The Green Thread.....
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18-11-2010, 12:16 PM
RE: The Green Thread.....
Although it takes energy to recycle material, I wonder if P&T calculated if it's more bad to recycle than not recycle.
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This is blasphemy for any over 15-year old Finn: I don't have a moped lisence nor a moped and I probably will never get one. Not for egological nor ecological reasons, I just don't like driving motor vehicles.
I don't even need them, I get easily around by cycling and in winters I use public transport, although usually busses don't get closer than a few kilometers from my home, but that's an easy distance to walk.

And we recycle. I don't know what ''green'' I could do at this point of my life, but when/if I get my own house someday, I'm not going to have a water toilet there and I want my electricity from nuclear plants or from renewable energy resources. Or if I become a rich man I want an eco-house, I've seen a few awesome ones on telly. :L
O', if I were a rich man...

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18-11-2010, 01:17 PM
RE: The Green Thread.....
(18-11-2010 10:34 AM)SecularStudent Wrote:  I'm going to try out your advice Stark, and get some pots and soil and try growing some veggies indoors ^.^ Got any tips for making sure that I don't kill them?

The link GK put up is decent, but it really does over complicate things. There are tips in there about overcrowding that are really important. The best way to grow veggies indoors is to follow a simple rule. ONE plant per container. Picture the plant size fully mature, then put it in a pot twice the size you think it will need. To produce vegetables, a plant needs to put a lot of nutrients into it. Most of those come from the soil, and since the nutrients won't be replace during the life of the plant, it needs plenty to start with. If the soil has too much nutrients for the volume, it will harm the plant. Thats why it's best to have lots of healthy soil, instead of a little bit of soil with too much fertilizer. Just remember, compost is your best friend! I use red wriggler worms (often called compoting worms) in the winter to compost my kitchen scraps. They are incredibly easy to care for, they don't smell, they take up very little space, and they make the best compost imaginable. Using worm castings (worm poo) as a top dressing when your plants need fertilizer boosts the entire mini-ecosystem of the plant by adding nutrients AND all the microbes and bacteria the plant needs to produce fruit. You just can't beat worm castings, fresh from the composter!

As for lights - keep it simple. LEDs work great. During the day, a sunny window is enough, even on a cloudy day. I just use a five dollar timer to turn on the lights when it gets dark so I provide around 12 hours of daylight for my plants. (You may find 14 hours works better, but experiment. It can be a fun project, so let yourself learn!)

Using fans is baloney. Veggie plants are beautiful. Keep them in your living area. If the air circulation is enough for you, it's enough for them. Especially since you're providing them with that crucial CO2 they crave.

There are a few plants I DON'T recommend for indoors. Tomato plants don't have a very pleasant smell. Neither do most vines like cucumbers, canteloup etc. Not to mention they need lots of space. (There are some exceptions. I'll keep you informed on whats happening with some vines I'm trying this winter if you're interested) This year, I'm even going to grow a corn stalk! (Well, two so they can pollinate) It will be a little messy, since they make a mess when they pollinate, but I don't mind. I'll have to pollinate them by hand, but I love being involved, so why not give it a try? Can you imagine fresh corn on the cob in march????

There's lots of info out there about growing veggies. Just try to simulate those conditions indoors as best you can. Some will work, some may not, but your home will have lots more plants in it, and who could complain about that? Just don't get complicated, especially your first go-round. Pick two or three veggies you want to try, and just do a couple pots of each. Don't be too upset if things don't work out the first time. It's worth a try, cheap to do, and even if you only get one bell pepper, or just a meal of peas, you'll be hooked. The satisfaction is overwhelming! You'll be a pro in no time!

If you ever have any questions, let me know. I'm still experimenting myself, but I'd be happy to share ideas.

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18-11-2010, 01:26 PM
RE: The Green Thread.....
If this thread interests you at all, you'll love this story. It's fairly short, and well worth the read for some inspiration. You don't have to be a farmer to appreciate it either!

http://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/2...e-logsdon/

For some amazingly well written stuff on agri-business, and how it's completely destroying our planet, from the perspective of someone who is realistic and radical at the same time, read "The Contrary Farmer" by Gene Logsdon. The guy is amazing. (The link is from his blog. Read it too!!)

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18-11-2010, 09:51 PM
RE: The Green Thread.....
Thanks for all the tips! I'm definitely going to start out with just one or two pots for now; just to see how it goes.

