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Radicalfarmergal

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4300 posts in 1884 days

Location: Central Massachusetts
Hardiness Zone: 5b
Website:

I garden because I believe growing my own food is empowering, healthy and fun. I enjoy plants for their shapes, colors and textures but I am primarily interested in growing edible plants so that I can provide fresh, healthy food for my family. I am interested in learning new ways to preserve our harvest so that we can enjoy it longer than our growing season permits. I also grow plants to feed and support our livestock, which currently consists of Nigerian dwarf dairy goats, a flock of pastured chickens and a hive of honeybees.

Our family moved to this old farmhouse eight years ago. It was first built in 1738 and was run as a dairy farm into the 1970s. The farmer retired and the farm was broken up and sold. When we moved in, the yard was mostly lawn, with a large wild area in back crowded with small trees, shrubs and tall grasses. I have been trying to turn my two acres, which contains the original farmhouse and barn, back into a small farm using sustainable agricultural practices.

I am learning as I go. I was raised in the suburbs, so farming and increased self-sufficiency are things I have been learning (often the hard way) through research, observation, experimentation and practice.

As Sir Albert Howard concluded so well over seventy years ago,

“Mother earth never attempts to farm without live stock; she always raises mixed crops; great pains are taken to preserve the soil and to prevent erosion; the mixed vegetable and animal wastes are converted into humus; there is no waste; the processes of growth and the processes of decay balance one another; ample provision is made to maintain large reserves of fertility; the greatest care is taken to store the rainfall; both plants and animals are left to protect themselves against disease.”

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

Latest Activity | view all »

commented on Stone Staircase 09-15-2014 12:36 PM
replied on Cover crop planting suggestion (dual purpose plant) 09-15-2014 12:34 PM
commented on Growing My Way to Freedom #36: Aronia melanocarpa 09-12-2014 11:13 PM
replied on Cover crop planting suggestion (dual purpose plant) 09-12-2014 10:24 PM
commented on Barn Greenhouse #13: After The Winter 07-22-2014 01:08 PM
commented on The Garden Pond Project 07-22-2014 01:07 PM
commented on 2014 #11: 2014 - one for my record books 07-22-2014 01:05 PM
replied on dahlias have started to bloom - July 3 2014 07-10-2014 01:55 AM
commented on Plant Identification 07-10-2014 01:54 AM
commented on A larger hiatus than expected... 07-10-2014 01:53 AM
commented on The Garden Pond Project 07-10-2014 01:49 AM
replied on Mountain Wildflower Du Jour 07-10-2014 01:35 AM
replied on variations and sports in plant growth 07-10-2014 01:31 AM
commented on 2014 #10: Walkabout May 25/14 07-10-2014 01:27 AM
replied on July 9th, 2014 In bloom today. 07-10-2014 01:24 AM

Latest Blog Entries | view all 77 »

Latest Projects | view all 17 »

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25 comments so far

View dini's profile

dini

1591 posts in 2338 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 07-20-2009 01:56 PM

Welcome!

-- the day you quit learning is the day you quit living.

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 2499 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 07-20-2009 07:17 PM

Hi There and WELCOME to GT!!! :-)

Look forward to chatting more with you and hearing all about your farm and gardening.

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2401 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-21-2009 02:30 AM

Hello and welcome to GT.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View jroot's profile

jroot

5063 posts in 2251 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-22-2009 03:29 PM

Welcome to GT. It is good to see you participating already. You’ll enjoy your stay with us.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Dale & Vicki Struhar's profile

Dale & Vicki Struhar

20 posts in 1776 days

posted 11-14-2009 07:55 AM

We started out boarding and raising horses but as the kids grew up they lost interest in 4H. Vicki still has her horse which she raised for a colt about 16 yrs ago. She takes dressage lessons every week. We posted more pictures to our garden. hope you enjoy.

-- Dale & Vicki, Madison, Ohio

View LadyPantheress's profile

LadyPantheress

43 posts in 1680 days
hardiness zone 7

posted 02-14-2010 08:30 AM

Merry Meet-

Thank you for welcoming me to GT. I had written a reply to your post on my page explaining what I am planning to do here.

Happy Gardening
Brightest Blessings
Lady Pantheress

-- ~ Harm None ~

View LadyPantheress's profile

LadyPantheress

43 posts in 1680 days
hardiness zone 7

posted 02-15-2010 08:10 PM

Thank you so much for viewing and commenting about my 1st project here at GT. I have not used the pellets before and are a little concerned but I have a good feeling this year for a better container garden then my previous.

The lights in my green house were just on for taking the photos. I am using a heating mat under the trays and will not be using them till after the germination is complete and will remove them from the heating mat and place the growing lights about 1-2 inches above the new plants. This will help them stay a little shorter, sturdy, hardy and fuller plants for transplanting

Looks like you have many successful projects yourself. :-)
I love flowers too. Will be sowing Morning Glory’s, Moon Flowers and Nasturtiums soon.

I will be watching your progress as well.

LP

-- ~ Harm None ~

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2621 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 03-08-2010 02:27 AM

you’ve changed your “name” identity.
Interesting :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View LadyPantheress's profile

LadyPantheress

43 posts in 1680 days
hardiness zone 7

posted 03-08-2010 09:39 PM

I will be sowing more seeds of what I lost for sure. Tomatoes are going to be very expensive this season according to the news. Bad crops due to bad weather where most tomatoes come from stores. I am very excited.

