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Old June 3rd, 2009 #81
Kievsky
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Donnie,

Very good. I think if you do this business officially, which you should, you have to show certain amount of expenses for your tax purposes. Here in Connecticut it's 2500. You definitely want to get an accountant to set you up in Quickbooks and do everything by the books so you'll be OK if you get audited. Farming comes with a lot of tax benefits, and it's a cash business so it's very attractive for tax dodgers. So get your ducks lined up with your bookkeeping/accounting. And save all your receipts from your initial expenses like buying a greenhouse and a rototiller.

Plant an acre of Asian pear. Next time you are in the supermarket, see what Asian pear sell for -- they are 3 bucks for one fruit! And they do taste very good. I have 3 dwarf trees and they each produce about 50 to 100 near perfect fruits a year with very little spraying. I spray once in April and that's it.

HEre's a list of vendors for Asian pear:

OK, here's the list of pear (European and Asian) sources with their GW ratings and websites:

Adams County Nursery ( 11/11 or 100% perfect ) - http://www.acnursery.com/
Burnt Ridge Nursery ( 49/54 great ) - http://www.burntridgenursery.com/
C&O Nursery ( 3/3 or 100% perfect ) - http://www.c-onursery.com/
Cummins Nursery ( 17/18 excellent ) - http://www.cumminsnursery.com/
Greenmantle Nursery (6/8 good ) - http://www.greenmantlenursery.com/
Johnson Nursery ( 23/24 excellent ) - http://www.johnsonnursery.com/
Miller Nurseries ( 66/97 caution! ) - http://www.millernurseries.com/
Raintree Nursery (108/126 fair ) - http://www.raintreenursery.com/
St.Lawrence Nurseries ( 27/29 very good ) - http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/

Here's what they look like:



Definitely do high bush cranberry and a grape vineyard too. Don't restrict yourself to annuals. Fruit trees and berry bushes are great for farming. Here's a favorite book of mine on permaculture:

Amazon.com: How to Make a Forest Garden: Patrick Whitefield: Books Amazon.com: How to Make a Forest Garden: Patrick Whitefield: Books

Also, you can let beekeepers keep their bees on your property. The beekeeper will give you a share of the honey, and the bees will pollinate your stuff. You'll really like this. You can read widely, and do experimentation, and maybe even breed your own plants. Definitely save seeds and make yourself a seed bank.
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Old June 3rd, 2009 #82
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Donnie, in our area, they have "organic road maps" and the same outfit publishes a little magazine. Both publications show the public where the organic farms and ranches are in the area, tell where tailgate markets are, etc. Maybe your area has something similar that would give you some free advertising? Or nearly free? Just an idea. I know we have used the one in our area to find things we couldn't grow.
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Old June 4th, 2009 #83
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Originally Posted by deathtozog View Post
Donnie, in our area, they have "organic road maps" and the same outfit publishes a little magazine. Both publications show the public where the organic farms and ranches are in the area, tell where tailgate markets are, etc. Maybe your area has something similar that would give you some free advertising? Or nearly free? Just an idea. I know we have used the one in our area to find things we couldn't grow.


I'm sure something like that exists here locally, as this is farm country. I'll certainly check into it, bro.

The plan is to offer picked-that-day veggies & spices that you just don't see anywhere else. Then next spring, we offer those actual plants as 3-pack seedlings.

Last night, I ordered a dozen more heirloom tomatoes (plants) online....Hawaiian Pineapple, Green Sausage, Mortgage Lifter, Purple Haze, etc. Very unique stuff. As Alex said up-thread, there seems to be thousands of varieties of tomatoes.

I'm going to create a laminated placard display for every variety we carry, which will have a picture of the tomato, along with a description of it's qualities and any historical info.

I also contacted a relative that lives within a short driving distance, and has a dozen or so mature apple trees (red delicious & granny smith) on their property. These trees get loaded with big, beautiful fruit every season. We are welcome to as many as we can take when they ripen. For free.
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Last edited by Donnie in Ohio; June 4th, 2009 at 07:00 AM.
 
Old June 4th, 2009 #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kievsky View Post
Donnie,

Very good. I think if you do this business officially, which you should, you have to show certain amount of expenses for your tax purposes. Here in Connecticut it's 2500. You definitely want to get an accountant to set you up in Quickbooks and do everything by the books so you'll be OK if you get audited. Farming comes with a lot of tax benefits, and it's a cash business so it's very attractive for tax dodgers. So get your ducks lined up with your bookkeeping/accounting. And save all your receipts from your initial expenses like buying a greenhouse and a rototiller.


