anyone else here interested in growing as much of there own food as possible?

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anyone else here interested in growing as much of there own food as possible?

Post by crwilson on March 10th 2014, 12:59 pm

Hey everyone I basically have this goal to try and grow, raise as much of my own food as I can. My idea of happiness would be to have a pantry room full of enough stored food to last me through the year, all grown with my own hands. I may be weird but I love shelling dried beans and peas etc and storing them its so nice to do once the cold weather and snow comes, I also love hanging up onions and herbs etc to dry and knowing that I have these stored away for later use

Does anyone else here suffer this affliction? I pretty much think about this more than I think of anything else, im always making plans in my head and trying to figure out what would work the best for certain things pertaining to growing food. I honestly think I would have been much happier in an earlier time when your life depended on your own ability to provide for yourself. I find life today is almost too easy as to have any sort of challenge to it, and I easily get bored with modern activities and conveniences.
I would love to have other people that feel this way respond to this post with there own thoughts etc, and your plans for accomplishing this

thanks

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Re: anyone else here interested in growing as much of there own food as possible?

Post by Sweetened on March 11th 2014, 10:37 am

I want to be this way. Desperate, in fact, to be. I have realized, however, storage of goods is terribly difficult for me. When we first moved to our farm I kept spaghetti squash and pumpkins in cold storage for 9 months without issue. These past two years, every single squash has rotted within days of being in storage.

My potatoes store well enough, even with the scab that infects my garden. My pickles turned out horribly! Such an odd aftertaste. I did fermented pickles once and they were delicious, the second time they over-fermented and turned to gross mush, chickens loved it.

I am terrified of my food these days. I'm surrounded by GMO fields excluding the alfalfa in front of us and only have a one respectful neighbor instead of two. I'm a very nature oriented person. I believe the Earth has been doing it's things for millions and billions of years without issue; and then we started pulling oil from the ground and filling the seas with plastic and things have gone wretchedly sideways.

This year, I want to pick up a pressure canner. I have an ad up on Kijiji for the skeletons of old greenhouses and portable garages to turn into greenhouses for the farm. We plan to get two or three other gardens ploughed up, a compost pile started for manure and bedding, and I'll go back to row planting this year since 'intensive' planting hasn't gotten me the same results -- I gave it 3 years. I have big dreams, big plans. I just want to get 'back to the land' in the ways of food growth and storage and preservation just in case -- isn't that why our Grandparents did it? Just-in-case that $32 a month didn't come in from hard work, so they could feed their family.

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Re: anyone else here interested in growing as much of there own food as possible?

Post by crwilson on March 11th 2014, 2:32 pm

Hey sweetened have you tried growing Waltham butternut squash?  I find without a doubt that these by far store the best for me with the least care, of course you may have trouble getting a long enough season for them in sask.    Also instead of pickled cukes I would try dill beans,  they are so good just use regular green string beans, ill dig out the recipe and send it to you if you like.  Much easier than baby cukes and probably even taste better anyways, and more nutritious.      
    have you tried blanching green veg like broccoli and peas for freezing? Also dehydrating may be an option, im looking at getting an Excalibur this year if funds allow for it.

Also if you don't find a greenhouse frame this year you can make a teepee structure out of poles and cover with plastic, just burry the edges of the plastic in the soil and leave the last pole loose so you can use it as a door and for ventilation, I used this method for two summers before I got my 18x 72 greenhouse and actually had better results with my seedlings than my larger greenhouse, easier to keep temps steady. Also it holds up to the wind much better than larger structures which want to fly away like an airplane wind but with a teepee the harder the wind blows the harder it pushes the structure into the ground.   Just look online how to cut a covering for a teepee and just use regular 6 mil construction plastic for a super cheap but great greenhouse.    I almost want to go back to the teepee greenhouse, because In the early spring storms I never once worried about it falling apart, or flying away. You can also have a flap at the top you can open and lift one side and it really helps to ventilate the greenhouse.

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Re: anyone else here interested in growing as much of there own food as possible?

Post by ooptec on March 16th 2014, 12:13 pm

I found out what worked for me was to put stuff on a pallet and leave a small fan running in the root cellar.

Not sure what pickles is .... is it sweet and sour ones? Same taste? I'd suspect the water, or something common to all.

