What have you picked/planted today?

Goatboy

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Jan 31, 2005
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Today, I was allowed to take everything I wanted from a Cauliflower field.

This field is about to be ploughed under. Seems a shame huh?

Cauliflower field by British Red, on Flickr

Baked spiced whole caulieflowers (sans leaves) for tea? Really tasty. That or caulieflower cheese... Hmmm.
Shame to plough it all in like you say. Can he not sell it for feed even?

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.
 

santaman2000

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Goatboy

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Jan 31, 2005
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I like caulie leaves steamed, boiled, shreded'n'fryed or mixed through mash. Just don't find they work when your baking a whole head. They just go nasty that way.
I agree that we should eat more of the plant.

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Goatboy

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Jan 31, 2005
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Speaking of using parts of the plant we often don't I was looking at a friends sweetcorn. It doesn't look like she'll get a crop of it this year now and I was wondering if the leaves and or stalks could be used for much? Was wondering about using the leaves to try making some baskets?

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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It makes quite nice fine tight cordage. Dry the leaves then work them damp.
They're also used to wrap around food for steaming though, savour rice bundles, with meat or fish in them if you choose, or for cake type mixes….you might look up day of the dead recipes, mexico, in a search and see what comes up ?

I too like the steamed green leaves from the cauliflowers. It's like buying leeks with the rich dark green tops cut off though, that's the best bits for stock or soup. Daft to throw away so much good food.

M
 

santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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Speaking of using parts of the plant we often don't I was looking at a friends sweetcorn. It doesn't look like she'll get a crop of it this year now and I was wondering if the leaves and or stalks could be used for much? Was wondering about using the leaves to try making some baskets?

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.

Are you asking about the leaves on the stalks? Or do you mean the shucks from around the ears? As Toddy said, the shucks are used in Mexican cooking but not actually eaten as such. However absolutely everything (stalks, leaves, shucks, and cobs) can be and are used for animal fodder here. Not just sweetcorn but also with all other corn for human consumption as well as field corn.
 
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British Red

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This is one of the reasons that, to my mind, modern farming is economic but not efficient. In the old small mixed farms anything "edible but unsaleable" was fodder for stock. The output of that stock went back to feed the land. Not just manure, but blood, bone, the lot. Specialised large vegetable farms cannot get the manure back on the land so you get degradation of the soil, needing more and more fossil fuel fertilisers just to get a crop out. There is now so little organic matter in that veg field that it erodes by many tonnes per acre, per year. The rain leaves orange residue (topsoil).

<sigh>
 

george47

Banned
Aug 14, 2015
194
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North Gulf of Mexico
"However absolutely everything (stalks, leaves, shucks, and cobs) can be and are used for animal fodder here. Not just sweetcorn but also with all other corn for human consumption as well as field corn."

I think it has to be - basically - chopped up and then fermented so the bacteria can work on it = silage.

I have a juicer and juice the cauli leaves and such - a real jolt, add radishes and the last hot peppers and it will light up your taste-buds.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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So, maybe ploughing back in the 'unwanted' greenery's not a bad thing ?
I cannot imagine my soil with no organic matter in it. It'd just be raw clay here.

Are the farmers not allowed to spread muck anymore down there ? one of the local farms did his a month back, and someone said he'd also broken out last years left over silage and spread that too.

M
 

British Red

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They can indeed spread manure Mary. But most of the fields are vegetable, not enough animal manure to go around. The plants continually take matter from the ground and are shipped away for consumption. Its a net deficit as the (human) manure is never shipped back to the field.
 

Goatboy

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Jan 31, 2005
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Cheers for the replies, I've used the shucks before like banana leaves to bak things in and as wraps when steaming dumplings. But it's always good to hear of other things to do with them. The stalk foliage I'll give it a do on the weaving front. Goodness knows what they'll come out like but when I was a hairdresser I did a lot of pleats.
Bang on on the leeks for soup, the leeks and the barley were/are my favourite bits and the more green leaves the better.
Also all the cabbage core, kale stems even brussel sprout stalks would be sliced & diced and in the soup or stock pot.
Please don't mind me of night soil and forestry. I was stuck out doing surveys on arial applied poo in plantations. In varying degrees of how rotted down before application. Was enough to give you the dry boak. Lovely little Christmas trees decorated with loo roll & poo. Summer was not my friend in that job.
But aye it's sad that a lot of farms can only get insurance if they use artificial fertiliser and so often dont plough in or apply muck, stuble or green manure. Some of the soil errossion figures are frightening and what soil that is left is left like the great dust bowl due to that and the added weight of modern machinery.
Sad.

