Tuesday, September 30, 2014

High calorie gardening requires saving seeds from some of the plants you grow.

An important part of high calorie gardening is growing those staple crops that are easy for you to grow. Part of this will involve saving your own seeds. I personally follow the five year rule for plants and animals. That rule states that I do not know if a plant or animal is adapted to my location until I have raised five consecutive generations. To do this with plants I have to save seeds. I do not raise all my seeds and roots but that is a topic for another conversation.
So for a part of a high calorie garden you will need to know the basics of saving seeds. I got my start from my Grandpa Ernie when I was young. I learned more as an adult from attending garden presentations and from buying books before the Internet was the place to go. I still highly recommend
Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, 2nd Edition by Suzanne Ashworth, David Cavagnaro and Kent Whealy
For a free kindle book
Seed Saving For Beginners: Save Time and Money Preserving Rare Heirloom And Organic Seeds by Frank Xavier (Sep 4, 2014)

So how do I get started saving seeds.

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Before you can save it you have to have the seed to grow.
Look for local seed exchanges in your area.
Below are some sites to help you find seeds you can save.

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership is the largest ex situ plant conservation program in the world.

Mother Earth Magazine seed and plant finder

PlantScout - Dave's Garden website
Does a good job at finding sources for plants and seeds
http://davesgarden.com/products/ps/#b

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Here are some of the major seed saving organizations.
These are great places to get started and learn.
They also sell seed saving supplies.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange offers more than 700 varieties of vegetable, flower, herb, grain and cover crop seeds. We emphasize varieties that perform well in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, although gardeners and farmers from all over the country grow our seeds.
You will find products to dry and store seeds and information on saving seeds at their site.
http://www.southernexposure.com/

Their mission is to promote sustainable, ecological, organic vegetable seed production in the Mid-Atlantic and South. Saving Our Seeds provides information, resources, and publications for gardeners, farmers, seed savers, and seed growers.
http://www.savingourseeds.org

Organic Seed Alliance
Check out their new organic plant breeding manuals that walk farmers through the methods of breeding new seed varieties on their farm. The publications include an introduction to on-farm organic plant breeding and three crop-specific breeding manuals covering carrots, sweet corn, and tomatoes.
http://www.seedalliance.org

Seed Savers Exchange
Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. Since 1975, our members have been passing on our garden heritage by collecting and distributing thousands of samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners.
http://www.seedsavers.org

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Below are sites that have information on seed saving.
These are sites I picked because the interested me.
Some are high level and some are written for the lay person.

Guidelines for Successful Seed Storage & How to Make A Miniature Home Seed Bank, PDF format
A. Yoshinaga, Center For Conservation Research And Training- June 2005
http://kohalacenter.org/docs/resources/hpsi/mini_seed_bank_guidelines.docx

The real seed catalog
This link has instructions for drying seeds with rice. Very old school but it still works well.
http://www.realseeds.co.uk/Drying.html

Basic information from PSU showing effects of moisture content in seeds.
http://extension.psu.edu/agronomy-guide/cm/tables/table-1-3-1

Basic information on the effects of temperature and seed moisture levels on seed storage.
Seed moisture level and temperature are the two biggest factors in seed viability of stored seed.
http://depts.washington.edu/ehuf473/ehuf473/seedmoisture.htm


Manual of Seed Handling in Genebanks, PDF file
http://www.bioversityinternational.org/uploads/tx_news/Manual_of_seed_handling_in_genebanks_1167_01.pdf


Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and forest biodiversity
This is their link to seed saving information.
http://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/bioversity/publications/Web_version/188/begin.htm#Contents

Equilibrium Relative Humidity as a Tool to Monitor Seed Moisture
By measuring relative humidity you can make predictions on the seed moisture levels.
http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_p062/rmrs_p062_045_047.pdf

Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds
Nice chart showing the average years a seed package should be good.
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07221.pdf

Longevity of Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Seeds Stored at Locations Varying in Temperature and Relative Humidity, PDF format


Seeds can be damage by extremely low moisture content.
Science papers that address different aspects of this.
http://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/bioversity/publications/Web_version/243/begin.htm#Contents

