I used to contribute a lot here, and Alan and I would even spend a lot of time on the phone talking about the forum, I have worked hard to make it more international, ..............quote]
Thank you Mike! I too hope this forum will get more international over time. There are still many gardeners from many countries missing. We know they have excellent gardening/seedsaving/breeding skills, and they may even be reading here, but we don't (yet) hear from them.
There was a thread about Greece recently, but no gardener from Greece contributed. I would love to hear what is happening in Greece gardening wise from people who live there. There are many other countries and continents with their own growing conditions and we don't hear from them.
I too hope that gardener's worldwide will be encouraged to join in - perfect English definitely NOT required.
Well, as I've been lurking on this board for the last two-and-a-half years, I decided it was time to register. I probably won't post much, but I enjoy reading about all the different projects people here have. I’m fairly new to gardening only having taken an interest in the last 4 years or so. I currently have limited space - 4 small raised veg beds, a strip of dirt between the beds and the western-facing fence, numerous pots and anywhere else I can get away with squeezing my stuff in around the garden. I love growing things from seed – the moment when they pop up above the soil is just magic (not to mention how much cheaper it is than buying in seedlings from the nursery). I enjoy growing flowers as well as vegetables, because I love to have colour in the garden and it makes me happy to see them.
Like many (I imagine) my first impulse to grow vegetables was the desire for a tasty tomato, followed closely by the desire to have fresh, new, sweet garden peas, which you rarely seem to find in the shops. Looking for seeds of a tasty tomato lead to internet research and thence to the joys of on-line seed catalogues! I never knew there were so many tomato varieties. Then while on the various websites I looked at other vegetable categories and found winter squash. I was instantly bewitched – the colours, the shapes, all the different varieties – who knew??? It was mesmerising. I have become a bit of a winter squash nut. This has also lead to the related category of melons, and they too have been added to my obsession.
Currently my desire to try new vegetable varieties outstrips both my skill level and the amount of space I have access to. I have no willpower, so I have more packets of seed than I know what to do with. I’ve started thinking about actually buying some property somewhere with enough space to gain some level of self sufficiency. At times this seems so far out of my reach that I call myself all kinds of idiot for even thinking I’d be able to pull it off. However these moments are not enough to stop me dreaming and saving the pennies.
The various breeding projects discussed on this board are inspiring, and sometimes I long just to jump in and have a go. But then I tell myself to learn to walk before I run. When I’m a bit more experienced – and have more time and space – I am going to give things a try. After reading about Red Miracle corn, wanting to try it and not being able to get the seed in Australia (and this is both the joy and curse of the internet, reading about great sounding things like Red Miracle Corn and Hutterite Soup Beans but I can’t get them here), well maybe the solution will be an attempt to breed something myself one day – the corn anyway, if not the beans. One day I’m going to have a field full of squash, next to a large melon patch, beside a field full on red sweetcorn...
Post by speciesrevival13 on Jun 19, 2013 15:18:15 GMT -5
Greetings all. Justin here. I am from the land downunder (you must know where that is right?, hahaha) and I am currently in the Sichuan province of China working on Panda Habitat restoration. I have been a Permaculture student and student of nature, for the past 20 odd years and guess I will be for the rest of my life. It is great that a forum like this exists and i look forward to spending lots of time exploring the variety of topics on offer and sharing my experience... Cheers everyone!