Yea, pretty much have to blanch at least green stuff to freeze. No biggie.

Pressure canner is handy but not essential. I use mine mostly for canning meat/bird stocks. Makes excellent canned fish fowl and meat, pate´s, etc.

Made these covers for hat houses



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Re: anyone else here interested in growing as much of there own food as possible?

Post by Sassy on March 26th 2014, 10:16 am

I really would love to live from food grown from my own land. I had a huge garden years ago, and we ate potatoes for almost a year grown from that garden and kept in the cool room in the basement.
I won't have a basement in this cabin, so have to figure out something. Because of not enough power for a freezer, I need to can my veggies. Something I need to learn too.
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Re: anyone else here interested in growing as much of there own food as possible?

Post by ooptec on March 26th 2014, 10:22 am

If you're in brown/clay soils do what the pioneers did. Dig an ice house. Pretty much a 10' X 10' X 10' hole in the ground w/a short well insulated roof over. Modern version could have a liner but back in the day it was just shored up w/like 4 x 4's

During the winter fill w/a little more water and let it freeze building it up into a ice floor about 4-5' thick or better, cover w/straw or sawdust

When I bought this place has one that is full height concrete. Never used it yet tho

Edit to Add: doesn't freeze tho, that's why they canned
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Re: anyone else here interested in growing as much of there own food as possible?

Post by Sassy on March 26th 2014, 11:22 am

Yes, I was thinking about that too, making something underground. Or just insulate a spot in the cabin so the heat won't get in but it won't freeze up and will stay cool. Of course in winter I can freeze things, keep them in a (non working freezer on the porch. For the warmer days I need to have something. The little battery or propane fridge will not have so much room.
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Re: anyone else here interested in growing as much of there own food as possible?

Post by ooptec on March 26th 2014, 11:43 am

'Back in the day' I think what you're describing is a root cellar. Usually dug underground smack in the middle of the floor, a room of any depth no closer than say 4-5' of the outside edge.

That was the 'fridge' during winter and the ice house was the one for the summer. Also the well.

Handy being the grandson of the pioneers. Saw most parts of it when a small lad, and heard the stories of the rest 1st or 2nd hand. For my grandparents it was that and a windcharger (small generator windmill) to charge a rack of prob looked like 40 'D' sized batteries for radio and lights. Cooked on wood tho they made summer kitchens later so cooking heat wasn't unbearable in the house.

Even so I remember my old man saying the boys couldn't wait for spring so they could go sleep in the hay loft over the barn. Course there were 8 of them in a 3 room house, later expanded to 4 rooms.

Nearest store when they started there was 2-3 days w/a team each way. Didn't go to the store often. Traders used to make the rounds buying wool, hides, skins, medicinal plants esp. sennica root. Sennica root was first cash crop out here as were just starting to clear and break land. Baba used to say how scared she was of wild cattle when gathering.

Also when they butchered they ate every little bit except the feathers/bristles/hides and the poop in the guts. Interestingly vietnamese have been buying beef from neighbor and they eat the hide too.

I digress
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Re: anyone else here interested in growing as much of there own food as possible?

Post by JJ on March 27th 2014, 9:19 pm

We've been trying to grow a lot of our own food. We're lucky to have an old farmhouse, complete with canning pantry and dirt-floored root cellar, and we've had good luck with storing stuff down there, though it's taken some trial and error.

Our first year (2011), we grew literally 200 pounds of carrots and 500 pounds of potatoes (we gave a lot to the food bank that year), but then we had a baby and the garden has been...somewhat neglected. I do can all our own jam, mostly from strawberries and raspberries we grow, currants from the neighbors, and wild chokecherries, and we freeze a lot of stuff from our own garden and from local producers (we have absolutely no luck growing corn, so we buy from a neighbor down the road, for instance).

As far as storing stuff goes, for squash, we've had the best luck with pie pumpkins and spaghetti squash. We've had a spaghetti squash last over 18 months, just sitting in a spare room. We're still eating pumpkins now, though with the weather fluctuations, some of them have started to rot - the room we keep them in is unheated, but tends to get hot when the weather gets warm, and we didn't move the squash soon enough when we had a warm spell.

Hopefully this year's garden will be a bit better tended, and we can be eating mostly our own stuff again...

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