Storage of Seeds
Dr. Bonner is a scientist emeritus at the USDA Forest Service’s Southern Research Station,
Mississippi State, Mississippi   -  this is a PDF file

Principles and practices of seed harvesting, processing, and storage: an organic seed production manual for seed growers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern U.S. – PDF file
http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/SeedProcessingandStorageVer_1pt3.pdf

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership is the largest ex situ plant conservation program in the world.
http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/millennium-seed-bank
http://www.kew.org/discover/blogs/millennium-seed-bank

The Ohio Seed Exchange is a non-profit organization, whose goal is to provide home gardeners with a medium through which they can find and communicate with other gardeners in their area who would like to exchange open pollinated or heirloom seeds.

http://www.ohioseed.org/

Monday, September 29, 2014

Of Oxen, Horses, and Mules - we begin to explore animal power.

Oxen, Horses, and Mules
So far with high calorie Gardening I have focused on manual tools and techniques. Well my wife grew up with many Amish neighbors. I have been fortunate to learn some about their farming techniques. So to me the next step up from manual is animal power. In North America this generally falls under Oxen, horses, and Mules. If you want to grow high calorie food beyond just an average garden than animal power could be a good option if you do not wish to invest in hydrocarbon burning equipment.
There is no way I can cover such a topic on one blog so I will just link to sources of information and equipment so you can begin to explore this subject.


Machinery Cost Estimates for Amish Farms

Horse and Human Labor Estimates for Amish Farms

Horse Drawn Farm Equipment for Draft Horse Farming

CHADI PIONEER FARM EQUIPMENT, LLC

Atlantic Draft Horse Supply


Nolt’s Produce Supplies, Leola, Pa

E-Z Trail Mfg., Fredericksburg, Ohio.

Transplanter made by Nolt’s Produce Supplies, Leola, Pa. The transplanter is pulled by a team of Belgians on a standard forecart made by E-Z Trail Mfg., Fredericksburg, Ohio.
http://www.farmcollector.com/farm-shows/ingenious-implements-horse-operated-farm-machinery-going-strong.aspx#ixzz3Ekeeuu5n

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Horse Drawn Farm Equipment for Draft Horse Farming

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Sustainable Logging With Draft Animals
http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/sustainable-logging-draft-animals-zmaz94amzraw.aspx#axzz3EknMQQ2l

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Books
FARM COLLECTOR FIELD GUIDE TO MYSTERY FARM TOOLS

TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY FARM TOOLS
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Alvin Yoder Beginner's Horsemanship School
http://www.ruralheritage.com/horsemanship/index.htm

Tillers International – Oxen & Draft Horses

Prairie Ox Drovers

German Working Cattle group

Barrington Living History Farm

Colonial Williamsburg's Rare Breeds Program

Howell Living History Farm

Horse Progress Days - Mt. Hope Ohio

Draft Animal-Power Network

Draft Horse Journal

NORTH AMERICAN HORSE AND MULE LOGGERS ASSOCIATION, INC.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

manual transplanting tools part 2 of 2

Here are some of the best transplanting tools.
I could not get them all in a single posting so I saved the best for last.
The reason I say best for last is that most of these are made so you jab the tool in the ground and pull the bars apart making an opening in the soil. Then you drop a seedling into a pipe that delivers it to the hole.
No bending required!

Also the Japanese paper transplanter is an incredible labor saving device for manual planting.
If you have the right soils and plant alot of greens, onions, or market crops this machine is incredible.

STAND 'N PLANT 
http://www.standnplant.com/
Another transplanter that can plant through plastic. It is a jab, drop, and pull away transplanter.
It is used for seeds but seems to work great for onion sets.






Jab through plastic, spread handles, drop plant, and pull up.



Pottiputki No 63 Planter, heavy duty tree seedling planter that can be used for crops.
It comes in different sizes.
This is a product made for forestry planting in rough areas.



Hamilton Tree Planters
These are not your hardware store bulb planters, these are forestry grade tools!
These are for tree planting in rough ground. If using for crops I would sharpen end for faster cutting.
If planting shallow rooted crops add one or two heavy L brackets anchored at the top of cutting tube to set the depth.



