Update Febuary 11 2016

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Permaculture is for everyone.

I started plants two weeks ago, and now I have a little update on who everything progressing.

 

 

 

 

 

I started some broccoli. My family loves broccoli, and I hope to have plenty this year.

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I have little plants sprouting already.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also have cabbage plants coming up.

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I also have many flowers, tomatoes, and peppers started that hasn’t peeked through yet.

 

 

 

 

I also started some pear seeds. They are doing much better than I expected.  These are seeds that I collected from fruit that was brought from the store. We’ll see what we get out of these. It’s just a little experiment that I’m doing.

IMG_2531.JPGThe hoop house is holding up well. Even thought the temperatures have gotten down below freezing every night the plants are doing quite well. I am very satisfied how things are coming along.

Feel free to comment and hit me up on Twitter @freedomfarmtv

Why to Graft?

Permaculture is for everyone.

Permaculture is for everyone.

Why to graft fruit trees? A seed from a Granny Smith will grow an apple tree, but not a produce a tree that will produce a true Granny Smith tree. The brilliance of nature insure genetic diversity of apples. Apple trees for the most part must cross pollinate with different cultivars. This causes the child  trees being different form the parent trees.  For a true Granny Smith apple tree reproduction, a scion wood taken from a Granny Smith tree is grafted onto an apple  root stock.  Not just any scion wood can be grafted onto any root stock. Apple must be grafted onto apple root stock.

Grafting describes any of a number of techniques in which a section of a stem with leaf buds is inserted into the stock of a tree. Grafting is useful however, for more than reproduction of an original cultivar. It is also used to repair injured fruit trees or for topworking an established tree to one or more different cultivars. Topworking is the operation of cutting back the branches and top of an established tree and budding or grafting part of another tree on it.

Taken from University of Minnesota Extension

By topworking you can do the following:

  • An undesirable cultivar can be changed by grafting a preferred cultivar to the branches.
  • Cultivars that lack hardiness or have poor crotches (narrow angled) can be made more durable by grafting them on hardy, strong-crotched cultivars such as Hibernal, Virginia, or Columbia Crab.
  • Pollinator cultivars can be grown much sooner by topworking than by planting young trees.
  • New cultivars for trial can be brought into bearing in 2 or 3 years if topworked on stock of bearing age.
  • Interesting novelties can be developed by grafting several cultivars on one tree.

How to collect and store scions

Scions are selected from the previous season’s growth, while they are dormant, but before growth begins in the spring. If the scions are left on the tree until spring, however, there is some danger that the buds will start to grow or be injured during winter. Scions cut in November grow best in Minnesota.

The scions should be tied securely, carefully labeled and placed in moist (not wet) sawdust or moss or wrapped in plastic material. They should be kept in a cool, moist place where they will remain fresh and dormant until spring.

When to graft

It is best to graft in the spring, from the time the buds of understock trees are beginning to open, until blossom time. The usual time is April or early May.

Grafting your own trees helps to save money when establishment of food forests. I have plans to grows hundreds if not thousands of trees on my three acres, and at $20+ dollars per tree I would need lots of money of lots of time to accomplish this. Instead I am purchasing a few cultivars from apples, pears, plums, and peaches and will then obtain scion woods from them. Then graft them onto rootstock saving tons of money. My plan right now is to get those cultivars started, and get my nursery up and going. Loving it right now, but lots of work is in front of me.

Thanks, Chris

Please comment or hhit me up on Twitter @freedomfarmtv

Homestead Jerky

Be the best you.

Be the best you.

How to make your own jerky is easy and fun. I’ve made several batches now and my own jerky. My whole family loves it. I use rabbit for my jerky. I raise my own meat rabbits, so meat is just a few steps away.

First I process 2 or 3 rabbits for a whole batch. This ends up being about 4 pounds of meat before dehydrating. After processing the rabbits, I let them sit for 24 hours in brine( salt water). Afterwards I let the meat age for another 24 hours. This let the meat “relax” and makes for a better quality of meat. I cut the meat off the bone and into 1/4 inch thick strips. Put the strips into a freezer bag and marinate for 24 hours.

