Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: the veggie plot.  (Read 196233 times)

rustyme

  • Guest
the veggie plot.
« on: January 06, 2008, 08:51:40 pm »
My veggie plot is in total about 95'x95'. However not all of that will be used as yet . Digging ,what was just virgin field, is hard going to say the least. Over the whole area you only go down about 9" or so and you hit a layer of stone about another 9" or more deep. These days my digging ability is poor at best ,not sure if that is age (50)  as well as all the broken bones getting their own back. But I have dug an area about 70' x 25' , or so ,for veg and another section about 40'x 10' for willow growing. These will be the stock I will use to grow for cuttings to plant in the main willow area ,along the track, an area some 160 yards x 12 yards .There would have been many more growing but my horses ate 5 buckets full of cuttings and the rabbits must have eaten at least as many again.
         Another area dug is the comfrey bed . This has about 50 2 year old plants in . I have about the same as rooted cuttings, starting to sprout now , ready to go in the next section yet to be dug .My back hurts already.....The full grown plants will provide hundreds of cuttings this year , so the comfrey bed should be huge by the end of this year. They all started from just five root cuttings of bocking 14, from chase organics. I did have about 200 more at one time , but cows got in and ate the lot , compost and all.....1 step forward and about  10 back is the norm with me.
         Last year (2007) was a forget year for veg . I sowed god knows how many times, only to get them washed away by heavy rain.  That that did grow was eaten by bunnies slugs ,millions of them, or just succumed to the wet weather. What a year !!!!!. I have however grown enough veg to cover all my eating needs for over 3 years. That inlcludes all potatoes , onions, garlic, salad stuff,peas and runner beans ( I prefer french dwarf now). Cabbages and the like have been really hard work , only got one or two ...the rest went to you know what...I now have 3 sides of the plot protected with rabbit wire and the rest ready to go up now. So this year should be a bit better, weather permitting. The whole veg area needs clearing again this year , but as it has been dug for a few years now , it is easy to do . So I will be just doing as much clearing as possible, when I can get on the plot .
         So, I am ready for this year and have loads of seeds waiting to be sown . I really want to get a load of mangels going , as the ones that I have grown got to huge sizes 15-20lbs each. That would give plenty of food for animals, only need 120 or so for a ton of feed. I also want to sow some strips of grain ,10'x 50', to supply the seed to grow straw for the house roof....and surplus seed for poultry feed and the like. As usual , some things will work and others will fail . But it is always fun finding out which ones will be which?
         I also have a few large Jerusalem Artichokes ready to plant now. They make a nice change from spuds, plus piggies like them too , so I have read? Nothing should go to waste ,either animals get anything I don't eat or it goes on the compost heap . I really want to sow a patch of sunflowers to. They will be mainly for oil , but they are nice lightly roasted too.
         What is everyone else getting ready to do this year?
 
cheers
 
Russ
 

Lizt

  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2008, 02:36:06 pm »
Very interesting plot you have there. In Dorset (small back garden) we have a few deep beds which did very well last year (except I didn't get the nets on in time to stop caterpillers!). But, as posted elsewhere, we are moving to a much larger plot in Brittany later this year. We have a lot of work to do on the house so don't plan to grow anything except hay this year. This is a shame but it will allow us to observe the site through the summer so that we can be better prepared for spring 2009! I plan to grow all the usual veg plus a decent range of fruit. I'm keen to grow fodder crops for animals and green manure crops but have to do much research first! We have about 5 acres of gently sloping pasture with  chestnut and hazels - I hope to plant Willow also but again have no experience with them (I'll be interested in your progress). I plan to make raised beds for the veg and a large fruit cage as well as a poly tunnel. A Larger area for potatoes, corn and grain also. Blimey! It's exhausting just thinking about it! Think I'll get the kettle on!
Keep us posted on your progress
Liz

natasha

  • Joined Dec 2007
  • whalsay,shetland isles
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2008, 03:44:39 pm »
Wow,i can only dream of a veggie plot like that!I have never grown anything before and really have no idea where to start!What i need is a plan.lol.Help.
natasha.

rustyme

  • Guest
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2008, 04:15:19 pm »
Hello Natasha,
                 if you really want to grow veg but are a bit daunted by all the work , just start a very small patch at first. A patch 3'x3' will do . You could grow real easy stuff like radishes,spring onions, lettuce and beetroot and maybe one or two new potatoes and a few french beans. All very simple and once they are ready you have the best part of a salad ....Once you have the first 3'x3' dug and sowed you can do a bit more as and when you want or feel upto it. The main thing to remember is don't fiddle with the stuff. Sow it, water it when needed ,and keep it clear of weeds and slugs etc. You can do the same sort of thing in pots or tubs, but you would have to get lots of compost or soil to fill them ...unless you live in a flat why bother? just dig a patch of ground. It really is very simple and easy on such a small scale , hardly any hard work at all . While your STUFF is growing try to make  some compost too ....once again very simple , nature does nearly all the work for you . Once the compost is ready it will feed the plants you are growing, just place it on the soil surface and gently dig in .
 
