Monday, May 3, 2021

The "good old days" when two men used a bucksaw.


Tree work is said to be one of the most dangerous jobs anyone could have. I learned a lot watching James a professional we hired to fell the trees on our property.  You could not pay me enough to do this.

 Now that the trees are down we are doing what is called "log bucking" the trees. This is unsafe, too. Before  James left he said. "Jim take your time and work slowly, be safe. Call me if you need help."

The "good old days" when two men used a bucksaw.

Highest Tree Cutting Down and Most Skilled Climb Tree You Never See Before

Just think if he cut his rope? Too many "What ifs" that I can think of. The second tree with the camera on the logger's head. Wow, look how close he cuts to the rope?  "Nice view," he says. But I think I could find enough "views" with far more safety. I wonder how much these guys were paid? 

This video shows how to make trees fall where you want them to go by using a pro. who is skilled.   WORLD'S BEST TREE FELLING TUTORIAL! Way more information than you ever wanted on how to fell a tree!.  

A skilled and insured tree person is a MUST.  
The following shows some very stupid and dangerous tree work. 

Just to remind you. I have a plate in my right arm due to stupid tree work done by our neighbor and me. 
Wish I knew then what I know now...never hire or get untrained people to fell your trees. Saving money is not an option to compromise safety.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

What is the best time of year to plant Kale?



                                               What is the best time 
                                               of year to plant Kale?

If you are growing kale in pots or containers, you can plant kale any time of the year. However, when planting kale outdoors, consider the time to harvest, the likely temperature during that period, and whether you are planting seeds or transplanting plants. I will post another blog later on starting kale from seeds. If you can't wait for the article please email me your questions.

Best Temperatures for Growing Kale.

Kale is a cool-season crop, so you can direct sow in the early spring (Mid March through April for Western NC).
 I prefer to start indoors and set out larger plants when the time comes to transplant. That way, I can harvest sooner once the gardening season begins. Plant indoors 3-5 weeks before the last frost date.

Broccoli on Mar 24 - Apr 7 Cauliflower on Mar 24 - Apr 7 Collards Mar 24 - Apr 7 Kale Mar 24 - Apr 7 Mustard Mar 24 - Apr 7 spinach Mar 24 - Apr 7

As a cool-weather crop, kale grows best in the spring and fall (Aug for Western NC) and in locations where it can receive plenty of sunlight. 
Kale planted in the Fall will overwinter which means it will grow and you can harvest even in the snow right here in Western NC.
Collards growing in the snow. photo courtesy of NC State Extention  This link opens in a new window. Please return to this blog.

If you are going to plant kale for a spring harvest, direct sow the seeds in the garden about two weeks before the last frost in your area. The seeds will germinate in soil temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You can start seeds indoors a bit earlier than direct sown seeds.

I have started kale in one area and thinned the seedlings into another main growing space. This thinning will give me the opportunity to select the strongest seedlings. Then there are planted about 6 inches apart from each other in a "chicken wire" pattern. This allows the leaves to grow right next to the neighboring plant and will shade out any weeds that want to grow under them.

Some types of kale will grow year-round but most of the time you get only one season before the plants start to bolt (go to seed).

Once the plants start to bolt the leaves become bitter and you either need to pull the plants up and compost them, or allow them to continue to go into seed production. The plant that is in seed production tastes bitter because it is no longer producing a food crop and the energy is going into the seed pod, not the leaf. The seed produced will be good for planting if your original seed was heirloom open-pollinated and non-GMO seed. Otherwise, remove all plants that bolt and grow a new crop in that space.

The Scottish Kale shown below was transplanted from a seedling bed started directly in the ground and then thinned to the garden bed. This was in the Fall of 2020. Not only dis we can up about 24 pints, but we also eat the greens through the winter, and even now March 23rd, 2021 we still are eating and canning.  

This not only has been very productive, but it has also been very nutritious for the family, too.
When seedlings are planted 6 or 7 inches apart from each other they grow tight and produce shade. This shade prevents most weed seeds to germinate and reduces your weed growth.  

