The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the category “organic farming”

Beekeeping in Berkeley, California

Mateo Rutherford of the Green Faerie Farm talks about his bees and beekeeping.

Using Vinegar in Your Garden

Howard Garrett talks about how to use vinegar in your garden. He uses it heavily diluted in the water he uses to water plants and in concentrated form with orange oil and soap as an organic herbicide for weeds.

How to Make Seaweed Fertilizer

How to make seaweed fertilizer yourself rather than spend on expensive commercial seaweed fertilizer. In this video it’s made both with fresh whole seaweed and with sushi nori sheets, water and a hand blender. Babybabkas also mentions that she can also find dried whole seaweed in Chinatown.

She uses the seaweed mixture right away — but I’ve also seen where people let the mixture ferment.

Controlling Insects with Soaps and Oils

Skip Richter talks about using sprayed on soap and/or oils to minimize insect problems in your garden.

Vegetable Garden Fact Sheets and Guides from Texas A&M University

This is a treasure trove of information about vegetables and vegetable growing. If you don’t live in Texas you’ll benefit from the general information, if you live in Texas or in the same region you’ll be able to take advantage of the region-specific information they give.

Vegetables covered in detail are artichokes, asparagus, beets, carrots, cilantro, “cole crops” (broccoli, cabbage, etc.), collards, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, melons, okra, onions, peppers, Irish potatoes, radishes, spinach, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips and mustard. There are also guides for fruit and herb growing.

Other topics include composting, disease management, fertilizing, harvesting and handling, insect control and so on. There is a variety selector that divides Texas up into regions and shows you good selections for each area along with days to harvest for each vegetable and variety.

I noticed that they list both conventional and organic insecticides in the insect control documents, though I thought they might have written about methods like companions planting as controls for insects. So, they don’t offer a wealth of info on organic gardening, but if you’re just getting familiar with the plants, this collection is a good starting point.

Oh, don’t want to forget, they offer a link to a journal article by George Washington Carver, the great American horticulturalist, entitled “How the Farmer Can Save His Sweet Potatoes and Ways of Preparing them for the Table.”

These are high quality PDFs that you can download and print, even use to create your own reference binder.

“People can really take care of themselves if they are willing to do the work”

California seniors Myrna and Earl Fincher are organic market gardeners who dug themselves out of financial hardship through farming.

In the video Earl and Myrna show us around their farm operation: Earl’s unique electrical germination set-up, the seed sowing boards he built out of plywood and wine corks, the bird and bathouses he uses and sells (the couple try to attract birds and bats to eat insects, since they don’t use pesticides on their crops). Myrna also shows us her preserve storeroom. She cans and freezes a wide variety of foods. Earl and Myrna also keep chickens.

Myrna says “People can really take care of themselves if they are willing to do the work.”

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