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 Growing stuff

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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:02 am

I'll add myself to that list of friends, if you don't mind.

Slurry is simply watered down cowshit which would be going on the grass anyway if the animals were out. It's the most natural thing in the world except it's stored and spread in a less natural way - mostly due to the timing.

Pigshit is the worst -it's noxious stuff. Piggies live their lives indoors all the time and so a huge amount of pig slurry is created.

It is my hope and intention to have a few piggies of my own out of doors before the end of the summer.

And I'll invite all of MN to a big barbecue when we grill the first one.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:24 am

Thanks for the explanations. Sorry to add another to the list of those being hammered by bureaucracy and incompetence. I'll have to find more cheerful lists for you to be on, like Great Posters!

I am a happy omnivore and I promise to bring salads, and pray no-one is spraying on the day! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:34 am

candide wrote:
Thanks for the explanations. Sorry to add another to the list of those being hammered by bureaucracy and incompetence. I'll have to find more cheerful lists for you to be on, like Great Posters!

I am a happy omnivore and I promise to bring salads, and pray no-one is spraying on the day! Smile


Salads mmm.

There's a restaurant in Portlaoise that serves a terrific mixed salad with halloume cheese and it's the best stuff - full of tiny, unrecognisable and unnamed leaves in reds and greens that I'd happily hoover up a la the aardvark in those great cartoons.

Can't think of the name for those funny mixes of lettuce but I've googled them and haven't found this mix. I have also had no success in finding out what the leaves are, but I think they could be grown indoors all year long - they're harvested before they get straggly and miserable from lack of sun.

Any idea candide about unusual or interesting lettuces? I grew rocket and little gem and lambs' lettuce last year.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:41 am

the red stuff is probably chard - quite hard to get here commerically - but easy to grow in Glasshouse.

Im putting in Lollo Rosso,Rocket,Little gem and rake of other ones that my Italian Brother in law is bringing back from Calabria and Sicily where he is from - we're looking at becoming Farmers Market traders so a little experimentation is underway
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:51 am

It's not chard - it looks more like a herb, from memory more like red shamrock, fine.

Farmers' market trading sounds like a great idea - there are a couple of guys featured in one of the Offaly papers last week - Tullamore Tribune I think, who have set up their own market in Killeigh. You should call over one Saturday (there all day, till about half five. One guy sells his own meat and there are two others who sell mostly their own home-grown vegetables. It's a bit out of the way but my mother goes there every week and stocks up on veg for herself and my three sisters. They had the best sprouts at Christmas.

There are a couple of organic traders who sell veg in Naas - super selection of stuff but the vast majority of it imported.

What kind of research are you doing - and does this lettucery now need a thread of its own?
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:20 am

Yeah ye're probably right - when I think about it -chard is red stemmed with leaves of varying colours - must check it out given the description - maybe somebody has figured out how to make shamrock growing a year round business Very Happy

As regards the farmers market thingy - well being unemployed and the manner in which I have been cast adrift has provoked a degree of introspection to put it lightly. Part of me is fecked if Im going to work for anybody else again - another part says that if I have to work hard- well it would be better to doing something I really enjoy and have an interest in - I've done too many things and did them well I must add, but there was a massive degree of shoving a square peg into a round hole and learning to like it - the thoughts of going back to logistics and the like bores me senseless - may have to do it in the end -beggars cant be choosers - but I would like to have a crack at this before I do.

I was an avid gardener as a kid - we grew everything at home back in the 70's and early 80's - I had my own patch where I grew Lettuces,onions,tomatoes,green beans,carrots,scallions,rhurbarb,fennel,strawberries, raspberries and logan berries - neighbours ,relatives and friends would be loaded up after visiting our house and what was leftover went to feed my sisters pony (I kept chickens and ducks - when I think about it now - myself and the old man built the most high falutent chickenhouse in the South East - it was the business!) - pottering around the garden now for probably the first time in 20 years is bringing it all back. Myself and the Italian - who is a superb cook, have been wondering around the local markets ,which are really not up to much in fairness - both in presentation and produce and we can see opportunities - I practically ran a very famous Green Grocers/Gourmet shop in Donnybrook for about 6-7 months when I first came back to Ireland and it really gets under your skin - going to the wholesale market at 5 in the morning - getting the best produce and bargains and back to shop to set it up properly -it was a great education and I learnt from the master there - who has sadly passed away since.

