This is straight from Linda Butler, whose plants up at Lindencroft Farm resemble ornament-heavy Christmas trees.
Here is a list of soil amendments I use.
• Greensand: a product of the sea, supplies trace minerals and boosts microbial activity for long term release of nutrients, potassium source (K)
• Oyster shell powder: calcium source
• Blood meal: nitrogen source
• Rock phosphate
For 100 square feet, apply 2.5 pounds of blood meal, 4 pounds of rock phosphate, 3 pounds of green sand, and 5 pounds of oyster shell powder.
This I use when I work the soil for the first time, when I make a new bed and fill it up. I dig this all in the first foot. Then just before I plant in the new soil I add about one pound each of fish meal and kelp meal and work it into the top six inches. When I harvest and then get ready for all subsequent plantings or sowings I add generous amounts of compost and a little more fish and kelp meal. If I'm sowing carrot seeds I work some worm castings in also. All the leafy vegetables that we harvest for their leaves like broccoli, kale, chard, spinach, lettuce, and brussels sprouts, I give a fish and kelp about once a month in the form of a dilute emulsion. I just dump about a half a gallon of each around the base of the plants for the big ones. The small ones like spinach, chard, kale, and lettuces get a foliar feeding of the same fish and kelp emulsion.
Well, Bob's also a big fan of chicken poop, so he used that, too—also mushroom compost, since we have very clay-ish soil. He used something called "50-50 Mix," which is mushroom compost, top soil, and sand, which adds a lot of fiber to clay-ish soils. Also, following the advice of Cynthia Sandberg at Love Apple Farm, we put eggshells in the bottom of the chicken wire cages of the tomatoes. She also recommended aspirin to boost their immune systems, but by that time, we could already see that there were going to be hundreds of blossoms on every plant. Everything in the garden is protected by chicken wire baskets: the gophers are rampant since we live next to a big field.
We also use bird netting on the grapes, as well as the four tomato plants under the south-facing eaves of our house, because the deer (the g.d. deer, as we call them) wreak havoc with anything and everything edible. We'll see if this is one of the years—we've had three since we moved into this house in 1994—that the tomatoes will grow straight through the winter into springtime. They're protected by the eaves and the radiant warmth of the house. Those winter/spring tomatoes are like the ice-wine grapes: the sugar condenses in them, and makes them ideal for oven-roasting, a much better use for them than, say, in pasta sauces.
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I like to be helpful, and this has NOTHING to do with farms, but I had to say something about it. To shoot the pictures I took at Soif this week, I rented a lens for my camera from Ziplens. Switching lenses back and forth had me imagining that I'd get a second camera body: either the Nikon D80 or even the D40. (Wild imagining, as there is just not the money for that right now!) An ad at the top of my Gmail in-box linked to a Nikon D80 camera body only for $279:
Nikon D80 - $299 - www.USAPhotoNation.com - Free Shipping + A Free Starter Kit, $180 More To Get 12 Accessories!
Did you have a grandfather who told you, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"? I did, thank goodness. Between hearing that a hundred times or more growing up, and then having been online for nearly twenty years now, I am more than a little familiar with Urban Legends and scammers. I've sent hundreds of people, including some of my own friends, to the Urban Legends website (yes, I know about Snopes, but I'm a creature of habit).
Having said all that, I clicked the link to USAPhotoNation.com and glanced at the product. Five seconds later, I Googled "USA Photo Nation" and found, no surprise, a website called ResellerRatings.com, which offered up nearly 400 ratings about USAPhotoNation, with a cumulative average of .67 on a scale of 1 to 10. If it were not for the 5.94 rating in pricing, the average would plummet to about .03. They receive an absolute 0 in the category of Return or Replacement.
What is even more unbelievable to me is that anyone would buy something from these people AFTER having read page after page of horror stories. Here: wanna play Russian Roulette with your credit card?
Anyway, I do my homework. When I bought my Nikon D200 a year ago, I got a package from an eBay dealer with a 100% approval rating. There was a little glitch in the transaction, but it was nobody's fault and the manager made it up to me, making it very clear that customer satisfaction was a very high priority. (The dealer at eBay is JandKCameras. They have now only 9 negative ratings out of over 11,000, since June of 2002.)
The next time you see a deal that looks too good to be true, tell yourself, "It probably is," and then do your Googling. Bill Gates will not be sending you money for forwarding spam to all your friends.
I hope this helps SOMEONE.
Spreading chickens--t in your garden: GOOD. Spreading bulls--t over the internet (shame on Google for accepting paid ads from scammers!): BAD.
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Here is an event for people interested in sustainable food in Hawai‘i:
Hawai‘i Island Food Summit
“How can Hawai‘i Feed Itself?”
October 5-6th, 2007
8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort
Speakers include: Claire Hope Cummings, Mayor Harry Kim, Dr. Bill Steiner, Michael Dimock, Lionel Bony, and Laura Schewel
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One last note: I have removed my photo galleries to Beautiful Farms, Tomatoes, and Glorious Farm Food. Sorry, people were stealing my pictures left and right, and I'm doing some research on stock photography.
That's all for today.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” — among others, Eugene Robinson Parker, aka "Granddaddy"
Thanks for visiting.