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Angst

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have absolutely loved reading the pages of this thread....great stuff red, george, milius.

am going to have a go at the garlic red....so i can get a clove and plant now as you said?.....straight compost?.,...and are my baked beans nearly ready dude?

this year i've grown tubs and tubs of blackberries.....going to make jam....i bought my now huge blackberry monster for 50pence when he was literally just a dead looking stick in a pot on the reduced shelf at a garden centre, caught my eye, felt sorry for him, bought him home.....now hes all trellised up along an entire side of the garage....i swear i saw a cat enter under his foliage once and not come out again lol....

also carrots (from free seeds given in the local newspaper) in big pots just for a laugh as i'd been told it wouldnt work but they seem to be doing fine and fattening nicely at the tops, guess they need pulling soon...found them tricky to get going and foliage so fragile.....

also green chilli peppers grown from the seeds of a chilli i dried out that my neighbour grew two years ago...not too many on the 5 plants but i tried the first one a coupla days ago, just nibbled the end off and trust me my mouth knew about it lol....i reckon crunching up a whole one, seeds n' all would cause cranial combustion....have got two hanging up drying for seeds, will crop a couple each week for seeds and cooking also.

and a few potatoes, dwindling now but for 4 straight years i've continued getting potatoes from the same originals, best crop was last year.

next year i'm doing red bell peppers, aubergine, chillis and probably something else as yet undecided.....have done onions and marrows plus more in past. i also have a herb patch.....fresh mint, butter, new potatoes....heaven....

apart from the blackberries and potatoes i grow everything in long and normal pots....not in the ground and involve very little science, knowlege and rarely plant when i should or pay any attention to instructions, i dont germinate properly or really do anything correctly lol...most the time i just plonk the seed straight into multipurpose in small pots, wait till something happens then repot them outside in bigger ones....bad i know but its never failed yet and its always yielded a bit of fun, some nice flavours and enough for a satisfying meal or two. i'd love to be able to grow on a large scale and take it more seriously but lack of time/land etc prevents it.

but the best thing of all is that my eldest oliver always gets involved and muddy and really enjoys it too....we've also stored seeds from flowers he grew at school for next year and it teaches him not only 'gardening/home steading' but so much more, understanding the seasons, cycles, relationships, weather, preparation and the natural world including about green/black fly, slugs, snails, diseases....and much more.

keep it coming please Sirs!

regards

sonni

ps.....i've also got a hedgehog who visits nightly in the hope i've left something out for him....which i dont do every day on purpose but when i do he seems very grateful for the meal worms....i've got a squirrel who recently discovered that he can find food by commuting from the woods about 50 metres away, through my neighbours garden, up and along my fence over the shed roof to the neighbours the other side and he comes back about ten minutes later usually carrying a large conker in his mouth....at least thats what the look like, i didnt know squirrels ate conkers? i've also got a nice bird table which attracts magpies, wood pigeons, collared doves, wood peckers as well as all the small energetic ones, tits, robins, black birds the lot....i watch them through my workshop door....very pleasant.
 
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British Red

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Dec 30, 2005
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Happy to do you some Garlic sonni, bung me an address and let me know how many bulbs you would like. I've got some superb shallots if you want some of them too? Beans will be a while yet, I can't find the time to get to them!
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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"However absolutely everything (stalks, leaves, shucks, and cobs) can be and are used for animal fodder here. Not just sweetcorn but also with all other corn for human consumption as well as field corn."

I think it has to be - basically - chopped up and then fermented so the bacteria can work on it = silage......

I think you're right regarding the larger farms that store it for winter silage. We used to just chuck over the fence as was for the cattle and horses. Same thing with watermelon rinds. I remember medium sized cornfields (big enough to warrant combine harvesting but not huge) having the stubble left in the field a few weeks to attract migrating doves for shoots (the harvests were that close to the migration and shooting season) and then being plowed under as BR describes.