Jerky Marinade

2 pounds of lean meat (rabbit for me)

¼ cup of Soy sauce

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon smoke flavoring

½ teaspoon of onion powder

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

Place the strips of meat onto the dehydrating trays close together but no touching. Make sure all visible fat is trimmed. Rabbit is very lean meat, and is a good choice for jerky.

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After 8-10 hours jerky should be ready. It’s very humid here, so it’s takes longer to dry meat in GA. After the jerky has no visible moister preheat an oven to 250 degrees and let the jerky cook for 10 minutes. This insures that meat is germ free. Jerky can then be stored in zip lock bags or mason jars.

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I bought a Presto dehydrator, which is good enough for now. Being only $40 is was much cheaper than other high end dehydrators. Eventually I would like to purchase an Excalibur. The Excalibur cost 2 to 3 times more, but is worth the money. I wanted to get my feet wet before making the major purchase. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can set your oven to lowest setting and prop the oven door open.

Please comment or hit me up on Twitter @freedomfarmtv

Debt Hurts.

Freedom lives here.

Freedom lives here.

Debt hurts. That’s right debt hurts. It hurts not only you but your family as well. If you have children and are not  working to be debt free start now. I recently saw a young lady a teenager that was in some trouble at school for dress code violation. Turns out she was wearing only what she had. All her other clothes were boxed up because her family was being evicted from their home. They had 24 hours to get out. I could tell this caused lots of stress for her. She was in tears crying there is nothing she could do these clothes were all she had. I know the Administrator was doing his job, and its not his fault but the parents. If you have children start now to become debt free. Be wealth secure. For older people debt free is very important. When that time comes when hospital stay are more common, being financially secure reduces your stress and on the other family members. Even the young can have unexpected hospital stays. When I was in my twenties I had to spend a week in the hospital. I worked a family business and had no insurance.  I woke up in the middle of the night surrounded by EMTs. I started having seizures, and between all the tests and a week in the hospital bills piled up fast. I took me many years to pay off all those bills. Doctors still to this day don’t know why I have seizures, but it’s controlled by medications. This could happen to any of us at any time. So get out of debt and have an emergency fund. If not for you, do for your family.

Please comment and hit me up on Twitter @freedomfarmtv

Simple Gray Water System.

Permaculture is for everyone.

Permaculture is for everyone.

What is gray water? Well gray water is water that has been used, but only for washing hands and such.  Water that has been used for waste is referred to as black water. I wouldn’t recommend using black water without some serious filtration system. Gray water on the other hand can be re-used. For my family, I would recycle water only from my sinks in the two bath rooms that I have. I’m going to use the it for watering my garden only. I don’t have any filtering system to handle gray system for consumption. There are systems out to handle gray water, but I’m starting with a basic setup. Very basic setup. Five gallon buckets.

Five Gallon Bucket.

Five Gallon Bucket.

The bucket will be directly placed under the sink, and the drain pipe ran into the bucket. When the bucket is nearly full just take it out and water the garden.

Somethings to consider.

  1. Buckets should be emptied at least once a day.
  2. Organic should be used to prevent leakage of chemicals into your garden.
  3. If collecting gray water from washing machines. Avoid using borax. Borax can damage plants.

Collecting gray helps preserve water and money. I am always looking for ways to save money here and there. Cutting down on watering costs is one of them. Remember if cheap energy goes away so does cheap water.  Try to be more conscience of how we as a modern society wastes water. Due to cheap energy we have the luxury of also cheap water. Should we waste that resource now, and later our children and children’s children may suffer for our actions.

Please comment or hit me up on Twitter @freedomfarmtv

 

Kid-u-preneurs

Freedom lives here.

Freedom lives here.

