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 :(

Topic by A good name   |  last reply

How do you make a Computer Farm?

I have several old computers that I don't use anymore. Would it be possible to link them up so that I could use all of their resources at the same time?

Question by 5m17h   |  last reply

Vaulted Dome Aquaponics Greenhouse Design

What do you think about this greenhouse design? It is for an aquaponics system. 192 sq ft so no permit is required in many areas. 9ft tall by 16ft wide, vaulted dome with center support for strong snow holding ability (snow should mostly slide off the vaulted dome anyway). Do you think people would want this in their yard if I offered to sell it to them?

Topic by Jaycub   |  last reply

Tripod greenhouse - cheap, easy, high volume Currently in Paris to start an urban farming collective around this, details on that blog. Thoughts?

Topic by SolarFlower_org   |  last reply

So we just bought some ducklings, can anyone tell me how to clip there wings or is it the same as doing a chickens?

We're are kind of starting our own little farm but we know somethings thanks to our grandparents but we still need some help learning =) Thanks for all the help!!

Question by Tutse   |  last reply

What is the best manufactured hydroponic system for amaeturs?

I'm interested in trying hydroponics to grow some tomatoes and peppers but no absolutely nothing about it. I'd like to start out with a manufactured system first to see if it's something I really want to pursue. I've spent hours trying to figure out who has the best system for a reasonable price. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Question by pickled   |  last reply

how do I kill the weeds in my backyard?

We moved into a new apartment and now that the weather is nicer (we live in Texas) we finally ventured outside to discover the weed farm growing on top of what used to be a nice grassy backyard.  How do we restore the lawn without using too many chemicals?  This is our first time actually having a yard, being city folk, so we're totally clueless!  Halp!

Question by jeanbean39   |  last reply

Texas Windpower = Big Money

Texas is now far ahead of California, and the rest of the country, in production of wind power.From the NYTimes:Texas, once the oil capital of North America, is rapidly turning into the capital of wind power. After breakneck growth the last three years, Texas has reached the point that more than 3 percent of its electricity, enough to supply power to one million homes, comes from wind turbines.Texans are even turning tapped-out oil fields into wind farms.

Topic by canida   |  last reply

How do i get my super cheap and awesome Hydroponic Set up Featured?

Hi I worked really hard on setting up a workable hydroponic set up but for some reason i couldn't get it featured.. i don't know if it's because i did something wrong? maybe i didnt get the correct review.. maybe no one notice in the mists of all these awesome instructables any tips? help also i would like to hear more feedback.. maybe you guys can help? i definetly like to hear people's comments but because i didnt get featured i think i'm getting ignored :( check it out

Topic by mstyle183   |  last reply

No Electricity and No Stream; How Can I Move Water From Well?

I have raw land, in a State Park, which has no access to electricity or running water (stream or otherwise).  I am trying to build an aquaponics farm, however I don't have access to electricity for a well to deliver water to the system, or to the air pumps for aeration.  Any advise?  I need to know how to get water out of the well, and how to aerate the water for the fish and plants, without electricity.  I looked into Solar PV and wind turbines, and they are out of my budget. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Update *03/08/13* Thank you all for the wonderful help and suggestions.  I am going to try several of these to determine the best fit.  Also, please keep the suggestions coming, I will continue testing methods, even after setup.

Topic by msilverstein1   |  last reply

"Your Environmentalism Sucks!" Says WIRED

The cover story of WIRED this month has been published online and you can read their 10 "heresies" about the environment. They're clearly trying to shake things up by telling people stuff that sounds so wrong, but is obviously right according to them.The gist of WIRED's philosophy is that it's all about the carbon dioxide emissions and that every discussion should be framed entirely by this. After that setup, each article is a quick hit against some supposedly sacred cow.The full list of articles is below and here's a response from ecogeek that continues the discussion. So what do you think?Live in Cities: Urban Living Is Kinder to the Planet Than the Suburban LifestyleA/C Is OK: Air-Conditioning Actually Emits Less C02 Than HeatingOrganics Are Not the Answer: Surprise! Conventional Agriculture Can Be Easier on the PlanetFarm the Forests: Old-Growth Forests Can Actually Contribute to Global WarmingChina Is the Solution: The People's Republic Leads the Way in Alternative-Energy HardwareAccept Genetic Engineering: Superefficient Frankencrops Could Put a Real Dent in Greenhouse Gas EmissionsCarbon Trading Doesn't Work: Carbon Credits Were a Great Idea, But the Benefits Are IllusoryEmbrace Nuclear Power: Face It. Nukes Are the Most Climate-Friendly Industrial-Scale Form of EnergyUsed Cars - Not Hybrids: Don't Buy That New Prius! Test-Drive a Used Car InsteadPrepare for the Worst: Climate Change Is Inevitable. Get Used to ItCounterpoint: Dangers of Focusing Solely on Climate Change

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply

Is the effluent produced by a biogas generator enough to feed plants in a hydroponic system?

