Finally, and update. Progress at OldPostOrganics this week…

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in New Plants, News and Reports | Posted on 07-03-2014

This has been in the works for quite a while, but today I’ll share pics.

Finally getting things in the ground, and added a few trees:

MulberryAvocadoPersimmon,Surinam Cherry

Planted things in the raised beds:

 

White & red cabbage
Collard greens
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Brussels sprouts
Cilantro
Parsley

 

Winter Cleanup and prep for next growing.

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in News and Reports | Posted on 28-01-2014

Dumped and cleaned things up this weekend. It was nice to get back out and get my hands dirty.   Pulled and dumped everything, even a few still producing plants, but it was time to go…

 

Grapes are coming along, hopefully I can keep the deer away for a while

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Blooming/Producing, News and Reports | Posted on 16-04-2013

Grapes!

Grapes!

Things are looking up at OldPostOrganics.Com

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in News and Reports | Posted on 12-04-2013

Dedicated an entire day to cleaning and moving things to a better location.  Tossed out a LOT of stuff that just needed to go.  Got the worm farm back to 100% production, and have started producing the “worm tea” for the plants.

Planted lots of peppers, tomatoes, turnips, watermelons, pumpkins, and okra.  We’ll see how it all does.  The grapes seem to like the warmer weather, and have really taken off.  Right now, I’m just focusing on bringing back to life what I’ve ignored to long.

Working on a new watering plan, but that will come in the future.

Its a shambles here at the farm, things have been neglected for to long.

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in News and Reports | Posted on 12-04-2013

 

Life has been busy, a 5 year old, a full time job, 2 part time jobs, and more hobbies than I’d like to admin have left the farm a shambles.     We’re down to about 25% of what WAS here, and there is tons of work to day.

Soon to get things cleaned up, and show some better views.

Here you can see trees moved that cant stand up in pots, bags of Fafard 3B that have a life of their own, and my latest batch of hydroponics that I got the chemistry wrong, and I’ve likely killed them.  Its a sad day at the farm.

 

 

Top Ten Most Nutritious Vegetables and How to Grow Them in Your Garden

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in News and Reports | Posted on 08-02-2011

Top Ten Most Nutritious Vegetables and How to Grow Them in Your Garden

by Colleen Vanderlinden on 02. 8.11

containerkitchengarden.jpgPhoto Credit: katmere via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

A perfectly ripe, juicy tomato, still warm from the sun. Sweet carrots, pulled from the garden minutes (or even seconds!) before they’re eaten. Growing your own vegetables is one of those activities that balances practicality and indulgence. In addition to the convenience of having the fixings for a salad or light supper right outside your door (or on your windowsill), when you grow your own vegetables, you’re getting the most nutritional bang for your buck as well. Vegetables start losing nutrients as soon as they’re harvested, and quality diminishes as sugars are turned into starches. For the tastiest veggies with the best nutrition, try growing a few of these nutrient-dense foods in your own garden. And don’t let the lack of a yard stop you – all of them can be grown in containers as well.

Grow These Good-for-You Veggies

broccpeasbeans.jpgPhoto Credits (left to right): Wanko, Qfamily, George Scholz, via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

1. Broccoli

Broccoli is high in calcium, iron, and magnesium, as well as Vitamin A, B6, and C. In fact, one cup of raw broccoli florets provides 130% of your daily Vitamin C requirement.

  • How to Grow Broccoli
  • Grow Broccoli in Containers: One broccoli plant per pot, pots should be 12 to 16 inches deep.
  • What to Watch Out For: Cabbage worm. If you start seeing pretty white butterflies fluttering around your broccoli, you’re guaranteed to start seeing little green worms all over your broccoli plants. To avoid this, cover your broccoli plants with floating row cover or lightweight bed sheets. If you start seeing cabbage worms, simply pick them off by hand.

2. Peas

There is nothing like peas grown right in your own garden – the tender sweetness of a snap pea just plucked from the vine is unlike anything you can buy in at a store. Aside from being absolutely delicious, peas are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin A, B6, and C.

  • How to Grow Peas
  • Grow Peas in Containers: Sow peas approximately 2 inches apart in a pot that is at least 10 inches deep. Provide support for peas to climb up.
  • What to Watch Out For: Hot weather. Once the weather turns hot, pea production will pretty much shut down. Grow peas in early spring and late summer/autumn, or any time of year when temperatures are consistently between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Beans (especially navy beans, great northern beans, kidney beans)

While snap beans (green beans/wax beans) are a great addition to any garden, it’s the beans we grow as dried beans that are real nutritional powerhouses. Dry beans, in general, are high in iron, fiber, manganese, and phosphorous.

