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Full Name
Member for
7 months
Volunteer Background
Lifelong plant lover, no formal training. Serious amount of space to play with since 2012. My property is mostly wooded hillside. Although it was logged many years ago, the grade is too steep for it to have been clear cut and many pockets are sublimely untouched. I forage and wildcraft gently. I use no chemicals and make all soil amendments on site (compost, biochar, chicken manure, hugel mounds, etc.)
Favorite Crops & Least Favorite Crops
At the moment I grow mostly plants that are fairly tolerant, as my fertile areas are relatively small. Also it is just me doing the work, so having plants that are less fussy lets me get more done.
I prefer perennials. I love growing garlic and have a variety that was growing wild along my stream that I've been working with. Medicinal herbs are a big focus as well.
Annual crops that grow really well here include; sweet potato, sorghum, peanut, parsnip, moschata squash, celosia (one of the few greens that stays edible all summer here).
Of the crops that don't grow well for me, bush beans (humidity; pole beans do quite well,) beets (I keep trying as this is one of my favorites), cool weather crops (spring and autumn are very short seasons here.)
Growing Experience
Growing food
Starting seeds
Growing perennials
Hand pollination
Time Commitment
2-5 hrs
Growing Location
Space Available
Small field (10,001 sq. ft. - 1 acre)
Soil Details
I am on a fairly large property that includes many types of soils. For the most part it is sandy. There are areas of pure clay, solid rock, etc. The soil in the open areas was degraded and compacted from cattle and hay production (~20 yrs before I got here.) In the areas I've been focusing on the recovery has been amazing, steadily expanding every year.
Neighbors' Crops (within 1/4 mile)
Basic garden hybrids, a few heirlooms. Corn, tomato, bean, pepper, onion, lettuce, cabbage, squash, melon, etc
Neighbors' crops (within 1 mile)
all the above plus apples, peaches, tobacco
Most of the growing around here is personal gardens and small fields of corn and hay for animal feed. There very well may be gmo's somewhere, but I have yet to dig up any commercial farms in the near area.
Other relevant information
The property is triangular shaped and surrounded on 2 sides by steep wooded hills (yes, I live in a holler.) There are the standard pests; Japanese beetles, aphids, squash vine borers, etc. They all do some damage, only the svb are really devastating. Voles and mice do bother some crops, but that varies each year and it has never been *all* of any crop. Late winter/early spring tends to be *very* wet.
I don't have farm machinery; all work is done manually and crops that require machine processing are not likely to be something I can handle.