So we are tossing around possiblities of doing stuff - he would like to do Italian imports and Italian style hot foods while I would like to do more of 50/50 mix Ireland/Italy with as much fresh local produce as possible - people like to buy local at these markets - so Im currently researching all the necessary regulations,EU health and Safety standards,leasing farmland,commerial property etc etc and feeling out investors - it will be small scale to start - but first impressions count and you have to hit the ground running.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:34 am

Kate P wrote:


Any idea candide about unusual or interesting lettuces? I grew rocket and little gem and lambs' lettuce last year.

I like the cut-and come again types, like perpetual spinach. I have got seed for chard for this year but hope to grow it to vegetable size. Happily there is a fantastic organic grower at our local weekly market (he works the land with horses and occasionally uses them to travel to the market) and my own tiny efforts seem irrelevant. I got a tray of leaves in the Autumn that I was told would keep going all winter unless we had hard frost. Well, we had hard frost but they are still going. I must find out the name. Very peppery, cress-like taste with small reddish curly leaves the size of baby spinach. Amazing. A large pot beside them shattered in the frost but, in their wooden tray propped up on the dog kennel, they are still growing. I also let nasturtiums and violas grow through my tiny edibles bed and they are a nice addition to a salad. I used to pickle nasturtium seeds long ago and use them like capers.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:59 am

Maybe a mod would move the last few posts here onto the Growing Things thread, please and thanks?

Edo, there were a couple of guys who used to go to the Naas market - not sure if they still do, who imported Italian deli stuff and sold it there. They also sold it during the week from a shop as far as I'm aware. They sold great cheeses, a superb selection of olives, marinated peppers, stuffed thingies and you could sample everything. I'm going back a couple of years with that memory. The market has since moved from the car park of the Osprey hotel to the area around the Storehouse restaurant (down past what used to be Lawlor's in the centre of Naas, through Poplar Square I think, where the Capri Grill and Barker and Jones bookshop are). It closes about three - and by the time I can get there on a Saturday a number of traders have left. There might even be sellers of free range chicken from your neck of the woods. But it's really worth a trip, if you haven't been there.

You sound more enthusiastic and optimistic than I've heard you here yet. I'm really happy for you.


Quote :
I like the cut-and come again types, like perpetual spinach. I have got seed for chard for this year but hope to grow it to vegetable size. Happily there is a fantastic organic grower at our local weekly market (he works the land with horses and occasionally uses them to travel to the market) and my own tiny efforts seem irrelevant. I got a tray of leaves in the Autumn that I was told would keep going all winter unless we had hard frost. Well, we had hard frost but they are still going. I must find out the name. Very peppery, cress-like taste with small reddish curly leaves the size of baby spinach. Amazing. A large pot beside them shattered in the frost but, in their wooden tray propped up on the dog kennel, they are still growing. I also let nasturtiums and violas grow through my tiny edibles bed and they are a nice addition to a salad. I used to pickle nasturtium seeds long ago and use them like capers.

There's nothing irrelevant about your efforts, just because they're a little less Amish, so to speak.

Any chance of a pic of that lettuce which has overwintered so well? It sounds good...

I like the idea of the violas too - though the temptation to sugar them and serve them with dessert in the summertime would be hard to pass...
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:17 am

candide wrote:
I had a moment when I thought a wormery would be great for the garden but I heard about the smell and abandoned the idea. Is it true that they smell terrible?