The other benefit of Fall/Winter and Spring crops are the absence of the white butterfly and the pesky green worms.  They will wreak havoc on the cole family of greens.  Almost as bad as slugs if not more so. For this reason, Fall is the best time for the cole crops. 
This is a photo of collards but kale is similar. Harvest from more than one plant allows airflow and reduces disease problems.

The small holes on collard leaves are caused by slugs that come out at night.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

How does a home garden improve food security?


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This is a fantastic question, my answer is a hope that you dig in and start a garden. At the same time direct you towards the sustainable garden methods which make it worth your time? The direct answer is this, as people learn to grow their food for themselves using sustainable methods, they become less dependant on ‘big Ag’= Big Agriculture. That alone is a plus for the environment and for the individual’s peace of mind. As well as you know what, when, and your food comes from. You also are in control of how much and the quality of the food and are not limited or rationed as some foods and other items are right now during this pandemic. I have been growing a vegetable garden for nearly 35 or 40 years, each year is something to look forward to as I try new to me vegetables that are not available in the grocery stores. Then there is the learning of a new method to produce a better harvest and with higher quality. Growing your own food gives you directly say about will I use chemicals that harm not just the environment but the health of your body. Or will you use methods that produce high quality, healthy food and at the same time improve the environment? I highly recommend John Jeavon's methods and his book ’How to Grow more vegetables’, Be sure you get the ninth edition. Than you ever thought possible on less land with less water than you can imagine. Watch how to with these great Video Grow BioINTENSIVEve..

Saturday, July 11, 2020

How much Wheat do I need to grow for a year supply?


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How much wheat do I need to grow for a year supply? That depends on what you are going to make with it? But if you like bread use this method. I also recommend that you grow Enkorn wheat the original wheat that it none hybridnized and much nutrient for the buck. If you grow three garden beds 10 feet by 10 feet each, each one would be 100 square feet. For a total of 300 square feer. Each garden bed will produce enough wheat to make 17 loaves of bread or one loaf every week for 51 weeks. I learned this from Ecology Action: Home Grow Bio Intensive and I highly recommend learning this growing method. I currently grow what I term ECO garden method a step better than organic because I do not use ANY chemicals at all. I am converting more of my growing methods according to **GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-Farming. Best to your wheat-growing efforts. You are o your way to becoming a tried and true “breadwinner” at home!** This question was asked on Quora

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Recommended plants for garden balcony or allotment

Welcome to JimBo's 
Of all the plants in your garden, on your balcony, allotment, in your house or wherever your garden is, which would you most recommend to other people and why?

Without going into an in-depth list of plant names. Here is a basic answer useful for anyone would be this. Gardens and growing vegetables either in the ground, in pots and containers on balconies, or such all require labor and space as well as money. One should first determine the needs. For example is it for fun, food, health reasons, or to reduce food bill, or a hobby, etc.
Let’s take economics as an example. Here in Western North Carolina where I live, I can buy organic carrots for less than a dollar per pound. My gardening attempts with carrots have not produced enough on a regular base, nor are they as good as those from our local Whole Foods. I simply cannot grow them for the same price. So buying them is better.
Now, on the other hand, heirloom and organic tomatoes at Whole Foods [in Season] cost around $3.99 to $4.99 per pound. I say that the price is way too high. Why? Because I grow them cheaper and have a wide variety of tomatoes.
I also grow things that I like a lot and have great health benefits. Garlic, for example, we have not bought any from the store going on 5 years now. Here is my 2019 harvest. This supply will last up until my next harvest and it is the best garlic we have ever had.
Bottom line…grow what is the most expensive for you to purchase in the stores. This is one of the main reasons I grow food for us. Most folks try to grow a garden for the first time might not think of it as I mentioned. Grow what is easy like green beans that can grow in a container or pot on a trellis or in a garden setting. By the way, beans do not need full sun as many people will say. I have grown them in partial shade but with just a slightly lower harvest, yet same quality as full sun. The best tip is just to do it, reach down and get those beans planted. I say that you don’t need a “green thumb”, rather a brown thumb…one that has been out there digging in the soil and enjoying the hopes of a crop. Learn to grow with a garden and remember it is a growing season, you don’t throw it all in the ground on one weekend during early Spring and expect to harvest all Spring and Summer. No, you plant and harvest and plant and harvest right up through Fall and early Winter. God bless your garden and you.

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