SK20 Transplanter from Korea, yes they ship to USA
Korea is making some very good hand tools for the small farmer.



Super-efficient mass transplanting totally manual


The Paper Chain Pot Transplanting System
http://www.smallfarmworks.com/
The paper chain pot transplanting system is a unique, ingenious, and highly efficient means to transplant vegetables, flowers and herbs. It is unlike any standard transplanter used in the US or Europe. It has no motor and is pulled by hand. It allows a single person to transplant as many as 264 plants in less than a minute. This is accomplished while standing upright and eliminates the countless hours spent kneeling, crawling, or stooping.


Planting tools for transplanting trees that may be useful.


Hand Planting Bare Root Tree Seedlings using a planting bar
http://www.treefarmproducts.com/treeplanting.pdf

Tree seedling with a dibble bar or other tree planting tool. US Forestry
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUzeruQT8xE

Dibble Bar - Steel Planting Bar Steel Handle
http://www.bullytools.com/shovels_fire.html
Nice heavy duty Dibble Bar


Good dipple  bar for quick digging. Need to sharpen end for crops.


Making your own dipple bar
http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56531


manual transplanting tools part 1 of 2

Manual tools for transplanting seedlings.
I have some neighbors who love sweet corn. Unfortunately for them so do the deer and crows.  They grow sweet corn from their own seeds so they are not coated with chemicals. Since they have equipment around for growing tobacco, they sprout corn in their tobacco float beds and transplant it using a tractor and single row planter.  They plant the corn seedling based on the date the soil temperature is likely to be high enough for corn. Not only do they beat the crows and deer but they generally gain a few weeks on their corn harvest.
When I lived in the far north I learned the value of planting plugs or seedlings. Alaska gets as much light as the Midwest states. The difference is most of it is in the summer months. You cannot wait for a seed to sprout when the soil is warm enough because you are losing daylight. So the answer is to grow seedlings timed to the average soil temperature needed for the crop you wish to grow. For some plants a larger pot was used to avoid the labor of transplanting and to be able to grow the seedling earlier and not have it become stunted or root bound.
I have found that there are many market gardeners who want to get in two crops. So they use seedling to save space. Many do this to reduce weeding. For as you wait for seeds to sprout and grow weed seeds will also sprout and grow. If you can put in a larger seedling it stands a better chance of competing with the weeds. In some cases it may even shade out the weeds like may eggplant tend to do.
Finally we have to deal with disease and insects. You can go online and find general date or temperature for when each pest or disease is likely to become a problem. Many times by transplanting you may be able to have your crops along by several weeks before the diseases or pests can reduce harvest or wipe them out. This may allow you time to get some type of crop harvested. After all it does no good to raise great plants only to have them die when they are just starting to produce a crop!
One thing you have to know if you are transplanting is at what stage of plant growth you need to transplant! For example with squash it is when the first true set of leaves appear but before the second set appear. Each plant has an idea stage for transplanting. Also, know the roots of the plant. Some have shallow roots some have deeper roots. You will want to have seedlings growing in the ideal sized seedling pot. You also want the ideal tool for that sized pot.
This brings us to tools for transplanting. There are more tools for transplanting that I can cover. Most are just variations of standard transplanting tools. Since High Calorie Gardening uses manual tools I have some of the ones that I might use listed below. I have listed the really great hand tools for transplanting to the end of this posting. Some of these are extremely impressive.
                                               

Simple manual Transplanting tools you may find at your average hardware store.


This multi-purpose stainless steel tool with its convex shaped blade is ideal for picking out and transplanting delicate seedlings.



For many years we have used and loved this elegant little stainless steel tool for pricking out and transplanting tiny seedlings. The original British manufacturer stopped making them in 2004, but we have finally found someone who produces them just for us…slightly modified but just as useful as the original. It’s amazing how much difference a small tool like this can make!



Four tools in one. Slices through sod, digs out dandelions, carves through bags of soil, transports and transplants. The big grip is sturdy and comfortable, giving you rapier-like control. The heat-treated blade is sturdy enough to withstand a beating. Its the first tool out of the shed and the last to be put away for the next battle.