I'm looking at various ways to grow food free/almost free in a small space.  I would like to grow enough veg to feed myself comfortably. Hydroponics in a vertical farm set up would allow me to grow lots of veg in a small space, trouble is I now need nutrients to feed my plants. After much reading, it looks like I could anaerobically digest all my food waste (including meat, diary, plant stems and anything else that decomposes) in a biogenerator. If I use the resulting liquid effluent, would this alone be sufficient to grow healthy plants.  Are all the nutrients they need going to be in sufficient proportion and are they all in an accessible form for plants. Will I need to add bottled nutrients from a store to top it up? Another question is if the effluent is safe or a biohazard?  My reading so far suggests that most pathogens are killed off in the anaerobic process. Is there anyone who has tried anything like this already? So far I can only find people who are fertilising crops in soil with the effluent. Any comments are greatly appreciated. P.S: for those who do not know what a biogenrator does/is.. a quick description.  Its a sealed tank filled with water, waste (shredded) is added, naturally occuring bacteria in the water (not dependent on oxygen to survive) breakdown the waste into their nutrient parts, methane is also produced by the bacteria (methane is CH4, carbon is in the waste and hydrogen is in the water), the methane can be tapped off for burning and the old liquid can also be tapped off, supposedly this liquid is an extremely good nutrient source, though I don't know if it could sustain plants grown hydroponically on its own.

Question by sloth456   |  last reply

Bizzare Google Earth images of my home town.

I was fiddling around with google earth the other day when I realized that I've never looked at the area around my home town in Nebraska. I dialed in the coordinates and pulled up the satellite images, and what I found was so profoundly strange that I felt compelled to share it. What you are seeing here are topographical images of prairie land and cows. The land consists of small rolling hills of dry grassland, and as you can see, the only landmarks to speak of are the cattle stock tanks. These tanks are essentially circular, large, metal, outdoor swimming pools, some as wide as 30 feet across. The tanks are placed on some of the higher hills with a windmill powered pump to keep the tank full of fresh water. Cattle are then let loose on the land to graze on grass and drink from the tanks. Over time the cattle wear down paths in the grass leaving only dusty trails concentrated around the tanks. I am speculating here a bit, but my theory is that rainfall then follows these trails down the hills and creates the strange, vein like lines through the grass. I don't know how long the area has been used for keeping cattle, but my father grew up here and will be able to tell me more later. The final image is of the developed farm land a little closer to civilization. Most people don't know this, but Nebraskans are really into pie charts. Ok, that may be just me, these are are the patterns left by automatic springler systems. They are literally "crop circles" as corn and sugar beets are only planted within the area that the center pivot sprinkler can reach. PS: These stock tanks are ripe with salamanders, but I still have yet to learn how they got in tanks in the first place? It's too dry to walk to the tanks, and they are pretty far from natural water anyway. There is a massive aquifer underneath all of this, maybe they get pumped up into the tanks? Can salamanders live in aquifers?

Topic by Tomdf   |  last reply

need ideas on greenhouse

Hi there,I live in Boston, MA and I am looking for some advice on Greenhouse construction for winter gardening only (and vegetables that are appropriate for that as well). I am looking to build a greenhouse that I can put up in the fall and take down in the spring for growing a winter garden. It will have to be able to be taken apart into its components and stored in a shed in summer months since my family has no need for it then. Due to the fact that it will be used in the winter, it will have to be highly insulated and have a heat sink that will be able to help maintain a constant growing temperature for the plants inside. Ideally I would like to avoid expending much energy heating the greenhouse. I am, of course, also doing this on a budget. Here is what I have come up with so far. 1. I will use triple-wall or 5 wall polycarbonate panels for the walls of the greenhouse2. I have found a few insulating products that look like they could be useful3. I am thinking of using a solar collector water heater as part of the heat sink- easy to construct on my own : that could circulate hot water into the heat sink4. I am learning about heat sinks and thinking that I want to use the simplest design and organic materials (mud, rocks, or water) to hold the heat during the day and release it at night.5. The greenhouse footprint can’t be larger than 8’ x 10’ 6. I prefer the simplest construction that meets my needs (and the easiest to put up and take down)Questions that I have:1. What are the possibilities for using compost as a source of heat?2. What about a PVC frame?3. How would I circulate hot water through the heat sink?4. What are methods to reduce daily management of the project?5. Types of hinges to use?6. What type of material should I place the greenhouse on?- it will be sited on the concrete area around our swimming pool and I don’t know what sort of insulation is necessary after that. I had the idea of wood pallets with insulation inside them but that may not be enough at all.7. Any ideas of ways to re-use materials to do this cheaply and reduce waste?8. Any suggestions on the optimal shape of the greenhouse roof/sides to increase heat retention and circulation of warmer air.9. Any suggestions of retailers that might have the materials that I am looking for.Some links that have been useful so far:;gs1_greenhouse_building_materials;gs1_corrugated_sheets_panels.html

Topic by ocea46   |  last reply