Vegetables and Fruit forum: growing a grocery and goat/chicken feeding garden need ideas

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Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Feb 7, 2012 6:32 AM CST
I'm zone 7b Tennessee. Would like to start working toward a zero net grocery bill. That is grow all we can and sell some to pay for what we don't or can't. Like wheat and baking powder. We have kinder goats, 2 breeds of chickens and Welsh harlequin ducklings on order. We also raise out chicken meat birds and home process. We may sell eggs and pre-ordered meat birds locally. So that may offset some of the grocery bill. Also there is 7 acres here so we may get to most of your ideas eventually.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Feb 7, 2012 11:10 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

This sounds like an exciting start, Phillip.

There are some things that you can grow to feed your animals that makes a big difference. Big squashes and pumpkins provide a lot of animal food with not a lot of work, assuming you have the space to grow them. Turnips and peas are good, too.

Lots of weeds are edible to your poultry, and should be encouraged. Lamb's quarters (summer and fall) and chickweed (spring) are our chickens' favorite wild foods, and they grow like the weeds they are! Smiling
Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Feb 7, 2012 11:32 AM CST
Thanks Dave good tips. I'm tilling new ground today. Thinking of 8 4X16 beds to start. 1 each for strawberries and asparagus. As to the rest I was thinking 2 for the three sisters. 1 4X8 section per week succession planting for 4 weeks of corn harvesting. How many corn seeds per square foot?

Need suggestions for the other 4 beds. Intense companion planting per bed. Also thinking of planting 2 semi cleared forest areas in winter goat feeds. No tilling and preferably perennial for zone 7b. Malobar spinach comes to mind.

Phillip
No Small Blessings Farm
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
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bitbit
Feb 7, 2012 12:57 PM CST
I'm in the same zone as you, more or less. It really is a great climate for veggies. Here are some things that grow well for me grocery-wise, though I don't know what makes good animal feed.

In the winter, I mostly grow Brassicas. They need very little maintenance once they're established, though some protection from cabbage moths early in the season was necessary for me. The whole plant is edible, which means you can give the animals all the parts that you don't want to eat. Right now, I'm growing broccoli (Calabrese and Romanesco), Brussels sprouts (Long Island), kohlrabi, kale, turnips, and collards (Georgia). I also have carrots, onions, garlic, beets, parsnips, leeks, and chard, which will grow over winter without protection here. I haven't grown them yet, but fava beans are supposed to be hardy and very productive here in winter.

In summer, of course the options are wider - tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn, beans, eggplant... all the typical garden veggies grow well. I grow potatoes and sweet potatoes - the sweet potatoes were very productive for me this year, require almost no attention, and the vines are edible as well as the tubers. They grow well in large containers if you don't want to have to dig them out of the ground at harvest time.

In spring and fall, I grow bush beans, peas, beets, spinach, lettuce, more chard (it actually grows 12 months here), and carrots... and of course, the overlapping beginning or end of other crops - there isn't a week out of the year where we don't harvest something.

I don't have a lot of perennial edibles, but strawberries, blueberries (southern varieties do best), hardy kiwi, and bush cherries are all growing and should be producing well in a few years. With the kind of space you have, you could definitely put in raspberry or blackberry plants as well, as long as you can keep the animals from eating all the fruit.

I am confined by being in a small space (1/8 acre including the house and a lot of shady areas), but am still able to grow far more than my husband and I can eat. We buy groceries, but have been able to cut our bill by about 75% since we started growing food. With 7 acres and livestock, I don't doubt at all that you can get your bill to net zero, but it will be a fair bit of labor.
Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Feb 7, 2012 6:30 PM CST
"Fair bit of labor" sshhhh don't tell my wife Rolling on the floor laughing we both know what we are in for.but.... Wait for it... There's a canning kitchen 35 minute drive from here. Very nice ladies volunteer there. And,they do a fair amount of the work for you. All of it if no one else is around. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horseshoe
Feb 7, 2012 11:19 PM CST
You're in for the ride of your life, Phillip. Enjoy it! I think the most fun in gardening and homesteading is when you first start out learning the ropes, very exciting.

I'm not a big proponent of the "3 sisters", although if you plan on growing a dent corn or field corn you may have good fortune with it; modern day sweet corn doesn't seem to hold up the beans well and once the stalks lodge you have a mess on your hands. And psst, those goats will know a day ahead of you when to go harvest your corn! Beware! :>)

I'd also recommend you go help (and learn from) those ladies who man (or "woman") the canning kitchen. It's actually fairly fun and a piece of knowledge you should have hands-on skill with, enough so you can pass the knowledge on to others. Our country needs whatever blessing or knowledge you can offer it.

Hope you will be posting your goings-on. Looking forward to watching your growth.

Shoe
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Herbs
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bitbit
Feb 8, 2012 9:59 AM CST
I've never heard of a canning kitchen. Do they provide the equipment? Either way, it's a great resource!

I do a bit of canning, especially the essentials like tomatoes and hot sauce (OK, it's essential for me, even if not for most folks). But I've found in this climate I can grow plenty of food to have on the table all winter. I'd much rather eat fresh broccoli and a salad with dinner than something canned, even if it's also homegrown.

As far as labor is concerned, my husband and I both work full time, so we only spend a few hours in the garden on weekends, and a few minutes harvesting on weeknights, and still manage to grow much of what we eat. Obviously, with more land and more mouths, the time commitment will go up, but it doesn't need to be huge.