 Cheers
 
 Russ

Fluffywelshsheep

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Near Stirling, Central Scotland
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2008, 12:51:58 pm »
I only have a small front garden and lots of pots in the back to work on. recently this has changed as we have been allowed to uses the side bit next the the house (i like in an end of terrace council property)
linz

natasha

  • Joined Dec 2007
  • whalsay,shetland isles
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2008, 05:35:10 pm »
Hi, thanks for your ideas.I think i am a bit daunted by it all.I want to grow everything! and have the space now i live in Shetland but have only really grown salad in tubs when i lived in Bedfordshire.Your spot on with starting small but i will have to hold myself back as i feel the need to run before i can walk.lol.Sometime in Feb/March i am going to invest in a polytunnel as the weather up here is varied to say the least.That's when i shall make a plan of what i can fit into it.Hopefully there won't be too many problems.Has anyone worked out how much money each year they spend on fruit/veg etc?I did and its nearly £2000 a year and that was a conservative estimate!!![i have a large family]I am hoping to cut that down by half at least over the next year or two.Speak soon.
natasha.

rustyme

  • Guest
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 05:59:39 pm »
Quote
i have a large family]I am hoping to cut that down by half at least over the next year or two.Speak soon.
OMG !!!!!! Sweeney Todd style ? or just starve them to death ? I have heard of making cut backs but blimey ....a bit drastic....lol....yes I do  know what you mean really....lots of money goes on food , and as a nation a lot of the food we buy goes in the bin ...I think it is about a third gets chucked, I wonder how much the big super markets chuck ?  Growing your own can cut your bill back to just about nothing . You can even get your own salt if you live by the sea...mind you if you are anywhere near Doonray the resulting salt would most likely glow in the dark...
 
cheers

Russ

Fluffywelshsheep

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Near Stirling, Central Scotland
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2008, 06:26:05 pm »
hehe keep us posted on how you get on. To keep you motivated you can always start a planting diary or an online blog. I have foudn it really helps for me it just the weather got the better of me. so i had to stop with the gardenning, thats the prob with living northwards
linz

stephen

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Kent
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2008, 10:50:28 am »
rustyme: I wonder how much the big super markets chuck ? 
 
when i was studying at college i worked part time in the local morrisons (formaly safeway!) the stores bins were stored in the warehouse and kept under lock and key! only the store manager had the key and authorisation to throw food away! if any packets split, tins dented etc they were selotaped back together reduced by a couple of pence and put back onto the shelves! a good company money saving practice i suppose but i felt it was all very un-hygenic esp if things had been on the floor or left for days before being selotaped (unhygenic in itself!) all fresh fruit and veg mainly came in on a daily basis and was religously rotated, if any was going to go out of date it was reduced and placed on the till ends and always got snapped up! if anything had gone say one or two days out of date like a tin of beans, some muchrooms etc these would be used up in the staff canteen! when the store was safeway the bins would overflow with bags stacked up next to them when morrisons took over and their practices were fully in place i cant rember the bins ever being completley full even once! i dont know what the others are like on waste but i would imagine they all have similar rules! 

rustyme

  • Guest
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2008, 11:18:32 am »
Hello Stephen,
                   nice to hear that at least one store tried to keep waste down to a minimum. However, I bought my land from some 'new age travelers' and they used to travel the country getting all their food from supermarket skips. They said that they would go round all of the stores in groups and wait for the out of date stuff to get binned and would then dive in . Now if I were starving I would no doubt do the same ...but ...yuk...I really would have to be starving .They said that they hardly ever had to buy anything, the only thing was they had no choice over what they were going to eat .They did that out of choice though , most of their money going on drugs and booze, but since then I did make a point of looking to see how big (and full) the bins behind bigger stores are. I didn't go round jumping over wall etc. just look from car parks and the like. Things may well have changed lately, as I haven't looked for some time. It would be nice to think that they waste very little , but somehow I doubt it ? The waste in fresh food ie veg and fruit, is well known . They only want perfect shapes etc. I hope that has changed lately too.
 cheers 
 
Russ

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2008, 06:59:42 pm »
We asked our local Tesco if we could have waste fruit and veg for the pigs, but were refused. Shame, really.

stephen

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Kent
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2008, 10:22:55 am »
we used to get asked if people could have out of date things for animals (normally bread for ducks!) but due to health and saftey laws etc the stores legally can not give it to you if it is out of date! they have no protection if you were to eat it and become ill! i agree with you rosemary i think its a shame if its for animals, waste could be dramatically reduced and it would make big supermarkets alot greener if they recycled waste produce like that but unfortunatley they cant!  :)

pigsatlesrues

  • Joined Oct 2008
  • Normandy, France
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2008, 10:40:20 am »
Not sure if it applies all over France, but in our area, we can go to any boulangerie or depot de pain and buy stale bread for the animals. A huge sack usually costs around 3 euros. the animals love it.  In our supermarket they also have a large basket of fruit and veg and salad which has 'gone over' which they sell for cents which is great for the rabbits and pigs.  Last season I bought huge trays of over ripe apricots, plums and grapes for 1 euro each and made jam, and the same in tomatoes and made chutney and peppers also which I pickled.

Meat goes right to date at a reduced price as do cakes etc and they sell them off for silly money.

It is being in the right place at the right time usually, but it can be very cost effective.

Different stores seem to do things differently - some do the sacks of bread but don't do the fruit and veg and visa versa. I think it must depend on the view of the store manager. All good stuff for the consumer though and no waste!

Kate
Bonjour et avoir un bon jour !

stephen

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Kent
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2008, 10:49:33 am »
just a thought rosemary... kates email made me think! try the local greengrocers, one of our neices used to work in one and her boss had no problem her giving us trays of out of date / bruised fruit and veg for the animals for i think £1 a tray or something close to that! the geese we had at the time always seemed to love it the most!  :)

Tony J

  • Joined Dec 2007
Re: the veggie plot.
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2008, 10:41:47 am »
We have a veg market once a week in Newcastle Emlyn, I get a lot of very cheap pony apples, sacks of carrots that supermarkets dont want (not straight) and veg for my pigs and hens there, So if you have a local market try that
Tony 

 

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