Classic hand Steel Agricultural Transplanting Seedlings Tools Garden Transplanter
http://www.amazon.com/Agricultural-Transplanting-Seedlings-Garden-Transplanter/dp/B00MS33PHC
Classic unit for transplanting seedlings and planting bulbs.



Transplanting spade for bulbs and transplanting. Many types are used this is ergonomic.



Max Width 3CM Overall Length 33CM A cross between a trowel and a dibber, this unique little tool will help in levering plants out of pots as well as planting seeds and seedlings.



33" long; cuts 3" square plug of grass (you will have to sharpen it)




5-IN-1 Planting Tool. Bulb Planter, Flower Planting Tool, Turf & Lawn Plugger, Weeding Tool, Soil Sampler, Ground Cover Planting Tool
http://www.amazon.com/Planting-Planter-Plugger-Weeding-Sampler/dp/B003MRTVUI/ref=sr_1_124?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-124&keywords=transplanting
Dig planting holes quickly, one right after another, from a standing position. (Some issues with hard or rocky soils).



Usage: garden vegetables, planted seedlings, transplanting seedlings, garden cultivators



Zenport K245 ZenBori Soil Knife with 6-Inch Stainless Steel Serrated Blade (a tool I cannot live without)
http://www.amazon.com/Zenport-K245-ZenBori-Stainless-Serrated/dp/B0054LTACE/ref=sr_1_173?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-173&keywords=transplanting
Scoop knife, saw and weeding tool is similar to the Japanese HoriHori knife which is a must have tool!



The secret of transplanting a pot-bound plant is preserving the dirt ball intact. This simple Japanese tool has a very flexible cranked steel blade that allows you to quickly run the serrated stainless steel edge around the inside of any pot up to 7" deep and cleanly free the ball and any roots from the side.


Seedling Pots from local materials you can make.


Making Paper from Plants
If you have cat tails, corn cobs, etc. and collect lye form wood ash you can make crude paper. This you can form around items to make pots.
http://www.missioncreekpress.com/index_files/plants.htm
To make the lye you will need to make the paper - Make a Lye Leaching Barrel
http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/how-to-make-soap-from-ashes-zmaz72jfzfre.aspx#axzz3CNbgeVzJ
What are Leaf pots? How to make and use them.
http://www.permaculturenews.org/resources_files/farmers_handbook/volume_3/9_leaf_pots.pdf
Development of Bio-decomposable (Jiffy) Pots for Raising and Transplanting Nursery Plants
http://www.fspublishers.org/published_papers/43430_..pdf



Sample of some of the soil blocker tools.

These are used to make soil blocks to grow seedlings in. It is a simple technology that uses only material you are likely to have such as soil and compost.
Used to create soil blocks to start seeds in.


Soil Blockers are easy to use and made of robust zinc-plated steel construction. They provide a high rate of germination and easy blooming. Soil Blockers are one of the most efficient gardening tools available, inexpensive and maintenance free!



Soil block maker makes 1 4 inch soil block with removable 2 inch cubic insert built in for transplanting the 2 inch soil block into the 4 inch soil block.



Heavy duty tools




This deluxe heavy duty bulb planter with long handle is made from rugged steel construction. For planting bulbs.
Transplanters that work without bending over to plant.

Easy-Plant Jab-Type Planter
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/
Plant into plastic mulch without bending over. Jab soil and drop the seedling, pull up transplanter and you are done.