I am encouraging my kids to be entrepreneurial. I have started them their own You Tube channel called Kidz <3Toyz (shameless plug 😉  ) For their first few videos the open and try out new toys they bought. When I mean bought I mean they bought the toys with the their own money. We pay them a small allowance to do a few chores around the house and such. This weekend a cousin of mine had a yard sale, and let my girls have a lemonade stand. My girls helped their mom bake cookies and other snacks and make lemonade. In the few hours we were there( about 4 hours) my girls made about $40. They sold out of all snacks and we ran out of cups for the lemonade. Over all they were excited.The next day we took them to spend their hard earned money. They wanted to post them opening their new toys. They were very proud of them selves. Mommy and Daddy were to.

Please comment and hit me up on Twitter @freedomfarmtv

Geoff Lawton on Building Community.

Permaculture is for everyone.

Permaculture is for everyone.

I recently had the chance to hear a question posed to Geoff Lawton on chapter 14 of the Permaculture Manual, and why it’s not discussed more often. I myself have written on the importance of community, and my lack of community building skills. What he had to say was so profound it blew my mind. Yet it was so simple. His answer made me re-think community building. Basically he said that leaders of the Permaculture focus on production getting design and system in place. Without the design and the system their is no production. No surplus. So focus of obtaining a surplus then community comes naturally. Without something to share be it money, labor, or time you really bring little to the table so to speak. I for one currently have little of each, but hopefully that changes. I enjoy the idea of sharing goods from my garden with others. I am currently air layering a pear tree for a Dad. He mention how he wanted to plant some trees. I thought he might like to start with a pear tree. I will be potting it up soon. Then I will turn my focus to my nursery to get more trees going to finish off my property and maybe give a few to my Dad.

Please comment or hit me up on Twitter @freedomfarmtv

SCOTUS Decision.

Freedom lives here.

Freedom lives here.

It appears that on my personal Facebook feed the Confederates have gone to war with Skittles. All this is to distract us and divide us farther. Personally I couldn’t care less for the Confederate flag, but as same sex marriage I look at this issue with logic. Legally speaking, same sex marriage is a non issue. I mean are we to expect some people to sit at back of the bus again now. I don’t understand same sex couples because I’m not one. I’m not God nor a preacher, so I’ll the morality of it to them. Some people so not like gay and lesbian couple, but those couple shouldn’t care. Just don’t like them in return or be the bigger person and forgive them.

Now onto the ruling. What a bunch of crock. What gripes me the most about all of this is that government role on marriage in the first place. Should gay or straight couple bow down and ask government permission to marry.  I’ll be a good little minion if you will only allow me to marry the person I love. Why should citizens feel the need to beg government for permission to wed. They shouldn’t. We as citizens need not seek government approval for anything personal. Government cannot give something to one person without taking it from someone else. Ones right to marry another’s right to choose who to accept as a costumer.

Please comment or hit me up on Twitter @freedomfarmtv

Planting Apple Trees from Seed.

Permaculture is for everyone.

Permaculture is for everyone.

I’ve noticed when buying apples in the grocery store now a day the seeds in the core have already starting sprouting. Apple seeds need to cold stratify for about 30 day in order to sprout. So these apples have been stored cold for a month before reaching the store. Little food for thought. I have planted these seeds in four in pots to see if they grow.

Call Johnny Apple Seed.

Call Johnny Apple Seed.

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I have planted ten so far. Even though some have sprouted I still have to cold stratify those that haven’t. To cold stratify apple seeds place them in a damp paper towel. Then into a zip lock bag, and place the bag into  the refrigerator for about 30 days.  Afterwards take out the bag and let it sit at room temperature till sprouted. Pot them up.

When starting seeds this way. Keep in mind that the fruits will not be true to type. Granny smith seeds will not produce true Granny Smith apples. Apple trees must cross pollinate with another tree like Honey Crisp. If you keep that in mind, and don’t mind surprise apples enjoy free trees. I want a true to type apple on at least a few of these trees, so I plan to graft scion of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp onto these stock. This may take a year to get the size enough to graft.

Please comment or hit me up on Twitter @freedomfarmtv