My peppers are doing fine so far and so is my oregano and marjoram.

Thank you again for your reply and encouraging words:-)

Hugs
LP

-- ~ Harm None ~

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

882 posts in 1719 days
hardiness zone 4a

posted 03-09-2010 12:22 AM

Welcome Robin, formerly Radicalfarmergal :)

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2401 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 03-09-2010 05:16 PM

Does this mean your not radical anymore? (lol) Just kidding.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View Ron's profile

Ron

15 posts in 1651 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 03-10-2010 02:41 AM

Thanks Robin for the Welcome.

-- Ronm

View galetonco's profile

galetonco

16 posts in 1643 days
hardiness zone 4b

posted 03-20-2010 05:20 PM

Hi Robin,thanks for the welcome.My sister raises a few dairy goats,I get milk from her whenever I can,love to play with the baby goats they are all ways so happy,want to bring them home with me but I’m not ready for them yet. I don’t think I will plant gourds this year,have a bunch from last year drying and I need to get creative and do something with them. I’m not to computer smart,going to take me forever to figure this blog thing out. regards, Mark in Co

-- mark nickerson in Colorado

View Ron's profile

Ron

15 posts in 1651 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 03-21-2010 04:43 AM

Hey Robin thanks for the pointer on the strawberries. Seems simple but I wasn’t sure what to do.

-- Ronm

View galetonco's profile

galetonco

16 posts in 1643 days
hardiness zone 4b

posted 03-27-2010 08:56 PM

thank you Robin for the information on garlic,I will try that.Currently I’m adding chopped garlic to apple cider vineger and giving them about a tablespoon to a gallon of water a couple of times a week,but other options are great. My projects this spring are planting more herbs for them to eat,I want to try some peppermint,they love the shew mosquito geranium,have to keep a fence around it,and I planted a hobs vine by there run last fall can’t wait to see how it does,and they can eat the hops,plus it will give them some shade,allready have grapes growing around one of the chicken yards.Sorry I’m having a bit of a problem with the blog,going to have to get some one how is smarter than me on the computer to show me. Mark

-- mark nickerson in Colorado

View Weedwacker's profile

Weedwacker

297 posts in 1548 days

posted 06-22-2010 06:05 PM

Morning Robin, you are an early riser. That’s the way to learn how to garden, trial and error. After a couple of decades you start to get the hang of it. Out here in Oregon the weather this year is so fickle that what ever tricks a guy has up his sleeve needs to be pulled out. Where I am the ground is just too wet and cold to till. I’ve never seen such a wet spring. Thanks for asking about the pastel art. I’ll put some pictures up on my home page. Bet the goats get in some comical situations. They’d make a fun picture.

-- Margaret, Eagle Creek, Oregon. A garden is never finished.

View Weedwacker's profile

Weedwacker

297 posts in 1548 days

posted 06-22-2010 06:30 PM

It’s me again , Margaret, just call me computer challenged, I can’t figure out how to tap into the pictures in my computer and put them on this site. So if you want to see them, email me at JustChalk@hotmail.com. and I can fire you off some flowers, birds, a frog and tell you more about what I do.

-- Margaret, Eagle Creek, Oregon. A garden is never finished.

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

882 posts in 1719 days
hardiness zone 4a

posted 01-01-2011 12:25 PM

Back to being rad..gal again. I like it. A new year’s thing?

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2621 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-01-2011 10:24 PM

I noticed the change for the new year as well.
Welcome back “RadicalFarmerGal” .. although it was nice to know you as “Robin” as well, you shall always be Radicalfarmergal to me!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4300 posts in 1884 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-02-2011 09:23 PM

Thanks, Steve and Debbie. As I was changing my avatar photo for the new year, I realized that Radical Farmer Gal is an apt moniker and I ought to live up to my ideals and use it proudly. Thinking of the seeds I have purchased for next year’s garden and drinking my home-made, fermented ginger ale, that I realized that I am a bit of a radical, at least by current society’s practices. I will answer to Robin, too. : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

882 posts in 1719 days
hardiness zone 4a

posted 01-03-2011 09:02 PM

Maybe you had too much of that home-made, fermented ginger-ale :)

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4300 posts in 1884 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-05-2011 03:43 PM

Steve, grow some ginger and make some yourself. It tastes great. No alcohol, just lots of bubbles and a lemony-ginger taste. Perhaps the bubbles were making me a bit light-headed though. : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3807 posts in 2251 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 01-05-2011 03:53 PM

LOL Robin/RFG, I wondered why. Sounds to me like we can blame the ginger-beer, for one reason or the other.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Gone_Tropical's profile

Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 1334 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 01-21-2011 05:15 AM

Thanks for the welcome, Nathan got me here :D
how cold do you have it? I am dreading our forecast for Saturday night’s low at 37F ;-)

I am trying to find my way around it here… looks like there is no forum for introductions?

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View kindman's profile

kindman

28 posts in 174 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 06-09-2014 03:52 PM

Hey RFG: (can I call you RFG?)

I was just wondering how your shiitake are coming in?
Mine had a late start this year. I just forced about 6 logs of WR46 last week and am ready to pick between 1 to 2 lbs.
Here is a picture from this morning:

I hope things are going well for you.

Kindman

-- Kindman in Rhode Island

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