Monday, February 28, 2011

Support your Habit, Sell some plants

This year I am taking this homesteading thing to another level. In another post I mentioned I had a seed addiction and it's only getting worst. So over the past few months I have been given some thoughts on how to supplement my passion for growing vegetables. I have decided to sell vegetable plants this spring. Although I will not become a millionaire selling vegetable plants I can offset some of the cost incurred by my sporadic need for seed. I have a sun room with southern exposure and it works great to start plants from seed. This year I have purchased several seed trays to start my seeds. 
Why does this make perfect sense? Many people love to grow vegetables especially where I am from. But many of these people don't have the means to start their plants earlier. Tomatoes have to be the most popular fruit to grow in the spring through summer. But in the summer in our region Tomatoes shut off because it's way to hot for them to have proper pollination, nevertheless, they pick back up towards the end of summer and produce all the way out to December. So if someone wants to plant tomatoes from seed in my area they will often wait until mid to late march to put seeds in the ground. Give or take 90 days to see the first fruits depending on the variety and that puts the plant right smack in the heat of summer. So here is where I come in. Germinate seeds from January, February time period and with the proper set up even earlier and raise strong plants that are ready to be transplanted in the spring with only a few weeks away from bearing the first set of flowers.

Pricing is a sticky subject, but as you peruse through catalogs and local markets you can get an idea for what the pricing should be like per plant. I am under the notion that people should not undercut the market by cutting the prices of plants drastically. The majority of Bonnie Plants sell for approx $4.00 at the local markets this year I will sell one plant for $4, two plants for $7 and three plants for $10.

Specializing in Heirlooms has drawn alot of interest in my plants this year and growing varieties from different parts of the world has seem to cause alot of interest as well. All in all this has gone viral and I could only wish that I can make a living from this. Who knows where this will go but as for now it's alot of fun.

 Advertising, plants is very easy by using craigslist. Also my local flea market has booths for $5-$25 that can be rented on the weekend. Well it certainly looks like I'm going to be that guy. Spending his weekends under a huge a umbrella with a Hawaiian shirt and sipping on some iced tea selling vegetable plants. I'll probably find something from American Eagle because whatever I do it has to be sexy, even if it involves selling vegetable plants:)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Urban Critter Stew

This has been the most anticipated meal of the winter season. My Urban Critter Stew it is a mix of critters that I took hunting this season. My hawk Koto and I killed several squirrels, took a few rabbits and even some quail. I saved all these critters and today I made my stew. Um Um Ummmmm Goodness!!! If you taste this stew I will guarantee you will be heading out the next day to shoot some squirrels, rabbits and quail. This is how I make my Urban Critter Stew:

  • Crock pot
  • 2-3 squirrel carcasses quartered
  • 1 rabbit carcass quartered
  • 3-6 quail breast
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 glog of Better than Bouillon chicken base
  • 1 sweet onion
  • Few cloves of Garlic crushed and minced
  • 1 stick of butter
  • half packet of 15 bean dry bean mix bag
  • your favorite hot peppers ( I picked some Cayenne's from the garden and Thai peppers)
  • Crushed Black Pepper
  • If you have a small crock pot like I unfortunately do you have to use half of the dry beans in the 15 bean soup package. (Throw away the seasoning)
  • Pour half the packet into the crockpot and fill halfway with water.
  • Let set for 24 hours to soften beans.
  • After 24 hours pour water out and and rinse beans.
  • Add squirrels, rabbit, and quail to crock pot
  • Throw in garlic, onions, and sliced peppers
  • Take a glog of Better than Boullion chicken base and add it to the 2 cups of warm water and stir until dissolved
  • pour into crockpot
  • soften 1 stick of butter in microwave and pour into crock pot
  • add freshly crushed black pepper
  • Cook until Meat is falling off the bones.
This recipe is an exclusive and will make you want to smack your momma. Umm Ummm UMMm Goodness. Enjoy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Give Mother Nature a chance to fight your garden wars.

My overwintering project has been very successful. Nevertheless, I have found that I have had a serious problem with aphids in my sun room that I have not paid attention to and they have went viral. So much so that they have destroyed some plants that I have overwintered for the past couple of years. Now that the weather has warmed up a bit I'm at odds with trying to quelch the rise of the aphids. The other day I went and bought all kinds of bug killers; at that moment I had enough. The hell with organic gardening, if I was going to enjoy the fruits of my hard labor I needed to kill every goo sapping green, red, brown squiggly, crawly thing on my plants. So I bought this concentrated stuff and put it into my spray bottle and started spraying away. With every spray I felt a devilish satisfaction knowing that I was causing the death of all these bugs that were causing heartache to my plants. This stuff had to be bad; as I was standing down wind and taking slight whiffs gettin very nausea's. As I turned the leaves over to search for intruders and jumping from plant to plant I lifted the leaf of one plant and saw movement and low and behold was an anole lizard gorging himself on aphids. On a plant above from him was a lady bug chomping down on some delicious aphid belly and in that moment, I said, "What am I doing?" so I stopped spraying. I walked 
inside of the sun room and placed the spray bottle on the shelf. I couldn't help but to look into that lizards eye to see how happy he was after just awakening from his winter nap and finding a smorgus borg of tender bodies just waiting to be eaten. Mother Nature for all she is worth can take care of herself. Im not a tree hugger by any means, but as an Urban Homesteader, Farmer, Gardener or whatever I feel like that day; I owe it to all my garden buddies, to not poison them. Simply using products that are not destructive to the dynamics of your garden is important. Instead of setting out the nuke; assist, play a supporting a role. What I should have done was keep the pigs at bay by applying products that make them hard to take root, until I could let the Dawgs out. When beneficial bugs make your garden their home, you have an obligation to be a good host. I will certainly do a better job.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Do our Farmers care about Quality or Quantity?