  • How to Grow Beans
  • Grow Beans in Containers: Bush beans are your best option for growing in containers. Plant beans four inches apart in a container that is at least 12 inches deep.
  • What to Watch Out For: Harvest at the right time. Harvest dry beans when the pods have completely dried on the vine. The pods should be light brown, and you should be able to feel the hard beans inside. Shell the beans, and let them sit out a few days to ensure that they’re completely dry before storing them in jars in a cool, dark, dry place.

brusselstompepper.jpgPhoto Credits (left to right): norwichnuts, photon, S. Diddy, via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

4. Brussels Sprouts

The bane of many a childhood, Brussels sprouts get a bad wrap mostly due to overcooking. When prepared right, Brussels sprouts are sweet, tender, and delicious. They also provide tons of fiber, magnesium, potassium, and riboflavin, as well as high levels of Vitamins A, B6, and C.

  • How to Grow Brussels Sprouts
  • Grow Brussels Sprouts in Containers: Grow one plant per 16-inch deep container.
  • What to Watch Out For: Cabbage worms (see “Broccoli, above.)

5. Tomatoes

Fresh, homegrown tomatoes are the reason many gardeners get into vegetable gardening in the first place. There’s just nothing that compares to eating a perfectly ripe tomato, still warm from the sun. Tomatoes are also incredibly good for us, packing plenty of fiber, iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, and Vitamin A, B6, and C. They’re also a great source of the antioxidant lycopene.

  • How to Grow Tomatoes
  • Grow Tomatoes in Containers: Container sizes will vary depending on the variety you’re growing. If you’re growing an indeterminate variety, your container will need to be at least 18 inches deep. For determinate varieties, 12 inches is a good depth, and for dwarf or “patio” type tomatoes, 8 inches is perfect. One tomato plant per pot.
  • What to Watch Out For: Tomato horn worm can be a problem in many areas – these large caterpillars should be removed by hand whenever you see them. Also watch out for signs of blight, which is a real problem in many parts of the U.S.

6. Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are high in potassium, riboflavin, and Vitamins A, B6, and C – in fact, one cup of red bell pepper packs an amazing 317% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C and 93% of the recommended Vitamin A.

beetsamaranthcarrots.jpgPhoto Credits (left to right): La Grande Farmer’s Market, SummerTomato, color line, via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

7. Beets

Beets are a great “two-fer” crop – you can harvest the beet roots, of course, but you can also harvest and eat the greens. Young beet greens are delicious when added raw to a salad, and larger beet greens can be sauteed as a quick side dish or used the way you’d use other greens such as spinach. Beet roots are very high in iron, potassium, and vitamin C. Beet greens are even better, as they are high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and Vitamins A, B6, and C.

  • How to Grow Beets
  • Grow Beets in Containers: Plant beet seeds three inches apart in a container that is twelve inches deep. Because each beet seed is actually a cluster of seeds, be sure to thin the seedlings to one per cluster. Thinnings can be added to salads or sandwiches.
  • What to Watch Out For: Knowing when to harvest. Beet roots are at their best when they are harvested small – between one and two inches across. At this size, they are sweet and tender. Larger beets tend to be kind of woody and less flavorful.

8. Leaf Amaranth

Leaf amaranth is a less-common vegetable that is well worth a try in your own garden. The leaves have a sweet and slightly tangy flavor that works well in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries and soups to simply steaming it all by itself. As a bonus, leaf amaranth is one of the few heat-tolerant greens. It won’t bolt in the heat of summer the way spinach and kale are prone to. Nutritionally, leaf amaranth is very high in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, riboflavin, zinc, and Vitamins A, B6, and C. Everyone should be growing this!

  • How to Grow Leaf Amaranth
  • Growing Leaf Amaranth in Containers: Scatter the tiny seeds over the soil’s surface in a pot that is at least 8 inches deep. Harvest the leaves when they are two to four inches tall. You will be able to get at least two or three harvest before you’ll have to sow more seeds.
  • What to Watch Out For: Leaf amaranth is fairly easy to grow, and relatively problem-free. Rarely, leaf miners can become a problem.

9. Carrots

Carrots are at their sweetest, crunchiest best when freshly harvested from the garden. These icons of healthy eating deserve their “good-for-you” rep – they’re very high in fiber, manganese, niacin, potassium, and Vitamins A, B6, and C. Their only drawback is that they do tend to be high in sugar, so if you’re watching your carb intake, you’ll want to limit the amount of carrots you eat.