Continued in part 2

single seed jab planters for planting larger seeds like corn and beans

Hand seeders, also called jab seeders
When I first moved to the Midwest back in the late 90’s I used to talk to a lot of the old timers at small livestock shows. One of the things I found interesting was the ways their parents and grandparents farmed. So much of what they knew was a lost art since almost no one used manual corn planter or tobacco planter in the 1990’s. You could find these items at antique stores or auctions. From the stories I was told and what I could research the corn planter was a major revolution to small farmers. It allowed a single farmer to plant around four acres of corn seed a day in a plowed field. I have had some experience planting trees and other plants when I lived way up North. But I used shovels and planting bars. Using the right tool can really make a difference.
Well with high calorie gardening I am assuming that mechanical equipment will not be available. So tools for planting become very important. Now some seeds you can broadcast smaller seeded plants like annual ryegrass, cereal rye, turnips, rapeseed and canola. The larger seeded plants like corn, beans, squash, etc. need to be planting in the ground. Having to put large seen underground explains the invention of the hand corn planter. Another factor that led to the development of the hand corn planter was having plants in rows makes weeding and harvesting easier. The corn planter was one of the most advanced tools in the family of planters called jab planters in its time. It was said that a farmer could plant four acres of corn in one day with the corn seed jab planter.
An interesting take on the jab planter was using marked string to plot a square grid for planting. What this allowed was rows in both directions. With such a system you can run a wheel cultivator between both rows of corn. It also allows for planting legumes in the same grid. You can experiment with planting corn, beans, and pumpkins using the string grid to space the planting.
What was interesting was that Jab planters did not disappear. There are still used in many third world countries on small farms where farming is done with only hand tools. I also found that I could obtain these in USA.
easydigging.com
Jab planter
The planter is just pressed into the ground, then the solid rod (with the ball on top) is lifted a short distance, and a seed is dropped down the bent tube.




http://www.johnnyseeds.com
Easy-Plant Jab-Type Planter

Farmers have relied on the Easy-Plant for years. A hand planter for corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, and sunflowers on open ground or through plastic mulch.



http://www.seedburo.com/
http://www.seedburo.com/productDetail.asp_Q_catID_E_537_A_subCatID_E_2699_A_productID_E_3594_A_Hand_Held_PlantersStandard_E_Hand_Held_PlantersStandard
Almaco Hand Held Planters-Standard

Seed is manually dropped into top seed port and is conducted via the seed tube to the closed planting bit. The seed then remains captive within the planting bit until the planter is rocked forward and the bit is opened. These are useful for small to medium sized plot planting or for selective replanting of previously seeded plots.





The GreenSeeder is a hand-planting device originally developed by Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma to improve the corn, and other crop planting methods of upland farmers in the third-world, who are farming on marginal lands. The GreenSeeder helps marginalized smallholder farmers by decreasing the effort of planting, and decreasing the treated seed to skin contact for farmers. The planter can also be used to make appropriate side dressing applications of dry fertilizer next to the growing corn plants. This planter makes it possible to easily apply fertilizer near the growing plant roots, which results in less, and more efficient fertilizer use by farmers. This means better crop yields and less fertilizer runoff, which is better for the environment.





http://www.simpleseeder.com/
Simple Seeder

Effective in both conventional and no till gardens, this quality, steel constructed garden seeder creates ease and accuracy in planting. The innovative step bar adjusts up and down to control seed depth. Two viewing holes allow the gardener to space the seeds easily at the desired distance.

http://www.standnplant.com/
STAND 'N PLANT seeder

Acres of pumpkins of all sizes, gourds and thousands  of onion plants plus small quantity specialty crops, i.e. zucchinis, were planted using this Seeder. Onion plants and seeds were planted in plastic covered beds using closer spacing and multiple rows.







The corn planter/seeder cum fertilizer, a planting machine, can plant corn, wheat, soybean, peanut, etc;
 it is suitable for the fertilizing and seeding in the corn fields in the plain and hilly areas.
The seeding capacity, seeding row space and the working width is adjustable.








