.

 

I will keep you updated on beans consistency/ taste/ edibility of the beans from the older plant.

 

I noticed yesterday evening that the beans are having an explosion of tendrils now. Firstly main (older) bean plant has so many tendrils coming off it that if they all sprout, i'll be able to feed a small army.

 

Also new beans have emerged (various stages of development) from the ground and have sent runners up poles.

 

Last week one was only about 1 foot high, since then it has latched onto a pole of its own volition and is now 4 foot up that pole already. These things grow fast when they get going.

 

I thought I'd planted some of the new seeds too deep, as they didn't do anything for a few months (planted in mid-March).

 

But this has worked out to my advantage, as they are emerging now, when the weather is warm to hot. Probably going to upscale my projection to 12 to 15 lbs of beans this year, at least. Last year they produced beans until mid-October time and we were having steamed beans with every meal for a couple of weeks (good job I like beans).

 

Also the wood pigeons have scoffed the middle row of plants in the very large earthen pot (4 foot across) that I have by the back door (even though it was netted).

 

Can't for the life of me remember what it was, but obviously it went down well. They don't like the other stuff though, which is American Cress and a type of Rocket.

 

Wood Pigeon Pie I'm looking at (my Dad says they are quite tasty just don't eat the guts).

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I started growing my own veg last year. Although we live in a flat we are lucky enough to have a small private garden. I only have 2 growing beds - about 9 foot by 3 ft each and a few containers.

 

This year we are growing

 

Main crops

 

Lettuce (many varieties) - successful - need to keep replanting though as they tend to bolt in the glorious weather we've had

Potatoes - early and main. No crops taken yet though earlies nearly ready.

Peas and runner beans - doing well but no crops yet.

Raddish - disappointing this year. They bolted while I was on holiday and were very tough.

Beetroot - first sowing look about ready to eat

Spinach - very successful, but starting to bolt. Need to re-sow some. Have a lot of spinach frozen to make spinach pies with.

Courgettes - disaster this year as the slugs ate all the plants down to stumps, but now recovering. First courgettes finally starting to appear.

Swiss chard - grew well but not enamoured by it. The leaves seem to mottle (sp?) in the hot weather. Will be ripping it out soon and replacing with fresh spinach.

Strawberries - only nine plants. I think they are too shaded though as although there are planty of fruits, they are slow to ripen.

Garlic - not picked any yet, but they must be nearly ready.

Leeks - too early to tell.

Broccolli - as above.

Spring onions - plants seem too spindly - doubt we'll get much from these.

Various herbs - too many but they look and smell nice.

 

Experimenting with

 

Tomatoes - only a few plants (roma and one other that I can't recall). First tomatoes ripening.

Chilli - growing ok, but no chillis

Aubergine (black beauty) - no veg yet.

Apple tree (bought dead-looking for £2) - a few apples appearing

Rhubarb - donated by parents. Taking well but can't eat it this year to aloow the plant to establish itself.

Cucumber - almost dead plant donated by parents. First cucumber growing nicely.

 

With the exception of the strawberry, rhubarb and apple these were all grown from seed.

 

The long winter really caught me out - I propogated lots of seeds too early and was unable to plant them out due to the cold. We're in Scotland so got it pretty cold. Starting early actually resulted in later crops as I had to restart many of my plants.

 

Last year I had tremenous success with courgettes simply by putting the seedlings in grow bags. As mentioned previously the slugs feasted on them this year. Beer traps and broken eggshells spread around them did not help (I won't use slug pellets). Eventually moved them into truggs and surrounded with sharp sand. They've not been touched by slugs since.

 

 

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Last year I had tremenous success with courgettes simply by putting the seedlings in grow bags. As mentioned previously the slugs feasted on them this year. Beer traps and broken eggshells spread around them did not help (I won't use slug pellets). Eventually moved them into truggs and surrounded with sharp sand. They've not been touched by slugs since.

 

Excellent. You're having good success there.

 

My beetroots have not shown, maybe I seeded them too deep? Only time will tell. They may start sprouting come the winter. Lol.

 

I grew Courgettes last year and had the same problem - slugs. Eventually I put them in high pots and put rock salt and coffee grounds under the rim, that stopped them dead.

 

Excitement in the Mabon household - the composter (free from the council) has finally arrived four months after we ordered it (better late than never).

 

I'd not heard of English councils giving composters for free (I'm in Harrow borough).

 

Back home in Wales you get one whether you want it or not and you're expected to use it as most councils don't collect veg etc waste, but they do do a good job of recycling almost everything else (particularly in the west of Wales).

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Get some ladybirds quick.

 

In our front 'patio' garden, we have one mature bush that gets infected/ overrun with blackfly each year.

 

Blue tits and other small birds will eat a lot of the aphids if you can encourage them to perch on the bush (hang a bit of food there), but the two ladybirds I found on there, decimated the plague of blackflys in about a week (they scoffed the lot and beat the crap out of the ants too by the looks of it).

 

You just have to give the ladybirds a reason to stay.

 

I believe you can buy ladybird larvae and mature adults on t'internet and they really are ferocious pest controllers.

 

Good Luck.

 

Found this on the internet,

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/n...-on-397186.html

 

I've never used insects to control "pest's" something I'll now be looking into as well.

 

Thanks for the tip :)

 

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I believe SR had a similar problem with beans last year and I'd be interested to know if he's made any alterations this year.

 

Polestar for me this year, thought I'd try a different variety. But after the plants have finished, always leave the roots in the ground as these put lots of nitrogen back in the ground, obviously good for next years plants.

 

 

 

 

Quick update from me.

 

Expanding the number of chickens in the run........ got some problems at the moment trying to integrate them. 1 has sadly already died which has p'ed me off a bit.

 

Constantly picking out weeds in the patch, just gave the runners and Courgettes a heavy straw mulching.

 

Currently harvesting Strawberry's Cucumbers, Lettuce, Courgettes.

 

Made a major mistake with my Brussels sprouts and broccoli seedlings..... Put them out to harden off a little and within 4 hours they were nearly wiped out. GUTTED.... but hopefully I’ll be able to salvage a few.

 

 

Lessons being learned this year..... The use of nets on brassicas are ESSENTIAL !

 

 

 

 

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Polestar for me this year, thought I'd try a different variety. But after the plants have finished, always leave the roots in the ground as these put lots of nitrogen back in the ground, obviously good for next years plants.

 

That's what I planted last year - Polestar. They seem very hardy and frumenty (fertile, luscious, effervescent)

 

Quick update from me.

 

Expanding the number of chickens in the run........ got some problems at the moment trying to integrate them. 1 has sadly already died which has p'ed me off a bit.

 

I'd love to keep chickens but the garden is a tad small and there are a lot of urban foxs about the place.

 

When I get a bigger piece of land, will defintely have chickens as I eat loads of eggs and would prefer to consume ones from my own chicks.

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I'd love to keep chickens but the garden is a tad small and there are a lot of urban foxs about the place.

 

When I get a bigger piece of land, will defintely have chickens as I eat loads of eggs and would prefer to consume ones from my own chicks.

 

 

Have you thought about Bantams ?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bantam_(poultry)

 

You'll obviously need some heavy duty fencing, but I know some chicken keepers in urban environments and as far as I know they've been successful.

 

 

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