  • How to Grow Carrots
  • Grow Carrots in Containers: Sow carrot seeds two to three inches apart in a pot that is at least twelve inches deep. Look for shorter varieties, such as ‘Thumbelina,’ or ‘Danver’s Half Long.’
  • What to Watch Out For: Harvesting at the perfect size. Carrots are at their tastiest when harvested small. Leaving them in the ground too long can result in overly large, woody carrots. You’ll also want to make sure to keep your carrots evenly moist, as letting the soil dry out too often can also result in somewhat bitter, fibrous carrots.

leafygreensall.jpgPhoto Credits (left to right): Oakley Originals, djprybyl, djprybyl, via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

10. Leafy Greens

OK, I cheated here. I can’t recommend just ONE leafy green, because they are all incredibly good for us, as well as delicious — kale, collards, spinach, turnip or dandelion greens — how can you possibly choose just one? In general, the “green leafies” contain high amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, and Vitamins A, B6, and C.

  • How to Grow Kale and Other Leafy Greens
  • Grow Greens in Containers: Grow one kale or collard plant per ten inch deep pot. Other greens can be grown a few plants to a pot — they should be planted at least 4 inches apart and harvested small.
  • What to Watch Out For: Heat and cabbage worms. Most leafy greens are cool-weather crops, so they’re best grown in spring and fall in most areas – hot weather will cause them to bolt. In addition, many of these greens are members of the Brassicas family, which means they are prone to cabbage worm infestations. Control them with the same methods outlined in the “Broccoli” section, above.

Try growing one or two (or all!) of these nutrient-dense, delicious vegetables in your own garden, and you’ll get double the health benefits: healthy food and time spent outdoors, nurturing your plants.

Copied from http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/02/top_ten_most_nutritious_vegetables_how_to_grow_them_in_garden.php

12 Foods to make sure are organic!

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in News and Reports | Posted on 29-04-2010

You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 80% by avoiding the most contaminated foods in the grocery store. Pesticide residue is a fact of modern agriculture: Not all the pesticide used to kill bugs, grubs or fungus on the farm washes off under the tap at home. Government tests show which fruits and vegetables, prepared typically at home, still have a pesticide residue. The Environmental Working Group takes that government data and publishes an annual list of the Dirty Dozen, those foods most likely to have high pesticide residues. This year, celery takes the number one spot, and both blueberries and spinach make an appearance (displacing lettuce and pears). The best way to avoid pesticide residue on foods is to buy organic produce; USDA rules prohibit the use of pesticides on any crop with the certified organic label.

Image: Noel Hendrickson / Getty Images

Here’s a closer look at the 2010 Dirty Dozen:

1. Celery
Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals (64 of them!) that are used on crops. Buy organic celery, or choose alternatives like broccoli, radishes and onions.

2. Peaches
Multiple pesticides (as many as 62 of them) are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards.

Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit.

3. Strawberries
If you buy strawberries, especially out of season, they’re most likely imported from countries that use less-stringent regulations for pesticide use. 59 pesticides have been detected in residue on strawberries. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and pineapples.

grocery store shopping

4. Apples
Like peaches, apples are typically grown with the use of poisons to kill a variety of pests, from fungi to insects. Tests have found 42 different pesticides as residue on apples. Scrubbing and peeling doesn’t eliminate chemical residue completely, so it’s best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, bananas and tangerines.

Apple photo: Gloria Dawson / The Daily Green

5. Blueberries
New on the Dirty Dozen list in 2010, blueberries are treated with as many as 52 pesticides, making them one of the dirtiest berries on the market.

6. Nectarines
With 33 different types of pesticides found on nectarines, they rank up there with apples and peaches among the dirtiest tree fruit. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include, watermelon, papaya and mango.

7. Bell Peppers
Peppers have thin skins that don’t offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They’re often heavily sprayed with insecticides. (Tests have found 49 different pesticides on sweet bell peppers.) Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include green peas, broccoli and cabbage.

8. Spinach
New on the list for 2010, spinach can be laced with as many as 48 different pesticides, making it one of the most contaminated green leafy vegetable.

9. Kale
Traditionally kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers from pests and disease, but it was found to have high amounts of pesticide residue when tested this year. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include cabbage, asparagus and broccoli.