Time to make connections with dairy farms stuggling to clear their manure maybe ?.......

I was thinking something along those lines also, but I was leaning toward chicken farms.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
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Trouble is the large dairy farms are generally 100+ miles away. Then it's not economically viable to truck manure because people want uber cheap food. So farms have to decide the land to remain competitive. It's beyond daft our constant pursuit of cheap food.
 

george47

Banned
Aug 14, 2015
194
0
North Gulf of Mexico
There is a 200 acre cattle farm in parts surrounding - and even inside - Heathrow! Greenbelt!

I have let things go. I have a 'torpedo grass' invasion at one end of my pond - a bad invasive grass and it will be very hard to get the spray on it because it is bordered by canna lilies, then a shrub, and my 20 foot of Navaho blackberries. I do not worry about spraying on some small bit of grass growing on the water, but this would be too much to get into the water.

I have not built my five planters, and my pond electrical system has a fault...........drat. I am an electrician so should figure it out, but these intermittent faults can be tricky. From my house is a switch that sends power through 80 foot of marsh grass, then through a culvert under the road, through the woods, under a old road in a PVC conduit buried, to an old metal junction box where it has a power drop for the chicken garden. Then down an old ditch, back under the road in a PVC conduit (buried) and through the woods 100 foot in PVC water line, to a junction box on a pole where the pond library has a buried power supply (ceiling fan, lights, and AC sometimes) another drop for the well pump, another for the pond bio filter, and 80 foot to a outlet in a junction box on the pond pier - that powers a aerator fountain and strings of fairy lights. 400 foot of wire, most 12/2, some 10/2, 3 junction boxes, and a number of devices (3 pumps) - almost all salvaged stuff. It blows the ground fault breaker for no apparent reason, after trouble free years of using the system. I took apart 2 junction boxes and they are fine. Some of the wire is salvaged - when Will lived in the tent for three and a half years he had wire running all over - I reused that, now 10 years old and exposed to the weather, and even had trees fall on it.............. So need to fix that.

Then remove some ginger which is taking one of my canna patches, clear brush encroaching all the pond gardens - winter tidy up.

Plant seeds - peas, sugar snap peas, some things like carrots, no idea if they will do anything, I am not good at winter gardens and it is very late.

I have 2 Mayhaw bushes I started from twigs and are pretty big, a chinquipan tree and Katalpa tree I also grew in pots - they need planting, and 5 rose of Sharon I started in pots and are now big enough to plant out.

Wills old tent is still in the woods but faded and leaking - it was an aid item sent by China for Hurricane Katrina relief. W got homeless from the hurricane so lived in this for years across and down from us, getting water piped from this house. After this picture we salvaged a wood picket fence and put that around the tent, and then put an electric fence on that. A tent with a picket fence, and an electric one. And lots of that electrical stuff is what I used. Kate and weasel dog.

 

george47

Banned
Aug 14, 2015
194
0
North Gulf of Mexico
Hello Angst (is there some reason for the name? Garden related?)

Love carrots in big pots, works great. If you can get a purple potato from the supermarket plant a couple in a pot - mine always do great. Black berries! I love growing them - the thing the creatures do not get because mine have wicked thorns - really bad thorns.

Hedgehog, Ha; I have raccoons, opossums, rats, squirrels, rabbits, flying squirrels, and a million birds - and they all love fruit. As we speak the porch behind me is getting humming birds lined up for the feeders I put out this time of year, this is where the ones from the North hang till they fly across the Gulf of Mexico to Central America for winter, so need a good feeding.

If you saw the scene from my porch in the previous posting, here is the other side of living on a bayou on hurricane central. I think this is hurricane Gustave and the same view from the porch and my wife swam to retrieve the dogs paddling pool. This is why all is in raised beds and pots, salt water floods - and if raised I hope good fresh water soaking will save them from the salt death. We have gone swimming up the streets here 3 times, a cool way to do the neighborhood - we wear life vests though, one does not know how it will go when the flood goes out. The dogs swim with us except Weasel who rides on my wifes shoulder - he is not a water dog. (flood water here is warm like a bath, as the bayou is all summer.)