Fodder Radish - Raphanus sativus. Extremely valuable compost crop with very deep tap root that brings up
nutrients from the subsoil and breaks up clay. Produces a great bulk of
material. Traditional over-winter forage relished by animals like sheep. Edible
big juicy roots. Planted December 16, 2012 on a Root Day.
Seed should be sown in mid-Summer and no later
than early Fall. Allow crop to mature over Winter. The crop will gradually die
down on the surface of the soil, ready to be incorporated into the ground, which
will be ready for planting in the Spring. Matures in approximately 17 weeks. May
also be harvested for compost. Sow about one packet per 50 square feet.
Picture taken on Janurary 5, 2013.
Picture taken on Febrary 16, 2013.
Pictures taken on March 9, 2013
Pictures taken on March 16, 2013..
Pictures taken on March 17, 2013. I enjoy the watching the bees going from flower to flower. I'm hoping to let this 4'x5' area go to seed so that I can save the seed for futre plantings. No pods are showing yet. Soon!
I built this simple Composting Bin on Saturday 9, 2013 at the "Farm". I used four "T-Posts and some wire. Anytime I clear a piece of land for creating a new planting bed, I put the material into the compost bin. It will eventually go back to where it came from, hopefully as organic matter.
On Sunday 10, 2013, I cleared an area to plant some Jerusalem Artichoke on a "Flower Day". That is alot of material in the compost bin. I have the carbon to add to the compost, which consists of dried hay and also dried leaves.
The idea behind Bio-Dynamic Gardening is to build up soil. Bio-Dynamic farmers consider themselves farmers of the soil. They do this by using special preparations, "Preps" for short. I sprayed the "Bio-Dynamic Prep" 500 on Sat. 9, 2013. I obtained the version that Alex Podolinski developed. Used to stimulate root growth and humus formation in soil.
The day was overcast and there was a 40% chance of rain. All it did was spit on me. It was fairly windy also. It is not recommended to spray when it is too windy. But I really wanted to do this.
I don't believe that I can make this on my farm yet. Hopefully in time I will be able to make this prep myself. But for now, I have to buy this prep to heal my soil, that was used for hay production before I started to farm. So there are some bad farming practices that have to be corrected.
I also hope to have cows on the farm one day. They are the magic that happens on a Bio-Dynamic farm. If managed properly, they will help heal your land.
I believe that Permaculture can save the world. And that to manage it properly, you should practice Bio-Dynamic Gardening.
If you want to know more...check out Peter Proctor
What the picture above shows is a Clam Shell Air Propagator, secured around a branch from an Autumn Olive shrub or small tree. In the Permaculture world, Autumn Olive fixes atmospheric nitrogen in its roots. For that reason, trees are planted near them to benefit from the nitrogen.
Propagation or cloning plants is an inexpensive way to increase your trees and bushes and other plants. The idea of the Air Propagator is that you cut the bark of the desired plant to be propagated, and affix the clam shell around the cut so that the stem will root. After the plant has rooted, you can remove the branch and plant it, thereby cloning your plant. That's what I'm attempting to accomplish here. We shall see if this is successful this year.
Also, the Autumn Olive produces fruit that is juicy and edible, and also makes a good dried fruit. Though the fruit are small, the tree bears them abundantly. They are tart-tasting, with chewable seeds. Their content of the antioxidant lycopene is some seven to seventeen times higher than that of tomatoes.
The picture above shows a successful cloning of a cutting I took from one of the Autumn Olives I bought.I did not use the Air Propagator for this cloning. I will try to get a better picture as I see this one is a little out of focus.
A better piture taken on March 19, 2013.
The subject of Money: Like my dentist once told me, "Only floss the teeth you want to keep". Then convert only those dollars you don't wish to see devalued...of course, being a Libertarian, I like to diversify in different silver coins with a cause, and here's one of them, minted in Texas. "Keep Calm and Slave On"
The development of another 5'x20' Bed. Planting Bed #4. Not much done on this day of Jan. 6, 2013. Just measured it out. I will try to up load the picture of what the ground looked like before I cleared it. Technical problems with my phone. This area of the farm is thick with grass. so it makes it hard to clear.
On Feb. 16, 2013, I took a straight blade hoe and traced the outline of the entire bed. Quite often when I work in the bed, I end up breaking the twine which is there to help me work within the bed.
For my good friend Wild Bill, the implication of this picture will mean something. I read an article about how important it is for us to stay connected to the earth. So on this day, I decided to Broadfork the entire bed barefoot, to soak up some much needed electrons and Vitamin D from the Sun.
The first run accomplished! That was all for this day.
It's hard work, so I look forward to rains, which makes this much easier.
Here is the finished bed on Feb. 17, 2013. There isn't a tractor that can duplicate this method of tilling. Besides, tilling with a tiller only reaches about 10", and it pacts the earth underneath, which does not help when the roots of the plants need to go deep down into the soil. With my broadfork, I can reach 12". And if I double dig the bed, then I'm reaching down 24". I've only double dug beds 1 & 2.
Gardening Techniques: here is David from Valley Oak Tool Company demonstrating the Broadfork I use. As you see David working with and standing on the Broadfork, I've fallen over many times. I looked at alot of Broadforks, and this was the one I thought was the best.
This is Planting Bed #3, prepared on November 2012.
Planted with Fodder Radish, December 16, 2012, a Root Day.Extremely valuable compost crop with very deep tap root that brings up nutrients
from the subsoil and breaks up clay. Produces a great bulk of material.
Traditional over-winter forage relished by animals like sheep. Edible big juicy
roots. Planted 3" apart in a hexagonal pattern so that the leaves of the radishes will touch each other and create a Living Mulch. About a 4'x5' area.
I took this approach to help break up clay soil and make for a bed that will let me Double Dig easier.
Upon return to the farm, the radish had begun to come up! December 30, 2012
A close-up, very exciting! Although, if you can't grow radish, you might as well give up gardening. There's no hope for you.