10. Cherries
Even locally grown cherries are not necessarily safe. In fact, in one survey in recent years, cherries grown in the U.S. were found to have three times more pesticide residue then imported cherries. Government testing has found 42 different pesticides on cherries. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include raspberries and cranberries.

potatoes

11. Potatoes
America’s popular spud re-appears on the 2010 dirty dozen list, after a year hiatus. America’s favorite vegetable can be laced with as many as 37 different pesticides.

Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include eggplant, cabbage and earthy mushrooms.

Potato photo: Joseph Devenney / Getty Images

12. Grapes
Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically. (Only imported grapes make the 2010 Dirty Dozen list.) Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape’s thin skin. Remember, wine is made from grapes, which testing shows can harbor as many as 34 different pesticides. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and raspberries.

All about Organics…

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in News and Reports | Posted on 17-04-2010

Organic 101

A recent study into organic food found that it appears to:

• Strengthen your immune system
• Improve sleeping habits
• Cut the risk of cancers
• Reduce the risks of heart disease
• Reduce a child’s exposure to hidden allergens
• Promote weight loss

As you can imagine, the junk food industry’s un-organic response to this groundswell of healthy food choices is to highlight industry-funded research that suggests that eating organic food is no more than a lifestyle choice. Thankfully, an insightful four-year, $25 million European study found that:

• Animals fed an organic diet were slimmer (yes, skinnier!) than their un-organic fed counterparts because fat cells appear to trap and store the heavy pesticide residues found in un-organic produce

• Organics appear to promote weight loss by reducing your exposure to chemical pesticides which bind to fat and once absorbed may stay in the body for a lifetime (over 350 chemicals can accumulate in our body fat!).

• Organic fruit and vegetables contain up to 40 percent more antioxidants.

• Milk from organic herds contained up to 90 percent more antioxidants

• Organic food also had higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron and zinc, critical minerals in the development of a child’s brain.

Additionally, according to the Institute for Responsible Technology, un-organic crops like corn and soy that have been genetically engineered to be more profitable now contain chemical toxins in their seeds, which may be why these crops are banned in Europe, Australia, Japan, Russia and almost 40 developed countries around the world! They may also contain hidden allergens that might be contributing to the allergy epidemic.

So What Does “Organic” Mean? And What About “All Natural”?

Because the U.S. lags behind other developed countries when it comes to food safety, understanding label claims can often be a challenge for even the savviest shopper!

The term “organic” refers to foods grown and processed without chemical toxins, artificial ingredients, chemical preservatives or ionizing radiation. The guidelines for organic foods were established on October 21, 2002 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To use these terms, producers must pay additional fees and follow strict guidelines and regulations:

• 100 percent Organic — All ingredients are organic.

• Organic — 95 percent or more of the total ingredients are organic.

• Made with Organic Ingredients — At least 70 percent of the ingredients are organic.

For the savviest of label readers, the following are the legal guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for organics:

Organic Fruits and Vegetables:

Must be grown without the use of:

• Synthetically created chemical pesticides

• Synthetically created chemical fertilizers

• Sewage sludge

• Genetic engineering which appears to introduce novel proteins, allergens, viruses and toxins into crops.

• Irradiation.

Organic Beef and Chicken:

• Fed only 100 percent organic feed, are not the offspring of cloned animals and have never been administered growth hormones or antibiotics. In addition, their meat must never be irradiated.

• Natural (or All Natural) meat or poultry products contain no artificial ingredients and are minimally processed. They are not necessarily organic.

• “No hormones administered” or “no antibiotics added” is sometimes seen on labels, but it can only appear if the producer can document the absence of hormone or antibiotic administration.

• Free-range or free-roaming poultry have access to the outdoors without a minimum time. They are not necessarily organic.

• Cage-free poultry means nothing as most chickens are kept indoors (but cage-free) if they are grown for meat.

Organic Milk:

Comes from animals that were fed 100 percent organic feed and were not given antibiotics, prophylactic drugs or genetically engineered and synthetically created growth hormones (such as rBGH) for at least the last year.

rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) is a genetically engineered, synthetic chemical protein hormone vaccinated into cows to artificially boost their milk production. Like aspartame, rBGH has been banned in Europe because of the breast cancer risk that it may present.

Organic Eggs:

• Produced by hens that are fed 100 percent organic feed and have never been given growth hormones or antibiotics.

• Cage-free eggs are produced by hens that are not confined in cages. The hens might not have access to the outdoors, though, and are not necessarily organic.

