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Farming - I need some help

NEW QUESTION: Should I grow food, or food and commodities (IE wheat, cotton, etc) Well, I grew vegetables last year, and the crop was a failure. Don't ask me why, since there were at least 20 things I did wrong, and on top of that, mother nature was pissed off at me. Well, I already have some ideas on how I'm going to make my farming more eco-friendly, but I'd like some more, some ideas I have are: No fertilizer (I grew organics last year too) collecting rainwater in buckets to use to water on drier days (I'm going to make a small shed which I can store the water for just such an occasion) Allowing bugs into my garden Also, I plan to compost all the plant waste (I also use my dog's "Waste" for fertilizer... weird, I know, but it works, and it means I don't have to use up plastic bags, or pick the stuff up. Plus, it's better in the ground being broken up than in the landfill taking up space) And some things I worry about are: Moving sand into the area. I hear that sand is better for beats and carrots, but I wonder if it would be a bad environmental change to move sand into the area. It's not a large area of land, but still. Please excuse me if I didn't make too much sense, I'm really confused right now... school is getting to me :(

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skunkbait9 years ago
How big of a farm do you have. It requires a pretty good spread to make cotton, soybeans, etc. worthwhile. (We haven't gone that route in 25 years.) Vegtables are a little different. If the veggies are less than productive at least you can scrounge enough to feed the family. We only plant enough for our needs plus enough to feed a couple of the elderly ladies from church. My wife does our gardening, and I'll see if she has any helpful sugggestions for you.
A good name (author)  skunkbait9 years ago
Do you feed yourselves year round on your own garden? And I doubt that I'll be able to grow them at this point. My dad ruined it by elevated it and buying the most terrible soil ever (more than 95% of it was mulch, no lie)
We mostly feed ourselves summer and fall from the garden. Primarily it's mustard greens, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes. It is usually gone by October, but this year my wife is hoping to can and freeze some. We usually fill our freezer with meat in the winter ( I'm still enjoying venison from November and ducks from February), but we bought a new freezer that should accomodate veggies. My tiller is dead, so my wife has done a mix of gardening styles this year. I think my wife may do an ible on small gardening so be on the lookout.
NachoMahma9 years ago
. Seems like you have most of the bases covered. . Clean sand is pretty inert so it shouldn't be a problem. Make sure you mix in some mulch, since sand has zero nutrients. Probably be a good idea to sterilize the sand before mixing and using. . The proper amount of water is very important. Too much is just as bad as not enough. . There may be something in your soil that is causing problems. Check the pH and you might even want to send a sample to your county farm agency.
A good name (author)  NachoMahma9 years ago
Oh no, it's not that I'm worried about problems with the soil, I'm worried about whether or not it will damage the environment. Should I use only native plants?
As Nacho mentions, depending on where you live (for instance, where I live) non-native plants like tomatoes, will not thrive outside the garden. They need a longer growing season then we have, so plants are normally hothoused and slowly hardened off until all fear of frost is gone. One good frost and they die. There are SOME plants that caused problems though. Kudzu was brought in as a ground cover in some areas to stop erosion, and it took over and became one of those problems. A little research will tell you whether that could take place or not.
. The sand won't bother anything (most dirt is sand, anyway) and I can't think of any veggies that would escape into the wild and go feral, so plant whatever you like.
Jerusalem Artichokes (which are not from Jerusalem, nor are they artichokes, but are like small potatoes) will take OVER a garden. If this hardy little lower starch potato is grown, it should be in a separate garden.....again, experience speaking here.
caitlinsdad9 years ago
Could I ask what size of garden/plot you are tending? Use of the word farming means you need to have a tractor to work the land. I'm a city slicker. If it is a big size enough to try commodities type crops, there should be a 4-H club or some other co-op organization locally that could help you plan out something. If you are doing it for profit to sell the crops, they should also be able to provide info on what you need to do. There are some laws to abide by if you want to call something organic or not.
A good name (author)  caitlinsdad9 years ago
Farming actually doesn't have to use a tractor. Then that would mean that the ancient egyptians weren't farmers. I'm tending about a six feet by about nine feet.
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