I haven't found this at all. But as I mentioned, I used a commercial product. It was so clean it is recommended for indoors. Sure enough I read online about people who keep the smaller ones in their apartments. Thats taking it a bit far but gives you an idea.

Edit: Did i read that right, do farmers actually use human shit slurry? Surely not?
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:53 am

Kate P wrote:


Any chance of a pic of that lettuce which has overwintered so well? It sounds good...

Here you are:

[url][/url]
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:21 am

Quote :

I haven't found this at all. But as I mentioned, I used a commercial product. It was so clean it is recommended for indoors. Sure enough I read online about people who keep the smaller ones in their apartments. Thats taking it a bit far but gives you an idea.

Edit: Did i read that right, do farmers actually use human shit slurry? Surely not?

Farmers don't actually do it themselves but they facilitate councils in getting rid of it - and it's likely that a lot of that will stop in the future because farmers can't be in Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes and take it. Nor can you use it to grow malting barley.

It's done by separate professional companies contracted by the councils. it's become slightly more popular over the last couple of years because of the high price of fertiliser and there are good nutrients in it. The whole farm has to be soil tested first to see if it's capable of taking the nutrients and how much can be spread.

Husband thinks time not far off when farmers will refuse to take it and councils will find themselves with a lot of the sludge that's left over from sewerage treatment plants. Some is dried and pelleted but in the main it's not.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:29 am

Kate P wrote:
Quote :

I haven't found this at all. But as I mentioned, I used a commercial product. It was so clean it is recommended for indoors. Sure enough I read online about people who keep the smaller ones in their apartments. Thats taking it a bit far but gives you an idea.

Edit: Did i read that right, do farmers actually use human shit slurry? Surely not?

Farmers don't actually do it themselves but they facilitate councils in getting rid of it - and it's likely that a lot of that will stop in the future because farmers can't be in Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes and take it. Nor can you use it to grow malting barley.

It's done by separate professional companies contracted by the councils. it's become slightly more popular over the last couple of years because of the high price of fertiliser and there are good nutrients in it. The whole farm has to be soil tested first to see if it's capable of taking the nutrients and how much can be spread.

Husband thinks time not far off when farmers will refuse to take it and councils will find themselves with a lot of the sludge that's left over from sewerage treatment plants. Some is dried and pelleted but in the main it's not.

Isn't this extremely dangerous in the wrong areas like NEAR FRESH WATER LAKES WE DRINK FROM ?

The rain creates runoff into the lake like Lough Corrib and children end up getting sick from cryptosporidium and e-coli.

Does any other animal on the planet consume its own excrement or is it just us?
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:52 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Quote :

I haven't found this at all. But as I mentioned, I used a commercial product. It was so clean it is recommended for indoors. Sure enough I read online about people who keep the smaller ones in their apartments. Thats taking it a bit far but gives you an idea.

Edit: Did i read that right, do farmers actually use human shit slurry? Surely not?

Farmers don't actually do it themselves but they facilitate councils in getting rid of it - and it's likely that a lot of that will stop in the future because farmers can't be in Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes and take it. Nor can you use it to grow malting barley.

It's done by separate professional companies contracted by the councils. it's become slightly more popular over the last couple of years because of the high price of fertiliser and there are good nutrients in it. The whole farm has to be soil tested first to see if it's capable of taking the nutrients and how much can be spread.

Husband thinks time not far off when farmers will refuse to take it and councils will find themselves with a lot of the sludge that's left over from sewerage treatment plants. Some is dried and pelleted but in the main it's not.

Isn't this extremely dangerous in the wrong areas like NEAR FRESH WATER LAKES WE DRINK FROM ?

The rain creates runoff into the lake like Lough Corrib and children end up getting sick from cryptosporidium and e-coli.

Does any other animal on the planet consume its own excrement or is it just us?