of sunflowers and sunchokes

Sunflowers
I am going to include both sunflowers and sunchokes or Jerusalem Artichokes since they are both related.
Sunflower seeds pack around 818 calories per cup of seeds.
Jerusalem Artichokes clock in at about 109 calories per cup of roots.
The sunflowers grown for edible seeds are annuals but there are perennial sunflowers. In fact there is research being conducted to produce a perennial sunflower with harvestable seeds. Now Jerusalem Artichokes are generally perennials. However, to keep up bulb production they need to be harvested at least every three years. With both sunflowers and Jerusalem Artichokes the entire plant is edible. An interesting point of Jerusalem Artichokes is that the plant retains the sugars in the stalk till around flowering time. You would have to test your plants based on your plants cycle. But it presents an opportunity to harvest the stalks as silage like sorghum if the variety you have has high enough sugar content. With sunflowers grown for seed there are two major types. There are the oil seed sunflowers which are high in oils. Then there are the seed sunflowers that are eaten for their seeds.
One interesting note that I came across but have not tried it that sunchokes do not store their sugars into the tubers until late in the season. From the data I have obtained here and there it seems that sunchokes are late flowering. You may wish to experiment with harvesting upper part of stalks at flowering stage and fermenting the shredded and boiled stems and leaves. Cutting the top part will not kill the sunchokes but will result in smaller tubers.

Sunflowers and Sunchokes for goats.

Every goatkeeper should plant lots of sunflowers, for they are the finest of feeds available. The entire plant—leaves, seeds and stalk—is edible and greatly relished. While the seeds are well-liked, goats will hungrily gobble up the entire seed head when the seeds are at the early "dough" stage. Just break or cut the head into pieces and the goats will fight for them. The stalk too, will be devoured if cut into pieces. Sunflower seeds are eaten any time of the year. Room can be made for sunflowers, even in a small garden, by using them as stakes. Place one sunflower seed on either side of your tomato plants when setting them out. As the stalks grow, feed the leaves to the goats and use that strong stalk for staking your tomato plants. Sunflowers are extremely rich in phosphorus and have large amounts of iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamins A, D, and E, lecithin and are over 25% protein. Sunflower seeds contain a staggering 7.1 mg of vitamin E per 100gm of seed, as well as vitamins B1, B3, and B6.

Sunflowers and sunchokes as silage.

Sunflower silage vs. Corn Silage for Milk Production - April 1926
https://archive.org/details/sunflowersilagev210hend


Sunflowers to remove metals from water.


SUNFLOWER PLANTS PHYTOREMEDIATION

Use of plants to treat water contaminated with Cs and Sr in the Ukraine.
http://www.gdr.org/sunflowerplants.html

Let the pigs harvest your Jerusalem Artichokes


Feeding Sunflowers to livestock
http://www.feedipedia.org/node/143

Feeding sunchokes to livestock
http://www.feedipedia.org/node/544

Pressing oil seed sunflowers

You can press whole seed, shell and all when using oil seed sunflowers.


The Sunflower Seed Huller and Oil Press
http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/oilpress.html

Sprouting sunflower seeds

How to Grow Sunflower Seed Sprouts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEWcO22X8yw
How To Grow Sunflower Sprouts - Planting to Harvest (edited)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiMxQUG5_nM
Growing Barley Fodder with a 5 gallon bucket. Simple Fodder System (can also be used for sunflower seeds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc_Q4I84Szc

Sunflower stalks for  bio-gas and fuel


Another Substitute for Firewood - Sunflower Stalks
Sunflower stalks were burned for fuel on the parries in the sod cabins before railroads brought coal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fatkROKdsa8

Sunflower stalks for garden poles

Recycling last year’s sunflower stalks for bean & pea poles.
https://www.facebook.com/OrganicGardening/posts/10152499063964642

Sunflower as a herbicide

Allelopathic potential of Helianthus annuus L. (sunflower) as natural herbicide
http://www.regional.org.au/au/allelopathy/2005/2/7/2252_anjum.htm
We have focused on the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and phytohormons (ABA and ethylene) in the biochemical and molecular regulation of plant response to sunflower phytotoxins.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2634163/
Induction of oxidative stress by sunflower phytotoxins in germinating mustard seeds.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17216362


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

sunflowers and sunchokes

Sunflowers
I am going to include both sunflowers and sunchokes or Jerusalem Artichokes since they are both related.
Sunflower seeds pack around 818 calories per cup of seeds.
Jerusalem Artichokes clock in at about 109 calories per cup of roots.
The sunflowers grown for edible seeds are annuals but there are perennial sunflowers. In fact there is research being conducted to produce a perennial sunflower with harvestable seeds. Now Jerusalem Artichokes are generally perennials. However, to keep up bulb production they need to be harvested at least every three years. With both sunflowers and Jerusalem Artichokes the entire plant is edible. An interesting point of Jerusalem Artichokes is that the plant retains the sugars in the stalk till around flowering time. You would have to test your plants based on your plants cycle. But it presents an opportunity to harvest the stalks as silage like sorghum if the variety you have has a high enough sugar content. With sunflowers grown for seed there are two major types. There is the oil seed sunflowers which are high in oils. Then there are the seed sunflowers that are eaten for their seeds.

