Author Topic: Self sufficient gardening  (Read 872 times)

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Offline sleek

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Self sufficient gardening
« on: January 23, 2023, 02:10:13 pm »
I'm trying to reduce the impact of inflation and supply chain issues  I have been raising chickens for 3 years now for eggs. I don't have the heart to slaughter them for meat however. I have been playing around with a 40x40 garden and have had some success. I have a have a half acre available to me.

So, many folks talk about gardening to get off the grid, but nobody talks about what to grow for a balanced diet.  I'm in  Northern coastal nc. I'm curious what folks ideas of what to grow would be. My biggest requirement is that whatever I grow can also feed my chickens, and dogs. Hate for scraps to go to waste.
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Offline bjrogg

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2023, 09:13:32 pm »
Here we like potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, onions, chives, dill, peppers, tomatoes, peas, sweet corn, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, rhubarb, cucumber, spinach, garlic, muskmelon, cabbage, lettuce, radishes along with some fruit trees. Apples, cherries, peaches, plums and pears.

I think you’ll get pretty good well balanced meals from them. If you wanted more protein you could plant some edible beans like black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans.

Good luck with your garden Sleek. I hope you post some pictures as the seasons go by.

Bjrogg
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Offline Pappy

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2023, 08:21:02 am »
Man BJ, that should feed a guy well . I use to raise a big garden but got to be more trouble than it was worth trying to keep the deer/ground hogs and other varmints out, the last year I raised one I spent all summer babying it and got 0, >:( now I just buy from the farmers market. ;) :) :)
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Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2023, 08:53:41 am »
I think one consideration is what kind of food storage methods you plan to use, I freeze, can and dry what I produce. I vacuum seal most of the stuff I put in the freezer.

I grow a summer and winter garden.

I don't grow root crops like potatoes, beets, onions or carrots to store, living alone I only cook a couple times a week so I buy potatoes and such. I do cook a lot of meals where I produced everything but the onion and seasoning spices.

Here is an example, squash, okra and green tomatoes fried together, kale, turnips, Kentucky wonder pole beans with onion and chanterelle mushrooms picked out of my woods and deer minute steak, I bought the onion I used, the rest I grew or shot.
 

 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 08:56:51 am by Eric Krewson »

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2023, 09:06:30 am »
Another thing; I have put tons of manure in my formally poor soil to build it up, with the manure comes every weed seed in existence, so many that I can't possibly keep ahead of them so I plant through black plastic. The plastic keeps the weeds at bay as well as retaining moisture so I don't have to water my garden even through a drought.

I didn't have deer problems until about 10 years ago at which point they started eating my garden to the ground, it was time for an electric fence to keep them at bay. I have trained the deer; they don't try to jump my fence and keep a wide berth around it. A low strand will keep the coons out of your corn as well.

I have built up my ground over the years to the point that I need very little fertilizer, that is a hill of white scalloped squash in the foreground. My garden is 20X60, I give away 10 times more than I use myself.



« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 09:14:49 am by Eric Krewson »

Offline BryanR

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2023, 09:14:22 am »
I have similar thoughts as the previous replies.  Grow what you actually eat or like.  I pick vegetables based on being able to collect seeds for the next year.  Been doing a garden and chickens/turkeys for 6 years.  I stopped canning.  I prefer to freeze or dry store.

My 2023 garden will be garlic, beets, onions, black beans, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, cucumber, lettuce and carrots.

The chickens/turkeys can have everything out of the garden except garlic and onions.  It's reported to be toxic to them.  The occasional onion that's made it to the chickens was never touched.  The birds love anything with seeds, especially zucchini and spaghetti squash.  I leave my lettuce bolt at the end of the season and toss them a whole plant.  The birds also get an entire tomato plant or zucchini vine.  The only thing that actually makes it to the compost bin is the woody vine itself.


Offline Marc St Louis

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2023, 12:57:55 pm »
I tend to grow things that are fairly easy to grow up here but can be expensive to buy
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Offline Pat B

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2023, 11:27:55 pm »
Sweet potatoes grow well in Eastern NC and are tasty, nutritious and easily stored.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline PaulN/KS

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2023, 05:06:59 pm »
Tomatoes,green beans and hot peppers are my mainstay here. We dry and grind the peppers or roast and freeze them. Tomatoes become salsa,sauce or just frozen in bags.(Gonna use some of that in tonight's jambalaya.) Green beans get frozen as well. Sweet corn we just buy from a farm up the road, that way they have to deal with the coons...

Offline sleek

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2023, 06:21:53 pm »
Tomatoes,green beans and hot peppers are my mainstay here. We dry and grind the peppers or roast and freeze them. Tomatoes become salsa,sauce or just frozen in bags.(Gonna use some of that in tonight's jambalaya.) Green beans get frozen as well. Sweet corn we just buy from a farm up the road, that way they have to deal with the coons...

Tell me more about the ground peppers. What do you do with them, how do you store them, how long do they last, how do you dry and grind them?
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Offline sleek

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2023, 06:23:48 pm »
Sweet potatoes grow well in Eastern NC and are tasty, nutritious and easily stored.