Organic Seafood:

The USDA currently has no guidelines set for seafood; however, un-organic fish is often caged underwater and treated with pesticides to prevent the spread of disease.

Organic Bread:

Cereal and grain crops are regularly sprayed with pesticides that collect in the grain’s outer layers, raising concerns about chemical residues in un-organic bread, cakes and cookies.

Other Terms:

The following terms are often found on packaged products and can be confusing to consumers:

* Natural is often a misnomer. There are no true guidelines for this term when used on a packaged product, although it is used frequently and often assumed to mean organic or healthier.

* Gourmet is another misleading term that leads consumers to believe that they are purchasing a product that is made finer ingredients, when in reality it has no established guidelines or regulations.

And when it comes to protecting the health of your family, “Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman

Some important facts you should know about organic farming

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in News and Reports | Posted on 12-04-2010

• Consumer demand for organically grown foods and livestock products are increasing. Sales of organic products are the fastest growing sector of agriculture. Sales continue to grow by over 20% annually and have shown an annual increase of at least 20% during the last 6 years.

• Over the next 10 years analysts are projecting total sales of organic products to exceed one hundred billion dollars worldwide. The vast majority of growth will in occur in the United States, Japan and throughout Europe. (Source – IFOAM, International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement)

• Large corporations such as McDonalds (with organic milk being sold in Sweden), Lufthansa, Swiss Air and Nestlé are positioning their products and services to cater to the organic consumer.

• Thousand of corporations are targeting consumers worldwide by adding organic foods to their product lines.

• Since October of 2002,organic farms must undergo an annual inspection by a licensed Certifier to determine if the they’re operating under specific guidelines to be certified as producing organic foods and livestock.

• Organic farming can actually save farmers money and give them significantly better returns on land and resource utilization as compared to conventional farming. Conventional farming uses more petroleum than any other industry and consumes almost 12% of the United States energy supply.

• It can take up to five years for a conventional farm to convert to organic farming.

• If a product falls under 100% Organic Certification, you can be assured that there are no GMOs (Genetically Modified Foods) in that product.

• It’s estimated that conventional farmers use over 300 different pesticides to grow (non-organic) foods which are sold in virtually all supermarkets worldwide.

• Organic Aquaculture worldwide is a booming business. Over 20% of all shellfish, an estimated 15 trillion metric tons are produced by Organic Aquaculture Farmers. China is the largest producer of these products.
(Source – www.mindfully.org)

Aside from these known facts and current statistics on organic farming, there are numerous inherent benefits that both the organic farmers and consumers of their products receive to improve on health, quality of life and longevity.

• Organic farming is a science within itself that conventional farmers can learn while they transfer their capital resources and skills to master a trade that can be even more profitable than conventional farming.

• Researchers in the United States have found that by following organic farming methods, conventional farmer’s can actually reduce production cost by over 25%. This is accomplished by eliminating the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, minimizing soil erosion by up to 50% and increasing crop yields up to five-fold within five years.

• Regardless of products produced, a well planned transition strategy will allow conventional farmers to adopt new, more effective organic farming process in as little as three to five years.

• Organic farms can support substantially higher levels of wildlife especially in lowlands and where animals can roam pastures or graze on grassland. Not only does wildlife benefit, but entire ecosystems and ground water are improved by simply following organic farming methods.

• Organic farming practices not only benefit farmers and consumers; but the dairies can benefit. When dairies feed their cows organic feed and graze them on organic fields, the cows experience better health, less sickness, diseases and ultimately produce better tasting milk for consumers.

• Organic farming promotes soils that are teaming with life and rich in micro nutrients which can be used for decades to grow crops virtually year round in many parts of the world.

• Consumers purchasing organically grown foods can taste the difference and see the quality of virtually any organic product they buy. Regardless of minimal price differences, consumers can smell, taste and see the difference in the quality of organically grown food products.

• Consumers buy organically grown food products not just because of competitive prices, but due to the increased availability of organic food products as seen in both grocery and organic food specialty stores.

• Organically grown products are free from harmful chemicals, artificial flavors and preservatives that ultimately cost consumers money when they purchase non-organically grown products. You can always taste the difference between organically grown and conventionally grown products.

• Eating organic foods may in fact, reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cancer for individuals who abstain from consuming products produced by conventional farming methods. Biochemist are continually researching the inherent benefits of organically grown foods and discovering the consequences consuming products loaded with toxins and chemicals which, until recently, have only begun to be introduced to humans. The fact is, you ultimately are what you eat.