Post by speciesrevival13 on Jun 20, 2013 6:16:14 GMT -5
Bamboo is being planted here and a lot of it was a government initiative post 2008 earthquake. The gov also planted invasive Japanese Larch as a monoculture in the 1970's which is now becoming an issue. The local farmers barely survive through the year growing mostly cabbage (retailing for next to nothing), corn (feed for the animals), daikon radish, beans, squash, soyabean, potato and the odd eggplant and pepper. The average age of farmers here is late 60's early 70's. We are at just over 2000m altitude and the reserve runs to around 3500m so the winters are brutal. One growing season only, so am trying poly tunnels to get a winter crop out... I (on-the-sly) got brought in $300US of seedsavers open-pollinated seed from the US and am having success with my corn, beans and squash so far. They all grow on raised down hill beds with plastic mulch. I am doing the no-till chop and drop method. They all use chemicals and I am using EM and cover crops. It's funny at times. They see me sowing barley, wheat, alfalfa, chia, radish and even flaxseed, and they think I am wasting food! Time will tell I guess... The restoration will take some time though as there is little care for the land and the dominant paradigm in China is very destructive. Landslips occur frequently and sometimes we cannot even get up to our fields. Goats and cows graze the woodlands and alpine grasslands and chew everything. I have to be quite creative in how I go about this as I do not want to create another Larch conundrum or destroy the remaining forest cover... So for now it moves slowly slowly and through time and demonstration I hope to have a positive ripple effect into the broader community... Once again, it is awesome that this forum exists and I look forward to being around.
Welcome to all the newbies - I don't feel very far off a newbie myself, although I jumped in with both feet - this is an excellent board, and it's great to see more people contributing. Speciesreviva13, your garden sounds fascinating. Looking forward to hearing more about it.
Post by speciesrevival13 on Jun 22, 2013 17:09:56 GMT -5
Greetings from the Sichuan province! The wet season is in full swing here right now and it has been raining for the last few days. Not heavy rain, just steady. It is enough though to send half the mountain onto the road and for sure today, I will be in a queue of vehicles, waiting to get around it. Wolong nature reserve is a challenging place to work I have to say. I am volunteering for an American/Chinese NGO called Panda Mountain. As well as habitat restoration we are creating green enterprise, have a medicine plant program going on, are building TLUD (Top Lit Up Draft) cookers to make bio-char and to reduce impacts on local forests and there is of course, my Permaculture demonstration plots. So much to do, and so little time, hahahaha. As it is raining a lot right now I have a feeling I won't be getting up the mountain today. It is a 10 kilometer round trip from the township to our fields and in a 4wd it is challenging when it's dry, let alone in weather like this. See what happens I guess. The creek is fully flowing right now. I can hear it from my apartment and it is full of soil from the farming land and from the landslips. One does not even try to get through this water here, it is icy and people have died in it before. Hmmm, why am I here again? Hahaha. I will post a few pics up sometime soon so you can all see the challenges we face here. And so you can appreciate the astounding beauty of the place that for now, I call home... Cheers everyone and good times in your garden today!
Hello. I'm also pretty new, and tend to do more reading that posting. But I figured I'd say hello here. I'm in michigan, and steadily getting more and more addicted to gardening. I'm also pretty fascinated by genetics, and the idea of improving things, and making new things. Although I haven't gotten that far yet, I'm planning to start crossing things next year. Corn, and tomatoes are 2 things I'm interested in, and I see there are group projects for both here. But I have different goals for both. Short, bushy, high production corn, and the biggest non red fruity tomatoes I can make. This site is great, and I've already learned a lot. Anyway, I'm sure I'll be around here reading off and on for a long time, and hopefully sharing my seeds down the road.
I used to draw a lot and got pretty good at it. I don't do it much anymore because for whatever reason, the older I get, the more it seems pointless and tedious. But, I have one from a few years ago with non existent flowers that you may like. I'm not happy with the pots and originally planned to have the adult plants separated by a stream and reaching for each other. But drawing water out of your imagination is very difficult. So I gave up and put them in pots and added the baby. I also do not like that I made all the small leaves facing forward, but I was just frustrated with it at that point and tried to finish it up. I'll try to figure out how to add it to this post.
thanx richard I have some other ones that are even better, but I dont have a scanner to get them on the computer. Maybe I'll get them scanned some day and share. Its weird. I miss drawing, but whenever I try to start a project these days I end up giving up quickly. I guess I've grown impatient with it. It takes many hours for me to come up with a design and put it together. It also seems a lot harder to come up with ideas in the first place these days.