One of my favorite desserts is to eat fresh strawberries drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. Delicious!!!!!!!!!!! However, there was nothing that the sweetened condensed milk could do to make those juicy red strawberries taste any better and in an instant my dessert went from hero to zero and it just simply sucked.
What are our farmers selling to stores these days? I see a lot of fruit that looks great but taste like cardboard. Apples, Grapes, strawberries you name it. Grant it for many of these fruits they are not in season, but that leaves me to think if they are not in season and we have them available, how are they made available. Farmers, Gardeners should produce vegetables and fruits like a well seasoned Chef prepares a meal. A seasoned Chef constantly tastes his food. Unlike some who just throw whatever is ordered on the table without tasting only to realize they suck from reading bad reviews. Sadly enough I want to say that the over whelming majority of veggies and fruits that I have purchased from the super market really suck. Ok I know I am ruined because I grow alot of my own produce;  But that's my point because I know what a vegetable or fruit should taste like.
I guess as consumers we do have a choice, some of us have more choices than others. in many parts of the states people have the opportunity to purchase locally grown food. I have used a great website Local to find local farms in my area. That strawberry must have really been bad for me to rant this long. But I hate being tricked by good looks and bad taste. Disappointing...... Big Sigh!!

No land; Try Urban Container Gardening

Many people who live in apartments dream of the day when they can have land and grow there own vegetables. What they don't realize is that with a little balcony space they can grow just about anything. There are those individuals like myself at one point that lived where the sun never shown. It was so depressing. I do reccomend if your apartment hunting and wanting to grow Veggies on your balcony try to make sure you get a place with good sun exposure. All green Leafy Veggies can be grown in pots ( keep in mind Cabbage grows big and take up a lot of space, try Brussel Sprouts if space is an issue) Onions, Garlic, Leeks and Herbs can all be grown in containers with proper sun. If you can do that, then the following plants will grow great in containers:
( I have linked the individual vegetable or fruit to a website to view and or purchase)










These are only about a few of the varities that have been known to do well in containers. So bottom line if your in an apartent and you want to grow, there is no excuse. Start growing this season..... Happy gardening

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Seeds planted today

Im taking advantage of all this 70 degree weather thats going to be around for the next 10 days and planted the following seeds:

Baby Bok Choy
Pak Choy
Snow Peas 4 different varieties

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Coon Hunting

I went over my Buddy Matt's House today for a squirrel hunt and ended up getting two squirrels and two coons. I told Matt it was more like grocery shopping than hunting. Growing up, I was always amazed at the stories my dad told me about coon hunting. Although him and I never got a chance to hunt together, those stories instilled in me the need to be a patron of the outdoors. Although we didn't hunt these coons in the traditional way coon hunters usually hunt them, ( Matt with his eagle eye and the aid of Natural Ice Light, Said, "Hey what the Hell is that?!?!" as we walked to the edge of a beaver pond)  it still closes the circle with my strong lineage of coon hunters. I remember vividly the many coon dinners my dad made when I was a kid growing up. In the south for some people eating coon is as American as apple pie. If you never had Coon before imagine roast beef and BBQ ribs. I can't tell my dad about these guys because he is going to want me to ship them up north. I on the other hand have my own plans and that's baking these jokers the traditional way with yams. Um..... Ummmm..... Ummmmmm..... Goodnesss!!

Product Review- LL Beans' "The Original Maine Hunting Boot"

I want to start off by saying, I don't receive any benefits from endorsing any product. But some of the best things I have purchased or heard about, come from the honest assessment of consumers who are not pressured to sell items.

 I bought these boots a few months ago for hunting, fishing, gardening and believe it or not to wear out when I'm just kickin it at my local pub. These boots have absolutely been the best purchase I have made for a pair of footwear in a long time. I chose these boots because I wanted something that was extremely durable, water proof, and they look cool. This past week I have been hunting hogs in central south GA, and I have been trekking through some nasty bogs at above ankle deep water for several hundred yards. I stepped in what appeared to be quick sand up to my shin and amazingly my feet stayed dry all the way through this. The waxed canvas is amazingly durable, which makes the boots very light and weathers great as you use them more. The best thing about these boots is the fact that they are extremely easy to clean. As we walked out of the swamps to the vehicles, my boots were cleaned by walking through the wet grass. Defiantly a Boot worth every penny spent. They run a bit larger than expected for a boot because they are made for folks who where thick socks. I wear a size 10 and I bought a size 10 and there is a lot of room in there. But when I wear thick socks they are dead on comfortable. If your looking for a sexy pair of shit kickers I suggest you take a look at LL beans Signature Original Maine Hunting Boot.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Growing Season has Begun

We planted seeds on the 28th, 30th and 31st of Jan and a few days ago my Tomato seeds started sprouting. I bought these guys in from the sun room because even though the ground hog didn't see his shadow it's been really cold these past several days. While reading the Indoor Gardeners' post on seed I saw that he mentioned that he had an addiction. I concur. I have a Seed Addiction. It seems like everytime I go somewhere, whether it's Lowe's, walmart or the neighborhood garden store if I see seeds I have to buy something. It amazes me that when you put a seed in soil add moisture and top it off with a little patience, you get these seeds that are lifeless suddenly sprout forward into the world. It's amazing. I can just sit there and stare at the seeds. I know it may seem boring and pointless, but for me it's just so much fun watching seeds grow. My wife thinks I'm nuts, because the most tiniest things amuse me and catch y attention.. So here we are, the growing season has begun and we are off to a good start.