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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21-11-2010, 06:34 PM
RE: The Green Thread.....
Per capita, North Americans consume somewhere between 120-140lbs of potatoes each per year. 120 pounds??? That's insane! And, that's a very modest estimate according to some of the many sources I looked at.
So I got to thinking. This fall we harvested about 600 lbs of taters from our garden. That would feed five people on potatoes for an entire year. (And I know that in my house we don't eat 120 pounds each, so I'm being VERY modest here) My family aside, we can supply 3 people EASILY with all the taters they need for a whole year. I did some figuring, and to grow the surplus potatoes we have, it added about 3 hours worth of work, and about $30 in seed potatoes. (I have kept all my own seed taters for next year, so that cost won't even be applicable in the future). If I paid myself $20/hour, and also wanted to recoup my money going in, I'd have to sell my taters for about $.25/lb. 25 cents a pound. Twenty five cents. A quarter. Thats a 10 pound bag for $2.50.
I think getting paid $20/hour is pretty fair. Especially since you also have to account for my family eating potatoes for free all year. So why the hell are potatoes around a buck a pound (this is Canadian dollars we're talking) in the grocery store? Well, because in the grocery store you are paying for: Packaging (completely unnescessary), marketing (I have a piece of plywood at the end of my driveway that's spray painted "eggs" with an arrow. I have to take it down all the time because I run out of eggs. Don't seem to need any more marketing, and I suspect taters would be the same), transportation, middle man, etc. etc. The list goes on folks. Now here's the real kicker. My taters have NEVER been in contact with any chemicals. My fertillizer is compost and manure from my chickens, my weed control is a hoe and a strong back, and my insect control is a combination of growing the right plants together and hungry chickens who love bugs (and have better eggs for it!). So my potatoes aren't organic. For that I need some asshole from the government to say I can only use limited amounts of chemicals. Then he comes to my place once or twice a year. I pay through the nose to be allowed to label my veggies organic, and voila! NO THANKS. My potatoes (along with the many other things I grow, all in my spare time) far surpass organic standards, and you'll believe it when you taste them.
I guess my question is, why the hell are we suppoting agri-business by shopping at a grocery store for potatoes, when we could be suppoting...well...ourselves! Spend less money, buy enough to store in your basement, and support some local bloke like me, so that next year I can grow enough for you AND your friends.



Shit, I better set aside some more seed potatoes.

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22-11-2010, 08:27 AM
RE: The Green Thread.....
Quote:120 pounds???
About 160 pounds in Europe. Wink
Quote:growing the right plants together
If one can believe TV, intensive farming uses 5 joules of energy to produce 1 joule of energy in the form of food. But by growing the right and different plants in the same field, the energy effectiveness can grow up to producing 5 joules per 1 joule used. That's what they do in Cuba. I hope I haven't deleted the program yet. F:
Quote:why the hell are we suppoting agri-business by shopping at a grocery store for potatoes
In my neck of the woods, the near by potato farmers usually sell their potatoes in the grocery store, there's also a self service potato stall next to the highway where you can buy potatoes (nowadays there's a surveillance camera 'cause some asses don't bother paying).
And if you want to save a little bit of money and you don't want packaging, buy separate potatoes.
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In Finnish institution eateries (school food and such) the potatoes are shipped from Poland, because an EU directive(or some other EU thing) demands a separate space for washing and peeling soil-potatoes and the kitchens aren't equipped with them. The potatoes are grown, washed, peeled and cooked in Poland, and then stored into some fluid to preserve the colour and then shipped to Finland. They're known as 'rubber-taters' among school kids. Smile

Btw, we had 2 very tiny potato fields in our yard, but moles always ate them. We also had chickens, but for some odd reason, all the chickens died and only roosters were left.

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22-11-2010, 12:52 PM
RE: The Green Thread.....
(22-11-2010 08:27 AM)Kikko Wrote:  If one can believe TV, intensive farming uses 5 joules of energy to produce 1 joule of energy in the form of food. But by growing the right and different plants in the same field, the energy effectiveness can grow up to producing 5 joules per 1 joule used.

That's crazy! Thanks for those stats.

Here the local farmers all sell to a few distributors. Not sure why they don't sell direct to the stores. I wish we did it like you guys. At least it cuts out some of the unescessary transport/middle-man.

If you ever want any advice about chickens, I'd be happy to help if I can. I'm no expert, but we keep about 25 chickens for eggs, and they are all doing great. Winter has hit here, and I'm walking through a foot of snow to get to the coop, and still get about a dozen eggs a day. (13 this morning). I do know that too many roos will stress the hens out and make them susceptible to even the most minor of illnesses. Maybe too many roosters in the hen house? We only keep one roo for 25 hens. When we raise new hens, we pick our ten healthiest hens, separate them with the rooster for a week, and keep the best looking eggs to hatch. That way we know he can fertilize all the hens. It's a small operation, but we get plenty of eggs for family and a few neighbors.

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22-11-2010, 02:22 PM
RE: The Green Thread.....
I think that one of the main reasons a lot of farmers sell to the middlemen is that the middlemen have gained a lot of control. Once control is established the vast majority fall in line.
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22-11-2010, 04:20 PM
RE: The Green Thread.....
(22-11-2010 02:22 PM)No J. Wrote:  I think that one of the main reasons a lot of farmers sell to the middlemen is that the middlemen have gained a lot of control. Once control is established the vast majority fall in line.

SO true. That's why agri-business has taken over pretty much all small farmers. Even now, I rent a large portion of my land out to a bigger buiness that grows grain crops. We are slowly taking it all back though, so we can produce ten times the food for a fraction of the energy, all the while doing what's healthy for my family AND my land. Proper crop and pasture rotation, letting the animals fertilize the land instead of chemicals, and only growing grains every four years on any given piece of land. More veggies, less grains. Feed more people with better food. That's how we do it. The big guys sure don't like it though. I think they know that once people start getting a taste for real food, they'll demand it over the crap agri-business produces.

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22-11-2010, 09:42 PM
RE: The Green Thread.....
(22-11-2010 04:20 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  I think they know that once people start getting a taste for real food, they'll demand it over the crap agri-business produces.

If this is true, how do we explain McDonalds? Or should I say Scrawny Ronnies?
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