Sunday, September 5, 2010

TPH Episode 4

In this episode I ramble about cold showers, growing potatoes, and fall gardens. I also introduce a new segment titled Ancestral Animals where I discuss the American Mammoth Jackstock. As always, there is the Gardening by the Moon segment. I also review a new to me blog and a great little film titled Farms of the Future.


Fall Garden:

American Mammoth Jackstock:
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, PO Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312, (919) 542-5704, email,

American Mammoth Jackstock Registry, Linda Coffman, Registrar, PO Box 1723, Johnson City, TN 78013, (830) 330-0499, email

American Donkey and Mule Society, PO Box 1210, Lewisville TX 75067, (972) 219-0781, email,

Homesteading Pagan Style -

Farms of the Future:


  1. I like the new opener, for your podcast. Nice find on the window, post a picture? I'm so glad I'm not a football widow, or any sports widow; but you're right football season is a good indicator of fall. In your “not so creepy crawlers” wild honey bees. We discovered we have a hive in a tree somewhere nearby, and we are still trying to find it. We also need to see if we get a bee hive will the wild ones tolerate them? You know showers in the cold is bad... we have still been using our borrowed bathtub in the cold few days we had. The rainy days we had to do baby wipe sponge baths... that wasn't fun.

    The loss of farmland isn't just from “pollution” unfortunately it is also all these subdivisions that pop up everywhere, and the funny thing is the older homes that sit for sale forever is just silly to me. Why build so many new homes when there are many homes sitting there vacant? When some of the farmers lose so much money they decide to sell off or they die and the kids don't want it and sell it off. A lot of times these former farms become subdivisions. If I had the money to buy an old farm instead of what we're are doing, I would have to save it from being destroyed.

    Note on fall gardening, I have read in a few places (hope to try in a year or 2) to plant your onions and potatoes in the fall before the freeze, enough for the roots to grow as it seems they do most of their growing in the cold. I will find the reference and pass it on to you when I dig it out. You might want to let your potato over winter if you don't find anything in it before the freeze. I have learned that some lumber mills have aged sawdust that can be used in a garden as is, so people can ask around and maybe find it. Remember some plants can't be rotated in to a bed after some types, I know there are some plants you aren't suppose to plant after cabbage plants I believe tomatoes is one.

    BTW I'm posting this on PS in your group hon.

  2. I think I put a picture of the window up a little while back. If you can't find it let me know and I'll re-post it. You are lucky to have a hive somewhere nearby. We've seen bees this summer but I don't think the hive is close. Dream has a good point about attracting bees for a new hive. I read an article about the top bar method in Mother Earth News. Here's the link It says if put out the bar in late spring and put lemongrass oil on it, it may attract the new swarm when it leaves the hive.

    I know what you mean about subdivisions. A girl I work with was saying they are building a new subdivision near her house and we both agreed how crazy it is when there are so many houses for sale now. Not to mention how unsustainable the subdivision model is. I would love to be able to buy an old farm, but like you we just don't have the money. I can keep dreaming!

    I wold love to see your reference about the potatoes. We really don't know much about growing them so we thought this would be a fun experiment. That's a good point about the veggies though. I had forgotten that about rotation. Just goes to show how much I have to learn!

  3. Here are a few bits of wisdom about crop rotation from an old Organic Gardening and Farming magazine (March 1974) article named “Vegetable Rotations- Some Do's and Don't's”. (pages 136-139)

    Legumes- “Repeated cultivation in one area will result in a nitrogen buildup and a phosphorus depletion to such a level that vines and foliage only will form with no fruits to show. If the bean or pea pods do form, they don't hold until maturity, or the seeds do not mature properly.” Planting after legumes- “Fair results were obtained with above-ground bearing vegetables such as corn, eggplant, okra, tomato and peppers; but found it best to wait two or three years before working in an area where legumes were previously planted.” “Special success was obtained with green, leafy vegetables grown for the entire plant, such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, and the several varieties of mustard greens. They all seem to be naturals behind a legume crop, apparently due to their nitrogen demands fed by the nitrogen the legumes leave in the soil.”

    Starting onions in the fall- This particular article I found in Organic Gardening and Farming (March 1977, pages 168-173) tells you how to grow onions over a 12 month period, it is called: “Onions Are a Twelve-Month Vegetable”.

    “If you want year-round onions, multipliers are a must. Propagation of the Egyptian variety can be by root division (they will spread by sending up new shoots), but most common way is planting the unique small bulblets that develop on the tops of the plants. Small bulblets form in nest-like clusters (hence the name) in midsummer, and these are cut off and planted.” The plan is to cut them, separate them, dry them then plant them in mid August for Northern climes and November in Southern ones. This way they get a good start before winter and then you'll always be able to repeat this and have never ending onions.

    The other statements about onion in the fall I found were that if you used seed plant those in the fall letting them get a good start before winter and mulch them in till spring to keep them warm. I am still looking for the article on the potatoes, but one said that the “mealyness” that comes from growing in cold weather; so to me that sounds like a winter over start after a mid-fall planting. My suggestion is to try out one or two plants from it and see if it works. By the way the article I am looking for is about someone who grew potatoes in aged sawdust in Missouri (yippee my state!), I believe they started them in the fall and over wintered them in the sawdust; but I need to check on it.

  4. Fall Planted potatoes-

    Organic Gardening issue September 1979: Article name- Fall-Planted Potatoes

    “The advantages of planting potatoes in the fall go beyond solving immediate storage problems. Potatoes grow best under cold weather conditions. The earlier they are planted, the longer your cold growing season will be. Spuds grown during cold weather are more resistant to blight. And fall is the earliest you can get your seed potatoes underground.”

    “If you wait until the ground thaws in the spring, the soil will be too wet and compact when worked. Potatoes need loose soil for air. Fall planting permits working the soil at your convenience.”

    “Fall-planted potatoes need about 15 inches of mulch. This can be straw or hay.”

    See I knew I'd find the article, I found all these old OG's in a yard sale this summer and I'm glad I bought them at $.25 a piece. I'm looking for more to buy they have loads of useful info in them. Another one has an article about planting potatoes in a aged sawdust filled trench, and this was in Mo though granted I believe it was in at the latest in the '80's. I hope this helps.