2020 – the year of the Horse here on the farm.
What animal was used for transportation, used to heat greenhouses and compost for growing vegetables in France many years ago? If you said the horse, you would be correct. The decaying manure from horses was used for heat and of course as a mulch. The English across the channel called it the French Method. Using horse manure helped feed the whole city of Paris, and the surplus was shipped into England. Here on the farm I am continuing this method. Must be in the DNA? Or perhaps it’s my German ancestors who ran from high taxes in Germany. Sound familiar? Taxes were so high that farmers in Germany could not even support themselves. Seems that is starting here in the US.
If you are interested in the “French Method” then take a look at this URL. Eliot Coleman is one of my heroes. Clip from the website below:
This system fed Paris all year round with the widest variety of both in-season and out-of-season fruits and vegetables. Hotbeds heated with decomposing horse manure and covered with glass frames allowed the growers to defy the cold and produce fresh salads in January and early cucumbers and melons in May and June. The system was sustainable. Both the heat for winter production of vegetables in hotbeds and the amendments to maintain the fertility of the soil were by-products of composting another by-product—the horse manure mixed with straw that came from the city stables. This recycling of the “transportation wastes” of the day was so successful and so extensive that the soil increased in fertility from year to year despite the high level of production.
The graphic below is a four week supply of horse manure mixed with hay from the horse farm across the street. The tractor is my pooper scooper! The tractor was used in Japan many years ago and then brought into the US and refurbished. There are no electronics or computer in this one. Gets amazing gas mileage but does not like cold weather when starting. But watch out, the carbon footprint is really a large one and probably produces a huge volume of CO2 which my garden eats as food. Is this a symbiotic relationship? Come to think about it, when I talk to my veggie plants I produce CO2 as well. I guess I am one of those nasty human that are warming the planet. Do you talk to your plants? Pepper plants seem to really respond well to my voice, especially the hot ones. Must be my grumpy personality!
My seeds are all in. I probably have around 250 types of seed in the box below. This took me a year to choose and order. If you don’t have your seeds in now this is the time to order.
Many of them I plan to put in sealed plastic bags and then into glass canning jars and then store in a 5 gallon bucket in my freezer. If you do this, make sure the seeds and everything they are stored in is dry. Hopefully doing this and with seed saving I will never have to purchase any seeds again. You can do the Same. Again I stress that you need to purchase a paper back book on seed saving.
Here is a good idea on saving some money
A good idea is to form a large group and buy bulk then separate them out. That way you can get away from the packet sizes which are expensive but give you few seeds.
The picture on the left is a 1/2 pound sack of Danvers 126 carrot seeds. The cost for the bag was $13.20. A small packed of seeds at your big box store would be $2.00 or more for a small packet. I suspect the 1/2 pound would make 200 or more seed packets.
Another example: 1/2 pound of Late Flat Dutch Cabbage seeds – $9.90.
Thanks and Cheers from Central Texas. Come Back for more.
It’s time to:
Prepare for the Grand Solar Minimum
Get your seeds and start a garden
Take care of your family, friends and neighbors
Look after the poor who have less than you
Need Seeds? Yes You Will!
These are my two of my recommended seed suppliers at this URL
I eat an all plant diet and have for about a year. I am now 77 and have as much energy as I did when I was much younger. This book (PDF) is free. To get this Book go HERE.