Those are high on my list to grow. I tried yellow potatoes a few years ago and grubs ate them. I'm thinking about trying the stacked tire idea or some other raised bed solution to hopefully get above those pests, and reduce the amount of space they take up when growing.
Tread softly and carry a bent stick.

Dont seek your happiness through the approval of others

Offline sleek

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2023, 06:27:01 pm »
I have similar thoughts as the previous replies.  Grow what you actually eat or like.  I pick vegetables based on being able to collect seeds for the next year.  Been doing a garden and chickens/turkeys for 6 years.  I stopped canning.  I prefer to freeze or dry store.

My 2023 garden will be garlic, beets, onions, black beans, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, cucumber, lettuce and carrots.

The chickens/turkeys can have everything out of the garden except garlic and onions.  It's reported to be toxic to them.  The occasional onion that's made it to the chickens was never touched.  The birds love anything with seeds, especially zucchini and spaghetti squash.  I leave my lettuce bolt at the end of the season and toss them a whole plant.  The birds also get an entire tomato plant or zucchini vine.  The only thing that actually makes it to the compost bin is the woody vine itself.

I need to find a solution to canning. It's so darn expensive, and takes up lots of storage space. I can make a solution to storage, but the costs of jars, wow. As for freezing, I don't want to have to rely on power to keep my food. My meats will be frozen, but thats all I want to deal with. I'm considering freeze drying. A buddy has mentioned splitting the cost of a freeze dryer.
Tread softly and carry a bent stick.

Dont seek your happiness through the approval of others

Offline sleek

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2023, 06:33:21 pm »
Another thing; I have put tons of manure in my formally poor soil to build it up, with the manure comes every weed seed in existence, so many that I can't possibly keep ahead of them so I plant through black plastic. The plastic keeps the weeds at bay as well as retaining moisture so I don't have to water my garden even through a drought.

I didn't have deer problems until about 10 years ago at which point they started eating my garden to the ground, it was time for an electric fence to keep them at bay. I have trained the deer; they don't try to jump my fence and keep a wide berth around it. A low strand will keep the coons out of your corn as well.

I have built up my ground over the years to the point that I need very little fertilizer, that is a hill of white scalloped squash in the foreground. My garden is 20X60, I give away 10 times more than I use myself.

I'm bagging and saving my chicken manure for future usages, fertilizer and possible black powder recipes. I am trying to figure a way to build a collection tray under their roosts to collect it.

Weeds are a pita, I tried laying straw down after transplanting my seeds last year. Combine that with walking the rows daily to pick weeds that made it through and my feet killing them by constantly walking them, the weeds weren't a problem for once. I'm hoping last years straw tills into the soil well this year and doesn't hurt anything.  40x40 is a bit much for plastic, but I will be doing several smaller beds and I'm leaning towards plastic for them.
Tread softly and carry a bent stick.

Dont seek your happiness through the approval of others

Offline sleek

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2023, 06:36:00 pm »
Here we like potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, onions, chives, dill, peppers, tomatoes, peas, sweet corn, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, rhubarb, cucumber, spinach, garlic, muskmelon, cabbage, lettuce, radishes along with some fruit trees. Apples, cherries, peaches, plums and pears.

I think you’ll get pretty good well balanced meals from them. If you wanted more protein you could plant some edible beans like black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans.

Good luck with your garden Sleek. I hope you post some pictures as the seasons go by.

Bjrogg

I will certainly keep the thread updated as I go. I have a few goals, where I make all the meals for one day a week with only what we grew, then try to do one week a month with nothing but what we grew, and so on to see how sustainable we can really get.
Tread softly and carry a bent stick.

Dont seek your happiness through the approval of others

Offline sleek

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Re: Self sufficient gardening
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2023, 06:48:41 pm »
I started a patch of asparagus 4 years ago, I'm going to have to move them, they just aren't doing well there. And I will be making that patch much bigger. I'd like a couple 4x8 beds of it.

Also I have blackberries and blue berries started. I'm going to hedge my blueberries as a property border and hopefully get about 25 of them, the blackberries I have vining on my chainlink fence. I'm going to plant a good sunflower patch for seeds and their roots  I keep killing my artichoke every darn time but I will get those right eventually. I want to use them as property border ornaments. We are also a big fan of prickly pear cactus fruits and the pads. I have 7 of those started but plan to do up to 20 of them, again, as a property border. It should help keep rabbits, cats, and dogs out.

I want a grain, and fortunately my wife can cook up some good quinoa. Looking into it one plant will give a head of half a cup of seeds. So I will be planting a lot of that. I'd like enough to last a year,  and I can share that with my chickens as well. That will be a fun adventure.

I have wild muscadine grapes growing I'm trying to tame on the edge of my woods. I've been trimming around them, and will build a trellis come spring. These price both black and green grapes. The black are amazing in jelly and the green is a good wine grape.

As soon as I have my back half cleared of woods, I'm going a fruit orchard, and that will do well for lots of easy eats, for both us and the chickens. Unfortunately that's an expense I can't afford yet and is a future goal. I do have an olive tree, two avocado trees and a lemon tree started for the greenhouse I am planning probably in the fall.
Tread softly and carry a bent stick.

Dont seek your happiness through the approval of others