2009 Self Sufficiency Challenge - Page 11
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  1. #151
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyHomemaker View Post
    Madhen and Debbie-cat...

    Tell me a bit more about the Earth Boxes. I did a search and they look mighty easy to take care of. Are there weeds to pull? (I hate pulling but I do it.) Do you have to put in plants or can you plant seeds? Right now I plant in wood boxes because we are at sea level and the rain stays in the topsoil longer. I needed the height so the roots don't rot. This looks like another solution. There is an Instructables how-to which looks like it does the same thing. If you have time, take a look at it and let me know what you think. It's almost spring planting time and I'd like to know your opinions.

    Thanks.
    I LOVE my Earth Boxes!! The idea is super simple, and would probably be very easy to duplicate if, unlike me, you were not lazy and unskilled.

    In re: weeds to pull. They come with a black cover that you place over the box, which effectively eliminates weed seeds from being dropped in and, if they are, keeps sunlight off of them so they grow very slowly and spindly. Weeds are not a problem at all.

    In re: seeds or plants. I have done both. If you do the black cover (and I tend to not use it, even though it helps with weeds and moisture retention, because, again - lazy - and also because weed-pulling is kind of therapeutic to me), you will want to plant seeds, let them sprout and grow a bit, and THEN put the cover on, cutting a small slit over where the plants are and guiding them through the slit. If you decide to start your plants and then transplant, or buy started plants, you can plant them first, figure out where the cover needs to be cut, and place it over them, again guiding them through the slits. When I plant peas, I do something called abundance planting. I just dump a bunch of peas onto the surface, not worrying about where they land, and then cover them over with an inch or so of soil. They grow in so thickly, they: a) choke out any weed seeds and b) act as their own trellis, using each other to climb. It is very cool, and you get a huge production of peas in a relatively small space.

    In the growing season, if you are in a hot, dry area, you may still have to fill the reservoir every day, but if the weather is nice, you can go several days in between waterings. (You may be able to make it a couple of days if you use the cover.)

    I like the original EB's, which are dark green. I think it helps heat up the soil and keep the roots warm in the early spring. Heat-loving plants like tomatoes, melons, and squashes, go crazy.

    I am going to set mine up outside on a drip line, so I can just turn one spigot and have an emitter over each pipe to fill the reservoir.
    Last edited by madhen; 02-02-2009 at 09:58 PM.

  2. #152
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Today, I collected 14 eggs from the hens!

  3. #153
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    -still saving old rags for my rag rug
    -hung clothes to dry (this is a repeat, we don't have a dryer)
    -made more dog food

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  5. #154
    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    I wish I had my chicken coop up and running because this little guy was in Craigslist and I wish I could take him home poor thing!
    http://duluth.craigslist.org/grd/1014607814.html



    Last edited by Debbie-cat; 02-03-2009 at 11:49 AM.

  6. #155
    Registered User CrazyHomemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie-cat View Post
    I wish I had my chicken coop up and running because this little guy was in Craigslist and I wish I could take him home poor thing!
    http://duluth.craigslist.org/grd/1014607814.html
    Debbie-cat,

    I hope you keep checking back on this one. You've got the chicken bug and he's a fine roo! Orpingtons are one of the breeds that lay a good sized egg. So if he would father a few, you'd have a load of XXL eggs when his daughters produce. I had several Australorps, which is an Orpington cross, and no one could believe the size of the eggs. I could barely close the XL egg boxes. I've got to get my order in for more chicks.

  7. #156
    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyHomemaker View Post
    Debbie-cat,

    I hope you keep checking back on this one. You've got the chicken bug and he's a fine roo! Orpingtons are one of the breeds that lay a good sized egg. So if he would father a few, you'd have a load of XXL eggs when his daughters produce. I had several Australorps, which is an Orpington cross, and no one could believe the size of the eggs. I could barely close the XL egg boxes. I've got to get my order in for more chicks.
    Isn't he cute? I didn't know that about his breed! Thanks for letting me know.




  8. #157
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    This is for a couple days again.

    -baked bread 2 days in a row
    -planning garden for this summer

  9. #158
    Registered User Thrifty Mom's Avatar
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    My seeds are up! I just planted them Feb 1st & there were a few up when I checked last night. Now 11 of the twelve tomatoes are up & about two inches tall! Some of the herbs are up too. I put a light on them this evening.

  10. #159
    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrifty Mom View Post
    My seeds are up! I just planted them Feb 1st & there were a few up when I checked last night. Now 11 of the twelve tomatoes are up & about two inches tall! Some of the herbs are up too. I put a light on them this evening.
    Cool!!! That is really fast too! Way to go!




  11. #160
    Registered User danni's Avatar
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    I just planted my tomatoes and peppers inside today. I also started an indoor herb garden.

  12. #161
    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    This fall, I am definitely planting lettuce, herbs and carrots inside!! Madhen does it successfully and she has inspired me to do the same (although she does live in California and I live in Minnesota but I think it will still be okay.




  13. #162
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie-cat View Post
    This fall, I am definitely planting lettuce, herbs and carrots inside!! Madhen does it successfully and she has inspired me to do the same (although she does live in California and I live in Minnesota but I think it will still be okay.
    Well, since you are planting them inside, I don't think the temp extremes are that far apart. I am harvesting more lettuce today, and I pulled out a couple of herbs that were exhausted. Added those to the compost pile and put carrot seeds in their place.

    I am going to try to root a few more rose geranium cuttings, so I can use the dried leaves in a couple of sachets. Right now, I am babying two little plants along, so neither can afford to lose too many leaves. I'm thinking about starting an "aromatic" garden for plants that you can dry and use for fragrance/flavour (i.e, peppermint, lavender, rose geraniums, etc.)

  14. #163
    Registered User freebs's Avatar
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    just started another incubator full of eggs. will see at the end of the month what we get...lol. I bought some RIR, white rocks, Black sexlinks and newhampshire reds. So with what i bought earlier this month and now i have 24 hens, i have 4 that are just a few months old and 4 that are 6 month old and not sure what my 26 that i hatched out will be!

  15. #164
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Today, I collected 34 eggs from the hens (didn't collect yesterday). I also started six rose geranium cuttings, and weeded around the apple, cherry, and persimmon trees. I am making pizza dough from scratch (waiting for it to finish resting), and I made a double batch, so I can stick some of the baked dough in the freezer for quickie meals. I added some "off" bits and trimmings to the compost pile, and I groomed Polly and got a pinch or two of wool from her.

  16. #165
    Registered User thesightofoneself's Avatar
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    what does everyone do with the eggs you collect?
    Last edited by thesightofoneself; 02-07-2009 at 09:26 PM.

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