Sunflowers and Sunchokes for goats.

Every goatkeeper should plant lots of sunflowers, for they are the finest of feeds available. The entire plant—leaves, seeds and stalk—is edible and greatly relished. While the seeds are well-liked, goats will hungrily gobble up the entire seed head when the seeds are at the early "dough" stage. Just break or cut the head into pieces and the goats will fight for them. The stalk too, will be devoured if cut into pieces. Sunflower seeds are eaten any time of the year. Room can be made for sunflowers, even in a small garden, by using them as stakes. Place one sunflower seed on either side of your tomato plants when setting them out. As the stalks grow, feed the leaves to the goats and use that strong stalk for staking your tomato plants. Sunflowers are extremely rich in phosphorus and have large amounts of iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamins A, D, and E, lecithin and are over 25% protein. Sunflower seeds contain a staggering 7.1 mg of vitamin E per 100gm of seed, as well as vitamins B1, B3, and B6.

Sunflowers and sunchokes as silage.

Sunflower silage vs. Corn Silage for Milk Production - April 1926
https://archive.org/details/sunflowersilagev210hend


Sunflowers to remove metals from water.


SUNFLOWER PLANTS PHYTOREMEDIATION

Use of plants to treat water contaminated with Cs and Sr in the Ukraine.
http://www.gdr.org/sunflowerplants.html

Let the pigs harvest your Jerusalem Artichokes


Feeding Sunflowers to livestock
http://www.feedipedia.org/node/143

Feeding sunchokes to livestock
http://www.feedipedia.org/node/544

Pressing oil seed sunflowers

You can press whole seed, shell and all when using oil seed sunflowers.


The Sunflower Seed Huller and Oil Press
http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/oilpress.html

Sprouting sunflower seeds

How to Grow Sunflower Seed Sprouts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEWcO22X8yw
How To Grow Sunflower Sprouts - Planting to Harvest (edited)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiMxQUG5_nM
Growing Barley Fodder with a 5 gallon bucket. Simple Fodder System (can also be used for sunflower seeds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc_Q4I84Szc

Sunflower stalks for  bio-gas and fuel


Another Substitute for Firewood - Sunflower Stalks
Sunflower stalks were burned for fuel on the parries in the sod cabins before railroads brought coal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fatkROKdsa8

Sunflower stalks for garden poles

Recycling last year’s sunflower stalks for bean & pea poles.
https://www.facebook.com/OrganicGardening/posts/10152499063964642

Sunflower as a herbicide

Allelopathic potential of Helianthus annuus L. (sunflower) as natural herbicide
http://www.regional.org.au/au/allelopathy/2005/2/7/2252_anjum.htm
We have focused on the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and phytohormons (ABA and ethylene) in the biochemical and molecular regulation of plant response to sunflower phytotoxins.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2634163/
Induction of oxidative stress by sunflower phytotoxins in germinating mustard seeds.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17216362


Think pumpkin and squash

Next on my high calorie must grow foods is squash and pumpkin.
Pumpkin and Summer squash have a lot of water in then so they only have about 30 calories per cup. However, there is around 745 calories in a cup of dried pumpkin seeds! You can also increase the calories per pound by drying the pumpkin for longer storage. Pumpkin and winter squash also store well if you grow the right varieties and properly cure them. Unfortunately, in my area we have issues with insects and disease.


