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August 2014
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You can find my latest book here – http://www.amazon.com/Gardening-With-Insects-Jason-Akers/dp/1499554745/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1408317392&sr=8-2&keywords=gardening+with+insects

The book is called Gardening With Insects and its my finalized treatise on how to have a functioning garden ecosystem without using chemicals and unsustainable outputs.

Dealing With Unpredictable Weather!

I was in a bad mood last night.

I had learned a few days before that the temperature was going to drop near frost levels and I didn’t prepare. Needless to say I had a challenge last night finding and covering the tomatoes and peppers in the middle of a pretty good downpour.

Everyone out this way is tired of winter and the unpredictable weather. I have a philosophy when it comes to weather and that is that its always unpredictable.

But many people let the unpredictability rob them of certain experiences. I constantly get flack for setting out tomatoes in late March. The old – I only put out tomatoes after tax day speech from old timers. The old timers have a point but if they were to put out tomatoes today then they’d see frost tonight.

I personally would rather put out 1/3 to 1/2 of my started plants early and protect what I can in the event of any frost than wait a few more weeks for fresh garden tomatoes. Its a gamble and a risk that each person has to take on his/her own.

When it comes to covering I don’t really put a huge amount of effort into it. I try to get 90% plus of the plants I can. I use a combination of clear plastic as well as buckets, barrel halves, old plastic bags. Basically I use something that will protect the plant from frost but not so opaque as to block out all light.

This seems to work pretty well. I’m sure the plants are a little stunted but in the long run I seem to get tomatoes earlier from the earlier plants.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Letting the Land Lead

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how there’s a lotĀ of forcing going on when people start working with their land. Land is not always good for everything. Sometimes it needs transformation and sometimes it simply needs what it can sustain.

I’m of the school of thought that I call Letting the Land Lead. As in the land and its features are inherently good for a set of things. Call it permaculture or whatever you will but this should be pretty basic to most people. Maybe I should call it square peg in square hole theory. What fits is what works best and is easiest.

Anybody that came to my property would quickly see that I love mushrooms. Seriously there are logs stacked everywhere. I’m running out of freezer space. But they might assume I don’t love potatoes because I don’t grow them much. Or that I’m not fond of beef because, hey, where’s my cow?

The truth is that the land is not good for cattle. Its too small and there is little pasture. Its not real good for potatoes either. The silt and clay pack about 6 inches down into some sort of pseudo-concrete. I know this so why fight it.

Now there are places where I can clear some woods and create pasture. And my gardens where I’ve dumped manure and compost will be good for growing potatoes. But its about work and yield. It will take a lot of work and the yield may never equal that.

I’ve got plenty of trees, plenty of shade and plenty of water. Conditions good for mushrooms.

Status Update

I didn’t realize it had been nearly a year since I last posted until I came here to jog my memory about one of my exploits. Wow. I went from . . . → Read More: Status Update

How Much Food Can a Small Homestead Produce?