You're right. It is very dangerous especially in the hands of farmers who spread slurry too early. Unfortunately there is very little control over this due to lack of local authority staff to do checks.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:12 pm

It is dangerous, of course it is, if it's not done properly. But that's rarely the case anymore.

On the other hand, councils don't have the same regulation on them as farmers do and have more or less free rein to dispose of stuff in lakes and rivers and into the sea because they can claim lack of resources to update facilities. How many councils have been taken to court for fishkills?
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:25 pm

What's the problem with slurry-spreading too early?

How is it not done properly - spreading it too near freshwater rivers and lakes we suck water out of for consumption isn't on is that right or places where we know it will seep into the water table ?

Are there Directives on this and what are their numbers ?

I'm concerned we are spraying human faeces all across fields everywhere - it's not a good idea unless it's treated properly or allowed to turn into compost of a bacteriologically benign and appropriate status.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:16 pm

Slurry shouldn't be spread on frozed land and shouldn't be spread when it is rainy. This is to stop it from being washed into rivers, lakes and streams. Unfortunately, its pretty hard in Ireland to predict when it is going to rain. Kate P made the point that the EU regulates this by date, but we can have a dry winter and a wet summer, as we know all too well.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:19 pm

But when you move beyond deadlines which are dates things become increasingly arbitrary and open to abuse. Is it worse to get an unseasonal year or to have an ongoing problem of corruption where the decision on dates is put in the hands of some quango the leader of which might not like slurry being spread at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:52 am

That is amazing and a bit scarey. What about the contents of septic tanks from farmhouses? It has to be treated first right?

Audior, a friend of mine is from east clare, whenever I went down there his father, an avid fisherman used give us long talks on the spread of algae bloom in the lakes of that area. It can actually kill animals who swim in it such as dogs. Has this problem in any way been addressed?
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:09 am

We have a septic tank - and a farmhouse and a big percolation area.

It's a double tank. There's an inlet into one from the house and there's some separation of liquid into a second tank.

We have a hundred metres of land drainage pipe, with little holes in it and plenty of chippings in the trenches. Gradually the liquid seeps out - this is a percolation area. There would be some nutrient in it but very little. The percolation is needed because of the amount of water that goes in. To get planning permission we had to pass a percolation test.

Most people would hire in someone to empty the solids and that's removed to a sewerage treatment plant. It's cost 400-500. If it's working right, you shouldn't have to empty the tank except every two or three years.

But people do spread it on fields, usually tillage.

One time silage effluent was a problem, because farmers didn't realise that it was quite as dangerous.

Silage effluent is simply run off from sweating grass and for more than 20 years this has been under control when farmers did realise that when it leaks as the silage compacts and sweats, runs off a yard and ends up eventually into a water course that it can cause algal bloom etc. Silage pits are now sloped and seepage feeds into tanks for storage and is spread when the weather is suitable.

Again, the regulation on farmers is far, far higher than that on councils who in the main are responsible for the vast majority of the pollution that occurs in lakes and rivers.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:47 am

There is a guy on the Late Late talking about growing stuff...
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:12 pm

Plant food / water tip from this Canadian - use rain water (or melted snow) as it's cleaner than tap water though it looks dirtier. Also has more nutrients.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntlE46Zbu9c
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:16 pm

Plenty of melted snow here this morning... glorious sunshine here now.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:24 pm

Any of you Blarney Stoners going to post anything on the Green Party Ard Conference yesterday ?
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:54 pm

Kate P wrote:
Plenty of melted snow here this morning... glorious sunshine here now.


Now it's hailing so heavily, I'm afraid the dash to the car for the newspaper shop make cause physical injury. Thought I'd get some work done in the garden today, instead of watching the crocuses get battered.

The curse of the seven snotty orphans on this weather. Grrrr.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing stuff   Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:57 pm

It snowed for about 10 minutes out the window of my Sunday morning lecture... thought it was going to be snowing on my cycle home but luckily avoided that. Going to be windy for my cycle back in for my afternoon one though.
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