Growing pumpkin and winter squash



Growing Squash...an Invitation to Garden Bounty, nice overview.
http://www.grow-it-organically.com/growing-squash.html


Cornell University growing winter squash resources
http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scene11f1.html

Specialty Crop Profile: Pumpkins
http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/438/438-100/438-100_pdf.pdf


Organic Pumpkin and Winter Squash Marketing and Production
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=30


Home Gardening Series Winter Squash, UofA
http://www.uaex.edu/publications/PDF/FSA-6078.pdf




Growing Squash under row covers

Floating Row Cover
https://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/not_updated/GE004FloatingRowCoverrevised.sm_.pdf
Row Covers and Pollination
http://organic.kysu.edu/RowCovers.pdf
Hand Pollinating Squash
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/newsletters/hortupdate/2013/mar/hand-pollinating-squash.html

Squash and Pumpkin insects

You can eat squash bug and vine borer!

Crop Profile for Pumpkins in Kentucky, insects, disease, and weeds
http://www.ipmcenters.org/cropprofiles/docs/KYpumpkin.pdf

Biology and Management of Squash Vine Borer in Organic Farming Systems
http://www.extension.org/pages/65684/biology-and-management-of-squash-vine-borer-in-organic-farming-systems#.VAT54_ldVu0

Managing Cucumber Beetles in Organic Farming Systems
http://www.extension.org/pages/64274/managing-cucumber-beetles-in-organic-farming-systems#.VAT6HvldVu0

Managing Squash Bugs in Organic Farming Systems
https://www.extension.org/pages/63329/managing-squash-bugs-in-organic-farming-systems#.VAT6QPldVu0

Stink Bug Management Using Trap Crops in Organic Farming

Squash bug with tips on trap crops to use.
https://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/ENT-120-08.pdf

Diseases of Squash and Pumpkins



Squash Vine Borer, Protect Squash Plants #1 : GardenFork.TV
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55lExw2vsac
squash bug and stink bug trap at end of video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWqzInYL85k
BEST Stink Bug Trap EVER
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwUuHhWYvDA
Edible Squash Bugs - Mictis Caja, snack food in Thailand
http://www.thailandunique.com/edible-squash-bugs

Growing vertical pumpkin and squash


Growing Kakai Pumpkins Winter Squash Vertically up a Trellis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3o-TwOrsdo

Growing Winter Squash with Vertical Gardening
http://www.everyday-vegetable-garden.com/growing-winter-squash.html

Growing Winter Squash Vertically on a Nylon String Trellis along the Backyark Fence
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12-0PlY4AQw

How to grow a vertical upright squash plant and other vines in a small garden space
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of3qE1R6wnw



Companies with active research and/or variety evaluation programs in pumpkins

Rupp Seed Company Wauseon, Ohio (800) 700-1199; http://www.ruppseeds.com

Seedway, Inc. Elizabethtown, Pa. (800) 952-7333; http://www.seedway.com

Johnny’s Selected Seeds Albion, Maine (207) 437-9294; http://www.johnnyseeds.com

Abbott & Cobb, Inc. Feasterville, Pa. (800) 345-7333; http://www.acseed.com

Harris Moran Seed Co., Inc. Modesto, Calif. (209) 579-7333; http://www.harrismoran.com

Oil Seed Pumpkins


Oil Pumpkins: Niche for Organic Producers
https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu07/pdfs/bavec185-189.pdf
Kakai is a variety of the Austrian type that yields the valuable green pumpkin seed oil
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-5701-kakai.aspx

 Storing Pumpkins and Squash

Curing Pumpkins and Winter Squash
http://www.growveg.com/growblogpost.aspx?id=263
Harvesting and Storing of Pumpkins, Winter Squash and Gourds
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/gardenerscorner/issue_01/fall_04_04.cfm
Storing Pumpkin and Winter Squash at Home
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/sites/default/files/documents/ec1632.pdf


Using Pumpkins as animal feed

Ducks and Geese Eating Pumpkin,( I feed pumpkins and winter squash to all my poultry in the fall and winter!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-62xf1AkqyQ
Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin, do not feed pumpkin and squash to rabbits it has too many carbohydrates
https://www.naturalrabbitfood.com/can-rabbits-eat-pumpkin/
Pumpkins and winter squash are a "must" crop for goats.
http://www.dairygoatjournal.com/88-3/planting_a_goat_garden/
Angus Cows eating pumpkins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeKTEZylaqA