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Old 02-09-2017, 05:06 PM
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Salish Blue perennial grain is a new kid on the block, so it will be awhile before the seed is available to the general public.

http://seedworld.com/washington-stat...rennial-grain/
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:23 PM
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Most corn isn't patented, the people who have gotten in trouble are farmers who signed a contract not to replant the seeds,
We have local farmers who planted heirloom corn with no contract and no patent. The neighbor's patented corn crossed with it. The farmers saved their seeds and replanted next year. They were slapped with a big lawsuit because the seeds they saved and planted carried the patented genetics.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:21 PM
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Except for the rabbits, corn and hay will do for all of them. Anything else is a bonus. My grandparents lived an died on their working farm. It was largely self sustaining. He kept a chunk of it planted in corn or sweet corn. Once it dried and was harvested, it would go into the corn crib. My grandmother and I would go out each morning and shuck and shell a reasonable amount to feed to the chickens. Cattle got whole ears, as well as the hogs. Hay, which came off the place was in the barn and during the winter we'd pull and spread a few bales a couple of times a week.
I have the same thoughts that growing your own meat with purchased feed still leaves you dependent on the system that delivers it etc..

So you can feed dried corn as-is, without grinding, as feed to chickens and pigs? It sounds like they were given this without much else and they did ok? Or did the chickens and pigs get hay too?

Last edited by allenwpax; 06-14-2017 at 11:23 PM.. Reason: to improve the question
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:23 AM
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I have the same thoughts that growing your own meat with purchased feed still leaves you dependent on the system that delivers it etc..

So you can feed dried corn as-is, without grinding, as feed to chickens and pigs? It sounds like they were given this without much else and they did ok? Or did the chickens and pigs get hay too?
I have the same concerns about food supply. We try to have a month or so on hand. In most SHTF of apparant long term nature, we'll begin immediate slaughtering and canning nearly everything in order to save feed to get breeding stock thru the winter. All our flock is free ranged across the yard every day. They only range so far and there are only so many bugs/weed seeds (favorite of the chickens), slugs (favorite of the ducks) and tender grass (favorite of the geese).

As a thought exercise, suppose your family's only raised meat source was 1 chicken a week. With only one chicken per week per family, you better be fishing and hunting too. Let it be a 5 lb that was canned at the peak of its growth. That's 250 lbs of chicken. A few years ago, I documented the food/growth of our meat birds using store bought food blend... so let's assume a mix of corn, barley & wheat. Say, 5 lbs of food per pound of flesh (give our take). Now we're up to 1250 pounds of grain, and your family get's to share 1 chicken per Week.

I grow and carry seed stocks, but, not enough to ramp up to the desired scale. So, I'll need a few years to expand the seed stocks, while at the same time, bring fallow land back into condition ready to 'plant'.

We feed whole corn as a treat for the birds. I believe the chickens' gizzards can process it efficiently. The geese gobble it up with great joy, but they don't have a gizzard to grind... I've read that whole grain will pass thru a pig's system too quickly, so a lot of nutrients/calories are wasted. Cows have enough stomachs. Really should plan to crack/grind grain; that's what or ancestors did for a reason.

Someday I'd like to develop a pasture system 'out back' that could protect a dedicated flock of grass eating critters, but the coyotes will raise the bar, among other potential thieves.

inMichigan
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by allenwpax View Post
I have the same thoughts that growing your own meat with purchased feed still leaves you dependent on the system that delivers it etc..

So you can feed dried corn as-is, without grinding, as feed to chickens and pigs? It sounds like they were given this without much else and they did ok? Or did the chickens and pigs get hay too?
Everything I have read is that the more a grain is broken down, the more nutrients can be absorbed by the livestock.

I purchased a grinder to crack the corn for feed.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:37 PM
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I have the same concerns about food supply. We try to have a month or so on hand. In most SHTF of apparant long term nature, we'll begin immediate slaughtering and canning nearly everything in order to save feed to get breeding stock thru the winter. All our flock is free ranged across the yard every day. They only range so far and there are only so many bugs/weed seeds (favorite of the chickens), slugs (favorite of the ducks) and tender grass (favorite of the geese).

As a thought exercise, suppose your family's only raised meat source was 1 chicken a week. With only one chicken per week per family, you better be fishing and hunting too. Let it be a 5 lb that was canned at the peak of its growth. That's 250 lbs of chicken. A few years ago, I documented the food/growth of our meat birds using store bought food blend... so let's assume a mix of corn, barley & wheat. Say, 5 lbs of food per pound of flesh (give our take). Now we're up to 1250 pounds of grain, and your family get's to share 1 chicken per Week.

I grow and carry seed stocks, but, not enough to ramp up to the desired scale. So, I'll need a few years to expand the seed stocks, while at the same time, bring fallow land back into condition ready to 'plant'.

We feed whole corn as a treat for the birds. I believe the chickens' gizzards can process it efficiently. The geese gobble it up with great joy, but they don't have a gizzard to grind... I've read that whole grain will pass thru a pig's system too quickly, so a lot of nutrients/calories are wasted. Cows have enough stomachs. Really should plan to crack/grind grain; that's what or ancestors did for a reason.

Someday I'd like to develop a pasture system 'out back' that could protect a dedicated flock of grass eating critters, but the coyotes will raise the bar, among other potential thieves.

inMichigan
I'm in the process of bringing fallow land back to planting ready, some is being brush hogged and some is being done by the pigs.

I think a conservative approach on corn is 6000lbs per acre, that could feed quite a few chickens and pigs on just a few acres. However to your point, having sufficient seed stock, fuel to ready the ground, plant and harvest, and the ability to store 18,000lbs of corn present some issues.
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:44 PM
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I've seen a few posts on this thread mention barley to feed to livestock, so an observation:

I planted some barley a few years ago. First time, as a grain for chickens and maybe beer brewing.

Barley is subject to smut, both loose and covered. As my small patch came out of the boot stage, I saw some heads with covered smut. It's controlled with fungicide in big operations, but I just had a small patch (20' by 40') so I'd walk the patch several times a day and remove the diseased heads before the fungus spores could spread. I'd stuff them in a plastic bag for disposal.

This is the third year in planting it and I have reduced the amount of diseased heads to almost nothing (total eight affected heads), no fungicide needed.

Next year I'll plant maybe 5000 square feet from the seed that I'll save. Still small, but an easy size for me to walk twice a day looking for diseases.
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Old 06-17-2017, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by fullofit View Post
I think a conservative approach on corn is 6000lbs per acre, that could feed quite a few chickens and pigs on just a few acres. However to your point, having sufficient seed stock, fuel to ready the ground, plant and harvest, and the ability to store 18,000lbs of corn present some issues.
I got to thinking about yields of the modern world and that of a simpler time. As we can see from this US yield map, location is key to know for any quoted yield. There's a reason why our part of the country isn't know for Corn compared to Iowa.


from https://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and...unty/cr-yi.php

Another factor is 'when' was the yield data gather and under what farming conditions? With extended family as farmers, I rode on the combine and played in the grain wagons in the early 70's. This chart shows the amazing increase in corn productivity. I spoke my Aunt/Uncle about it... they're summary is amazing breeding, chemicals, pumped irrigation, weather forecasting and more chemicals.... So, if we're thinking heritage breeds on non-irrigated fields of non-Iowa soil, 20 bu per acre might be reasonable.


from https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn...eldtrends.html

According to the internet, shelled corn is 56 lbs .. so
1 acre post-SHFT, non-irrigated, non-chemical, heirloom seeds---> 1120 pounds of shelled corn (and you need a way to shell it). This is pretty close to my estimate for 1 chicken a week calculation.

When you're able to plant your first few acre, I'm anxious to see the yield if you are using heirlooms. You'll have to trial different strains so see what works for our degree-days, rainfall, and soil.... kind of my like barley/wheat trials but with your tractor.