We'll use the same accountant I had when I ran my previous business. You can bet your ass I'll get every tax break and deduction I possibly can.

Looked into the greenhouses available online. There is a huge variety of them. Have to decide what size we actually need, although bigger is almost always better.

We're all excited about this opportunity. It will be a lot of hard work, but I believe that the rewards will justify it.
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Old June 4th, 2009 #85
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Donnie,

Go to your local liquor stores and ask them if they have "regulars" who buy large bottles of wine, whiskey or vodka with a screw on bottle cap -- anything from a quart to a gallon. Ask them if they'll have thier regulars bring back their empty bottles and put them aside for you.

You want to hoard glass bottles with screw-on caps. This way when things start going really south in the Kwa, you can store water, and make bootleg fruit wines for drinking and maybe even for sale. You want to choose fruits that don't require extra sugar -- obviously grapes, and pears, and some others. Corn makes a very good sugar for fermentation. Corn sugar is more easily fermented than cane sugar. Here's a book on it:

Amazon.com: The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible: Leon W. Kania: Books Amazon.com: The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible: Leon W. Kania: Books

Also, considering collapse may be imminent, there are books and sources for growing stuff like tobacco and a certain very pretty flower, the by-product of which post-collapse doctors will need very much to help reduce pain.
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Old June 4th, 2009 #86
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I've been a home-brewer (beer) for years. I actually should plant some hops. Plenty of people around here grow grain.

I get the feeling that Kievsky would be a real good guy to know when TSHTF.
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Old June 4th, 2009 #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie in Ohio View Post
I've been a home-brewer (beer) for years. I actually should plant some hops. Plenty of people around here grow grain.

I get the feeling that Kievsky would be a real good guy to know when TSHTF.
Very good. Do you do "all grain" brewing? Do you have a mash boiler?

Definitely look at more than beer. you want to be able to make booze from your garden products, and perfect this process sooner rather than later, and hoard the glass bottles sooner rather than later. Think Joseph Kennedy.



I don't know how well I'll do when TSHTF. I'm in the cement death belt between Boston and NYC. As April says, I'll have to "shoot the gap" after the TSHTF. No matter what though, I'm looking forwrard to seeing the liberals punished by circumstance, for their foolish, wasteful, cornucopianist crusades for an impossible equality.
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Old June 4th, 2009 #88
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Planted these well started seedlings:

4 cherry tomatos, 4 beefsteaks, 4 banana pepp, one salsa pepp, one marconi pepp, 4 serrano, 4 jalapenos.

a rabbit laid its litter in my chive patch and my big dog was there woofing like hell at the little critters. I dont think he ate any, having more of a guard dog instinct than that of a mouser. I kept the dogs out of the yard for two days and they were gone. NOt sure if the mama took em to a new nest or a hawk.

my wife told me to dig out the chive patch because of all the fluff and rabbit germs. I just laughed at that and said no way, and do you expect the rest of the dirt is clean? Anyhow the chives from that part taste like hell anyhow and I usually try to get them from the shady spots instead. Not sure why, but I like shade-chives better.

Soon enough the strawberries will be in and she'll forget about the bunnies.
 
Old June 4th, 2009 #89
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good to hear your progress, AE! It's really great to see how many of us are producing our own food. The "English" (our new term for non-WN's) write a lot of stuff about the WN movement, but they've never mentioned this particular phenomenon.
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Old June 4th, 2009 #90
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You know it's not so wierd where I live which is just a normal suburb in flyover midwest. Out of six dwellings on this street three have vegetable gardens. Mine sucks compared to my two neighbors, both engineers, you can imagine what a vegetable garden can look like when some engineer takes that on as a hobby.

In these parts, I remember always growing up, in July everybody seems to have tomatoes and nobody buys them at the store. We get a lot of peppers and cucumbers too, from neighbors, who give me vegies even though I know I grow them too. Sort of have to eat crow on that. But my kids pluck the cherry tomatoes right off the vine and most of those never make it in the house. The strawberries same. I need a big strawberry patch, now I just got part of two 4x8 beds. Cool thing strawberry can grow in partial shade. Though it wont yield as much. Makes good cover, even just for landscaping.

If the SHTF though I'm going warlord though. I wouldnt be able to survive on my sorry gardening skills. Luckily I have other talents. LOL
 
Old June 4th, 2009 #91
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Originally Posted by Kievsky View Post
good to hear your progress, AE! It's really great to see how many of us are producing our own food. The "English" (our new term for non-WN's) write a lot of stuff about the WN movement, but they've never mentioned this particular phenomenon.