I also haven't had a lot of luck with 3 sisters. Remember that it was originally used for corn and beans that are harvested dry at the end of the season and winter squash. Substituting the things we like (sweet corn, snap beans, and summer squash) left me with a tangled mess of bean vines that made a teepee supported by the leaning and smothered corn stalks, and zucchini big enough to use as weapons that I couldn't reach to harvest. Or, in other years, with giant zucchini plants that grew too fast and shaded out the other seedlings, so I got dead beans, stunted corn, and more squash than I could use. Not knocking on companion planting overall - I plan to do lots of herbs and flowers (more for pest-deterrance than looks) in my veggie beds next year, and have several mixed beds already for winter crops - but this combination has been rather frustrating for me.
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Feb 8, 2012 11:01 AM CST
Right there w/you on what you've just described, Bit. The best 3-sisters scenario would be a strong giant field corn, properly spaced, with some pole beans interspersed here and there. And then pray no winds blow it down even then, eh?

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Feb 8, 2012 1:48 PM CST
We've been raising goats for over 20 years, and this is the first I've heard of kinder goats. Smiling For some reason, corn by itself does not seem to agree with our goats, although they can eat the mixes containing corn with no problem. Do you have pictures of your goats?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Feb 8, 2012 2:17 PM CST
I've heard of hunters planting mixes of Brassicas as feeding plots (or bait) for deer. They can certainly stand up to cold weather once established!

I'm a fan of Bok Choy, edible stalks and leaves, produces lots of seed if you let it bolt and colelct them. That might be a good way to sow a large area inexpensively, for feeding chicken and goats.

Bok Choy is fairly expensive in supermarkets, and is best same-day-fresh, so it might be marketable.

Fancy mixes of very young leaves from several Asian Brassicas and mustards can be sold as premium salad mixes (microgreens) as a cash crop, especially if grown under plastic in winter.

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/Assets/Information/SaladMixProduc...
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/assets/information/MicroMixVariet...
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/Assets/Information/MicroGreensTec...
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/t-growers_library.aspx
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/t-catalog_extras.aspx
http://www.territorialseed.com/product/14036

I don't have any experience that way, I have a really tiny yard.
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Feb 8, 2012 4:06 PM CST
woofie, I'd never heard of kinder goats either. I used to raise Nubians, loved 'em~! I'm curious to hear more about kinder goats.

Shoe (who sometimes wishes he still had goats but loves NOT milking twice a day anymore!) :>)
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 8, 2012 4:14 PM CST
Shoe, the teeny bit I read seemed to indicate that they're a cross between a pygmy and a Nubian. We've had many different breeds of goats here, starting out with Nubians (my faves!--gotta love those ears!). And we had a Nigerian dwarf who accidentally (sigh) got bred to our Nubian buck, but her kids turned out looking mostly like Nubians.

Woof (who has a milking machine Big Grin )
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Feb 8, 2012 6:24 PM CST
Sorry if I made Yall think I'm new to gardening and canning. I had a 100 X 75 ft garden in the Memphis community garden and we can up jams, jellies, relishes ( chow-chow in the south) stewed, and stocks. I agree with shoe its gonna be fun!
Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Feb 8, 2012 6:34 PM CST
Kinder are a nubian pygmy stable cross. Ours are a lot of fun and work. I put the surplus bucks in the freezer myself. I'm really in touch with my food!
Thumb of 2012-02-09/homeshow/3b3412
That's Brer Rabbit our breeding buck. He sires mostly blond kids Big Grin
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 8, 2012 6:50 PM CST
Ha ha! Helicopter ears! Love it! Blond kids, eh? We had a white Angora (Angora, Saanen, Nubian) cross, and all her kids were white, no matter what the buck looked like!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Feb 8, 2012 7:01 PM CST
Thumb of 2012-02-09/homeshow/e36b93
His daughter Eva. We name our keepers alphabetically. All bucks are named cabrito until we decide to make 1 a breeder. Yes that laundry basket is a manger *Blush*
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
Image
Horseshoe
Feb 8, 2012 9:11 PM CST
"I have a milking machine"...
Hah! Woofie, dang if you ain't downtown! But where do you rest your head at 5:30 am? I used to get up and milk goats early; the goats and I both were slow-wakers so while milking I rested my head against the side of the goat while I was squirting the milk, the goat happily munching sweet feed blend! :>)

So a kinder goat is basically a pygmy Nubian, eh? Hmmm....

Phillip, I'd pay for some good chow chow! I happen to have Mother Maybelle Carter's family recipe for her chow chow but seldom make it anymore. (Or does anyone know who she is?)

Nice lookin' goats, by the way. Best ribs I ever ate were some goat ribs (and deer ribs, too) seared then slowly cooked on the top of a wood stove in a tomato sauce, spiced to perfection. I hope you get to enjoy that someday.

Shoe
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 8, 2012 9:26 PM CST
I had bison ribs once ... at a restaurant.

Nice and lean, and you can use the bones to club passers-by.

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 8, 2012 9:30 PM CST
Ha! Shoe, you wouldn't have been resting your heads against the sides of some of our little dears......unless you were really fond of having your head kicked in! Little snots, some of 'em! Funny thing, even the ones that really hated being milked didn't mind the machine, tho.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Feb 14, 2012 10:27 PM CST

Phillip,
I have a couple little goats and I grow comfrey for them . It is also good for compost and compost tea in the garden.
It is a perennial and I cut it to the ground several times a year. Takes up a lot of space but sounds like you have plenty space.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.

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