You'll have a tricky problem in the pre-SHTF world... you've got nearby farms growing non-heirloom corn. That pollen will not let your corn breed true for the next generations of seed unless you bag the ears and hand pollinate 200 ears in the middle of the field. (200 is a good number of ears to keep the genetic diversity) Another route, is to find an heirloom corn that tassels faster than the local fields. Unfortunately, you'll give up yield in exchange for seed security. Here are some varieties: http://www.sherckseeds.com/pages/seeds/grains/corn/ for our area (Michigan/Indiana). As well as: http://sustainableseedco.com/field-corn/

inMichigan

PS
1. 6000 lbs looks like from the map to be today's typical yield in his part of MI---which would be modern farming techniques
2. Wheat and barley are essentially self pollinating, so what your neighbors plant is not important.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:25 PM
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What do you mean by "seed corn"? If you are thinking of saving your corn for "seed" for planting the following year, you have to be very careful. Most varieties of corn are patented and keeping seeds for replanting is strictly forbidden. There have been several lawsuits in my area of seed companies protecting their patents. If you truly mean that you want to produce corn for seeds you need to get one of the legacy heirloom breeds. There have been cases where non-patented corn is pollinated by a neighbor's patented corn on the next farm resulting in lawsuits even though the original farmer planted only NON-patented corn.
It's a bad idea to save the seed of most non heirloom varieties even if you disregard the legalities most modern corn seed you buy is a hybrid and the saved seed looses the hybrid vigor and has greatly reduced yields. In some cases it isn't even viable.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:49 PM
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It's a bad idea to save the seed of most non heirloom varieties even if you disregard the legalities most modern corn seed you buy is a hybrid and the saved seed looses the hybrid vigor and has greatly reduced yields. In some cases it isn't even viable.
not entirely true,,,as long as the seed you start with is open pollinated and not a hybrid you can save and use the seed ,,,heirloom is just a way of saying it was grown in a certain area for x years[I believe 50 years] it too is open pollinated ,,but there are lots of open pollinated corns that are not marketed as a heirloom

and as to this tread another thought is to use sunchokes as a hay crop,,,it produces a high quality hay if harvested as flowers start to form ,,,it reduces the size of the tubers but would make a good crop of hay that if worse came to worse could be dug and eat as well
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:49 AM
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All of the seed we have bought in the last few years are open pollinated, and we're not particular if it's old enough to be called heirloom, heritage or not. We're more interested in how it grows on our land (soil, climate, etc). I can't image why anybody on this forum would have more than a handful of hybrid packets in their seed collection.

As for 'most varieties' not being open pollinated, perhaps in terms of number and tonnage planted commercially, but I find plenty to choose from in the Seed Saver's Exchange catalog (as well as other companies):

# named varieties in this corn category:
46 dent corn
36 flint corn
31 flour corn
38 popcorn
32 sweet corn
18 unsorted corn

Of these 201 open pollinated named corn varieties, a handful show up in seed catalogs because somebody has taken the effort to grow them on a large enough scale, the variety has some name recognition, and they grow well enough in a large enough area to be profitable to sell. Buried in that list will be a few varieties that are perfect for FullofIt's land in a post-SHTF, non-chemical, low-fuel-use, non mega irrigated couple of acres. We aren't talking about commercial farms greater than 100's of acres, if not 1000's of acres.

inMichigan

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Doesn't everybody?

#2 Seed Savers Exchange has 'for sale' seeds which is small list, I am referring to the the member exchange/swap/sale list/book/online which is for the seriously addicted seed junkies
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:55 AM
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I have the same thoughts that growing your own meat with purchased feed still leaves you dependent on the system that delivers it etc..

Absolutely. This is a prepper forum significantly more so than a self reliance forum.

Most of the gardening talk here could just as easily be posted to a non prepper board. Lots of dependence. Little self sufficiency. I have a lot to learn about gardening, but there isn't much useful information discussed here that isn't tied to a dependency on the current industrial system.

I bought a book a few years ago by Steve Solomon called the Intelligent Gardener. It had been referenced on a number of self reliant podcasts and blogs I enjoy, so I assumed it was prepper related. The assumption was my mistake. Its a fine book, that in normal times is an excellent resource to learn about proper soil and how to create it - he has a method / recipe for soil. But it has little to do with self reliance. I'm not going to be able to buy seaweed and lime to add to my soil if the economy crashes or N.Korea pulls off an EMP. All my gardening is done with a pioneer approach. What few modern conveniences I do use like a tiller, can be replaced with alternative pioneer methods.

I just think its a bad idea to get accustomed to the volume of produce one can grow when using store bought starters plants, using raised beds that generally require buying and replacing the soil, using water dependent on the city utility or an electric pump etc. If the worst happened, many folks would be surprised by how much lower their actual growing from scratch skills were. To each his own, but as a prepper, I try to garden like Ma and Pa Ingalls for the most part.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:22 AM
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Absolutely. This is a prepper forum significantly more so than a self reliance forum.

Most of the gardening talk here could just as easily be posted to a non prepper board. Lots of dependence. Little self sufficiency. I have a lot to learn about gardening, but there isn't much useful information discussed here that isn't tied to a dependency on the current industrial system.

I bought a book a few years ago by Steve Solomon called the Intelligent Gardener. It had been referenced on a number of self reliant podcasts and blogs I enjoy, so I assumed it was prepper related. The assumption was my mistake. Its a fine book, that in normal times is an excellent resource to learn about proper soil and how to create it - he has a method / recipe for soil. But it has little to do with self reliance. I'm not going to be able to buy seaweed and lime to add to my soil if the economy crashes or N.Korea pulls off an EMP. All my gardening is done with a pioneer approach. What few modern conveniences I do use like a tiller, can be replaced with alternative pioneer methods.



I just think its a bad idea to get accustomed to the volume of produce one can grow when using store bought starters plants, using raised beds that generally require buying and replacing the soil, using water dependent on the city utility or an electric pump etc. If the worst happened, many folks would be surprised by how much lower their actual growing from scratch skills were. To each his own, but as a prepper, I try to garden like Ma and Pa Ingalls for the most part.
while what you say is true to a degree at times its not ,,,I am prepping my ground as well as my food supplies ,,if NK pulls off a EMP its not going to reduce the soil I have built,,,the compost I added is still going to be there and will help crops grow for several years,, if I was using a petro based fertilizer then as soon as its gone so does the production drop,,the truck loads of horse manure will still be feeding the plants for years,,,and there is no reason you can not buy/stockpile extras like lime now for the long term , but even if you didn't once the ph is at the right level without a change [added materials ] it would take a while before it changed enough to affect production

so what I am trying to say is do it now when its there ,,,then if something happens your chances are better
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:36 AM
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I feed my rabbits hay and feed corn,,,but they love beets ,turnips, potatoes,
I grow a beet called mangle that gets huge,, the rabbits will eat it tops and root but if I toss a few mangles and a few "people"[Detroit ,cylindrical] beets in they eat the "people" beets first

I am in northern minnasota and just yesterday seen one of the does gathering materials for her nest,,so they must be doing good on the corn and hay to be breeding this early in the year, and over the summer they range on pasture that's fenced so feed cost is almost nothing,,i do treat them with a bit of corn ,,,but that's more to train them to run back into the smaller pen at feeding time ,,,then in the fall instead of chasing them all over the place I can lure them into a smaller area and close the gate to catch , cull the herd
Do you need to cook the beats or potatoes for the rabbits? Those crops would fit well for my place where I plan to retire. I have a large fenced garden area (~ 1/3rd acre), so corn and root crops should be easy to grow in raised beds and grow extra for rabbits. Do you think we could grow some hay on a small scale and take it in by hand? I could develop more growing area but I would need to fence out the deer.
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:33 PM
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Do you need to cook the beats or potatoes for the rabbits? Those crops would fit well for my place where I plan to retire. I have a large fenced garden area (~ 1/3rd acre), so corn and root crops should be easy to grow in raised beds and grow extra for rabbits. Do you think we could grow some hay on a small scale and take it in by hand? I could develop more growing area but I would need to fence out the deer.
the roots I fed raw ,,,the beets and such I tossed in with the tops during fall/ early winter ,,after it froze the tops off I was just tossing in the roots ,,,some froze almost solid and they chowed on them

I am working on growing hay for them as well,i just modified a push mower to be a mowing machine for hay I can almost windrow it with it ,,plan to try and mod farther to cut grain crops with so I can shock [sp?] and feed to them later
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