The "English". Nice. It fits, huh?

Yea, I wonder how the media would spin it if WNist began to be known as avid organic home gardeners? Conserving rain water, composting & recycling, etc?

I know they should have been in the ground a while ago, but I planted a couple of long rows of "Kentucky Blue" pole bean seeds this afternoon. Put out the poles (6 foot) and planted 2 seeds in a hill mounded around each one, then connected the poles with trellis netting. I've never planted any beans before, and I am eager to see how well they do. It's supposed to be a very prolific bean, and matures in 57 days.

Also picked up two 18 gallon & one 5 gallon Rubbermaid tubs with which to collect rainwater. This brings our garden rainwater storage capacity to 60+ gallons.

As for being "Neo-Amish", I bought some clothesline & clothespins as well today, and rigged a clothesline triangle between 3 trees out back.
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Last edited by Donnie in Ohio; June 4th, 2009 at 06:56 PM.
 
Old June 4th, 2009 #92
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I grow a lot of beans. They are easy to work with, IMO.

Dried beans are part of my long-term food preps. And, I just like beans.
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Old June 4th, 2009 #93
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I grow a lot of beans. They are easy to work with, IMO.

Dried beans are part of my long-term food preps. And, I just like beans.

What kind(s) of beans do you plant, "Amish"?

How many seeds & what are your average yields?
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Old June 4th, 2009 #94
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Last year, I planted a "Romano" pole bean and some lima beans, which are a bush bean.

The Romano beans I planted in a sort of pyramid, or teepee. I don't remember how much I got out of it. I did can two cases of quart jars, ate some fresh and gave away two plastic grocery bags full to some coworkers.

The lima beans I let dry.

This year, I planted some Red Emperor pole beans and Dragontongue (an heirloom). I planted a LOT more than last year. In fact, my beans are one of the few things that survived the hailstorm I got here on Tuesday.
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Old June 4th, 2009 #95
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I grew "fortex" green beans from Burpee last year and they were priolly my best crop (after squash and cherry tomatoes). these beans are long long long, like a foot long, but still tasty at that size. because they are so big you get a lot of bang for your harvesting efforts (I'm all about efficiency).

I saved some beans from last year and planted them again - in just 3-4 days they started sprouting, and are already several feet high (after 1 1/2 weeks). they grow like mad. I haven't even fertilized them yet.

these beans are easy easy easy and high yielding - they just kept on yielding all summer long.
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Old June 5th, 2009 #96
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Originally Posted by Kievsky View Post
Do you do "all grain" brewing?

Definitely look at more than beer. You want to be able to make booze from your garden products, and perfect this process sooner rather than later, and hoard the glass bottles sooner rather than later. Think Joseph Kennedy.
Even through they hated Democrats, my parents thought the Kennedys walked on water. Mom still has a photograph of JFK and RFK taken while talking in private outside the Oval Office framed on her wall. It was part of being Irish in their generation, I guess.

Yea, I've done all grain brews that turned out fine & at least close to style, but I'm a much better extract brewer, and I use fresh (or at least vacuum-sealed freeze-dried sorta fresh) hops & good liquid yeast. Plus it's a whole hell of a lot less hassle.

I haven't done an all grain brew in quite a while. Very doubtful if I even still have everything I would need to do one today, as I belong to a local home-brew club and stuff gets traded/sold all the time.

Never made any wine or any sort of liquor, although a goodly number of the brew club does make seasonal wines also, often made with stuff from their own gardens, or organically-grown ingredients produced locally.

I have however successfully brewed more than a few batches of mead but once again, it's been a while. We have a couple varieties of watermelon in, and if they produce, I might take a stab at producing a watermelon wine.
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Old June 5th, 2009 #97
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Originally Posted by George Witzgall View Post
I grew "fortex" green beans from Burpee last year and they were priolly my best crop (after squash and cherry tomatoes). these beans are long long long, like a foot long, but still tasty at that size. because they are so big you get a lot of bang for your harvesting efforts (I'm all about efficiency).


Thanks for the bean tips guys.

I did some research on fortex beans, and from reading the reviews posted on the various seed sites, it sure sounds like a winner. I think I'm going to put in a couple rows of both fortex & dragon tongue.

So you can save some of the seeds from a fortex and plant them next year? Does that make them heirloom as well?

Also, does anyone use coffee grounds or eggshells in their gardens?
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Last edited by Donnie in Ohio; June 5th, 2009 at 06:40 AM.
 
