Zero Input Gardening

mid_tn_mama(6)April 24, 2005

I refer you to my post on the Organic Gardening forum which didn't attract the ideas I'd hoped. Perhaps someone here can comment on low-tech ideas for food production/sustainability. Read my last post on the thread and you may understand more of what I am looking for...

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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

I think you would get a better response if you changed your title, and asked specifically what you want to know. "Zero Input Gardening" isn't what you're asking about, and it's probably throwing people off the track. "Low Cash Input" might be a better way to phrase it.

Your post over in the OG forum shows that you're going in the right direction, and you've been doing considerable thinking as well.

One thing that I would suggest probably would take some money: improving your pasture to cut down on feed bills. Plain old grass still leaves a lot to be desired, nutrition-wise. People who don't have livestock don't realize how much it costs to feed even a few animals.

Even your chickens won't do well without some grains, so sowing types they would eat (and that would hopefully reseed) could be a way to reduce additional costs.

It sounds like you're doing a good job.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 3:29PM
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seraphima(z4 AK)

Dear mama,

Try the following: rhubarb, horseradish, mint, wild leeks, comfrey, raspberry, blackberry, chives, currants, sorrel, perennial celery, also called lovage, 'walking' or Egyptian onions. Plant em once, harvest a long time. Rhubarb likes nitrogen. Plant with plenty of manure.

On the subject of free, most people overlook a free nitrogen fertilizer: human urine, which is sterile until it hits the air, easily collected, and easily applied. Dilute with water.

Consider changing your title; what you are really talking about is sustainable gardening (or agriculture) and a very, very good idea! Congratulations on your efforts so far!

Here is a link that might be useful: Your link, now hot

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 6:53PM
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I agree you are on the right track but not framing your wants properly. You could simply plant a few desired fruit trees for instance and then let them be and with zero efforts on your part you may get some fruit. That is not what I believe you want. Rather you are looking for good plants that will be around for the future and will provide a harvest with LITTLE work on your part. Fruit trees fit that bill.
And don't forget about succesion. Don't just plant say a peacon tree but think of plants that you can work in the different stages of the peacon's developement; crops you could harvest while the tree grows in but will one day be gone such as fruit trees (10-15 years down the road they would need to come out). You would start out with lots of sun so plant those sun lovering plants to provide for the first few years as the fruit trees grow, then work towards the p/shade plants (onions are great at the base of apples for instance) as the fruit mature and shade plants in the end once the pecans shade becomes more of an issue.
None of this is zreo input but rather is a lot of work. But you will be providing food stuffs (and mulch plants /insect catch plants/ ect.) in the between times. You will be working with ... not against the natural flow of the land. Learning to work with rather than against nature is half the battle ;o)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 2:40PM
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I thought it was pretty clear what you were asking about in your OP (but perhaps the title was a little confusing for people), so it just goes to show you never know where an internet discussion will roam. I think sometimes people just read the title and don't bother really reading the post or other responses and just fire away. Oh, well.

Anyway, yes you are on the right track. And right to come to the permaculture forum with your quest(ion). And reading that thread has actually given me some good ideas for where to look for free stuff. My garden is new and it will need quite a bit of input for a while as far as mulch, etc. before we can be growing our own all the time. We can get truckloads of free mulch at the city dump, but that is about 20 miles away and my husband's little pickup can barely handle the weight. But the other day I watched the "greens" collection truck go by. It scooped up the cans, emptied them into the hopper, and it looked as though stuff was being chewed up as it went down. It didn't just go down, it kind of went in gradually and was turning and churning a bit (my house is slightly above street level, so my vantage point allowed this observation). So now I'm wondering if they would stop at my house and just empty their truck in my front yard if I asked 'em. We pay so much for our waste service, and we barely take out the trash twice a month, so they should give us something for our money, right? Anyway, I'll be on the lookout for free organic matter from now on!


    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 11:42PM
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romur1(z7 NM)

Hey Mama
I'm not as wordy as most, so here are a couple of good links. That " it should work just fine on it's own " works for me. I just settled down after boucin' around for the last 10 or so, so i'm starting out new again.
All the Best Ron


Here is a link that might be useful: Perennial Grains

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 1:51AM
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kumquat12(z8b FL)

Can it be used in cooking like celery? I hate buying that big log of cellulose and having to throw half of it away unused.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 3:36PM
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