@Silkiechicken

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by greyfields, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Silkie:

    The author of this book lived in Eastern WA for most of her life and has good advice on getting started with small grains. It's not as good as the Seymour book, as far as learning how to do thing for youself that you typically just buy at the store, but it's very releveant to our region:

    http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-...bs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207758010&sr=8-1

    Secondly, if you are serious about getting into vegetable gardening, Steve Solomon's book is the undisputed 'bible' for our region. Farming west of the Cascades is different from anywhere else in the USA. Since many books are published about midwest and northeast gardening, they have a lot of bad information for us here on the we(s)t coast.

    http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Veget...bs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207758084&sr=1-1

    With chicken manure 'free' to you to use, you have tremendous potential to grow outstanding crops from heavy feeding varieties (tomatoes, corn, potatoes, etc). It's easier than you think to get into gardening and selling at small farmer's market.

    We made 0% effort to grow actually for the market last year, since we focus on selling meat products. But in 26 weeks, we averaged over $30 per week which means we paid for all our seed 4 times over and that extra profit essentially paid for half our orchard we established. And we hardly tried. We are trying this year!

    Finally, for those lurking, these books are where my transition from City consumer to self-producer began. I love good food and cooking and we are utterly spoiled once we decided to do things ourselves. I have no desire to be self sufficient, but this book teaches you how to do anything you may ever want to do. (p.s. when ordering books by English authors, go to amazon.co.uk, rather than amazon.com.... they 'translate' the books into american english and I think they lose a lot of meaning in doing so)

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Complet...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207758268&sr=8-1

    And then these two are by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who is a 'tv chef' in England who gave it up to farm part time and create his own food. I have the utmost respect for his books and recipes. If you get these, remember his criticism on the UK food system is completely accurate and their growing conditions are leaps and bounds above ours in the US. So, imagine everything he says is actually 2X worse, and you're probably close to how our food system functions.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/River-Cotta...=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207758517&sr=1-5

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/River-Cotta...=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207758517&sr=1-2
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Hey, thanks for all those great references. I will have to look into them all! These will be great for procrastinating from my senior capstone/thesis work!

    I do grow lots of tomatoes, corn, potatoes, squashes, all rotated with beans/peas and chicken tractors. [​IMG] Had to make use of all the chicken cleanings. I checked my record book for last year, yeah, I'm weird like that... and I got 217 lbs of tomatoes that were a mix of early girl, cool weather Siberia, and roma between sept 4 and oct 9. Got more veggies out of it than I remembered, about 500 lbs. Unfortunately almost 200lbs of it was those blasted zucchinis. Still have bags in the freezer, but luckily, just a few more left. Going to do more corn this year because we had eaten it all by December last year. I'm gong to get that book by solomon since I'm sure it will shed some light on the cool season crops like broccoli and Asian veggies which for some reason I can't get to grow well in our cool damp weather.

    I wish I had time to market the veggies but they are much harder to tote to campus in one piece like eggs. I can't wait to get a place of my own to try the grains.... or I could just stay at home. LOL. I'm going to graduate school in the fall so the next 5-7 years of my life is going to be about 300 miles away from my chickens and garden. Luckily I'll still be in the PNW though and going to a more agricultural based school rather than UW so I can asorb the resources there while I can. All my friends keep asking me why I did engineering when I so should have went and done agriculture! lol

    Maybe this summer I will make a visit your operation to see if that is something I'd like to do when I grow up. [​IMG] It will be a good number of years before I really can get going on stuff I really want to do. I predict my insanity while living in a one bed room apt...
     
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Are you heading over to WSU then?

    Pigs eat zuccini. For that reason alone, everyone who gardens should have pigs. I was the coolest guy on the island last summer because everyone brought me zuccini and just watched in amazement as the pigs devestated them. They weren't fussy about size or tenderness. [​IMG]
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Going to OSU (Oregon State U) to study cell and molecular biology. I don't think I'd be able to survive on that side of the mountains. I like the wet, damp, soggy nature of this side... and if I came across too much snow, there is no way I'd be able to drive anywhere... she's meant for dry pavement really... as ironic as it seems for me to have such a car.

    Every time my mom brings up how fresh roasted pork is the best thing in the world, I say "ok", and she panics and tells me not to get a pig! LOL.

    I don't have the fencing or housing for a pig so I probably can't keep one contained. Imagine running down HWY 99 in the middle of the city trying to catch a pig... that would be a sight...

    Maybe this summer if things go well I can try a small farmers market, although the closest one to me I know of is the farmers market at the university... wonder how much that would cost to do and If I can get enough stuff to sell. I hear it's mostly crafts down there though, never been there myself. What farmers markets do you go to for your stuff?

    Or maybe I should just enjoy the last 2 months of my life where I have no commitments to anything academic or work wise. Just enjoy the chickens and garden before I have to leave them.
     
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Silkie, are you off to WSU? You'll be 7 or 8 miles from my Alma Mater (U of I [​IMG] ).

    It's been years since I've picked up Carla Emery's book. I can still remember how much anticipation there was about the school at Kendrick Idaho and how disappointing that a flood nearly washed it all the way down to the Clearwater. I'd already graduated from U of I and there was kind of mushroom cloud rising up behind me in Latah County. Well, more like a mushroom - maybe a morel [​IMG].

    Steve

    edited to say: oops! A little slow in my thought regarding WSU.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Becoming a Beaver after being a Dawg is going to be an adjustment. I work with lots of engineers who have been through the OSU program and have hired several entry levels from there, too... back in the day when I worked in an actual office with meeting and stuff. Actually, a background in Civil Engineering is pretty applicable to farming. It's just your own money you are spending rather than the public's, so there are regular budget issues.

    It's been about two years since I was at the U-District farm market. I recall it was light on the food/produce side of things. One of the better ones, althoug a bit north from you, is the Mt Vernon one. Some real quality produce, cheese and meat come out of the Skagit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Seattle U grad here. Lots of good engineers come out of Idaho, too.
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I'm doing bioengineering now... so when a general public person hears that, plus how I sell eggs and grow veggies, they get wide eyes and are like, so do you genetically engineer all your plants and stuff. Do you clone them? [​IMG]

    I just refer them to the genome sciences department and say I learn about drug delivery, tissue engineering, and materials for biomedical applications. Mostly dealings with the private sector and university research. Work and play are two different things here... I wish I could just play. Maybe I should have done ME or civil E so I could learn how to do more hands on building stuff!

    Moving from purple to orange is going to be a change for sure. I'm gong to be living in a city with a population just 25% bigger than the student body here...

    I got accepted to Seattle U, but couldn't afford tuition there.
     
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Silkiechicken, this sounds kinda personal. Did you push the wrong button? I feel like I'm listening in on a conversation in the next booth at Denny's. LOL
     

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