Old June 5th, 2009 #98
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Donnie,

Coffee grounds and eggshells are good, but that's for a small plot. It sounds like you are doing something large, in which case you need to contact local horse farms, pig farms, dairy, beef, sheep, chicken -- whatever you can get your hands on. You need a pickup truck, though a small dump truck would be ideal for you. They might load for you, or you might have to shovel it yourself.

I have brought hundreds of loads of horse manure to my land. It's something you need to do year round. Ideally, get a morning job (2 -3 depending on the number of stalls) on a horse farm. It's good exercise, and you get paid cash at the end of the week and a daily load of horse manure, and you do that job instead of a Mexican doing it. Make sure you negotiate weekends off, or some 2 days off so you can sleep in at least a couple times a week. That cash can fund your farm, too, not that you need it, but it might be nice to capitalize your farm without dipping into your own money. Up to you of course. I used to have a job on a horse farm and I really loved it. The horse guy is glad to have you getting rid of the manure too.

You mentioned that you are a bit bored with retirement. I think this is an excellent opportunity for you to become a trail-blazer on non-standard small businesses in the Second Great Depression. You can figure out what small businesses work and how best to do them, and teach the rest of us, because you have the time-freedom to do so.

You should look for things that fulfill practical, even urgent, needs. Food, booze and tobacco are obvious ones. I think doing "gardening services" where you deliver manure and rototill land for people might work, as gardening becomes more popular.
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Old June 6th, 2009 #99
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Donnie,

Coffee grounds and eggshells are good, but that's for a small plot. It sounds like you are doing something large, in which case you need to contact local horse farms, pig farms, dairy, beef, sheep, chicken -- whatever you can get your hands on. You need a pickup truck, though a small dump truck would be ideal for you. They might load for you, or you might have to shovel it yourself.


Yea, I understand we'll need a great deal of organic fertilizer. I'm on it.

The same relative that has the fruit trees also boards a bunch of horses, so no worries there. They are heavily involved in the American Quarter Horse Association. The Quarter Horse Congress is held here locally each year. (and yes, I will have to shovel it myself.)

I asked about the eggshells & grounds because I also have access to large quantities of these. I learned that Starbucks locations save & give away their used coffee grounds, and I know several people who work in the restaurant business that could provide us with lots of both eggshells & grounds.

I'm not sure yet if I want an actual compost pile, or purchase one (or several) of those large barrel units that you turn with a handle to mix the compost.

One of the things we want to do is offer fresh produce to local Mom & Pop restaurants, of which there are quite a few in the area. We've already lined up a couple of orders for tomatoes.

Also, I'm not bored anymore.
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Last edited by Donnie in Ohio; June 6th, 2009 at 07:41 AM.
 
Old June 6th, 2009 #100
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OK, the commercial organic farmer I know hoardes large piles of horse manure, and mixes in his cow and pig manure with a small bucket loader. You can get a bucket loader, or do it by hand with shovel and rake. Doing it by hand is not a bad thing, like I said, if you are doing the exercises to stretch and strengthen your joints. Otherwise, you'll need a bucket loader.

So you could use horse manure as your base, and mix in the coffee ground and eggshells. Coffee grounds are alkaline, so don't use that compost for potatoes or blueberries, but everything else will like a higher pH.

Get several soil tests from samples in different areas of the plot you'll be using. The tests actually tell you what to add, how much lime, how much nitrogen, calcium, phosphate, potassium. There's a book on composting by Rodale that tells you how much of these chemicals are in stuff like horse manure, food compost, etc, since you will be mostly relying on organic inputs.

Read up on Permaculture, like that Forest Garden book in a post I made above. Permaculture design is the latest and greatest in sustainable agriculture. The best source of books on the science of organic farming is at:

http://www.acresusa.com/magazines/magazine.htm

Here's a really great article on soil management, called "Weed the Soil, not the Crop"

http://www.acresusa.com/toolbox/repr...9_Nordells.pdf

It's in PDF so hit "save as" rather than just clicking it open.

Acres USA will pretty much make you a PhD organic farmer. It's the cutting edge of "Eco-Agriculture." Not just books, but they got audio and video of eco-agronomists from the 40's and 50's, the people who figured out soil science and realized that the nascent Industrial Agriculture was monstrous.

Being as you live in the Midwest, kind of the epicenter of the Industrial Agriculture tragedy, this would be a very relevant body of knowledge for you. You can be a scholar along with being a farmer. Farming is one of those things that can be a perfect unity of knowledge and practice.

The stuff from Acres USA is one of the most important bodies of knowledge in existence, and yet there are very few minds that are carrying and transmitting this knowledge. Not even a majority of full time farmers know this stuff!
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