Everything but the spinach ...

And lettuce is doing well out hrere in the woods . Well , I just got around to planting the zucchini a week or so ago , so it hasn't sprouted . I shoulda got some fresh spinach seed , this pack has never really done well . Tried a new type of lettuce this year , may actually get some before it bolts - salad greens have not been one of my strong plants . Lettuce has come up , but is not growing as fast as I think it should , I may break down and get some 13/13/13 as recommended by a <distant> neighbor . Even last year in the drought his garden looked good .
No problems yet with critters , but then I haven't planted some of the stuff they love to nibble , like peas . We'll see if my good fortune continues as the plants fruit ... the squirrels are already eying the blueberries out in the woods , and I'm sure the birds are also keeping tabs on their state of ripeness . Blackberries are now producing fruit , and they're loaded . I hope I don't have to argue with the bear(s) over who gets to eat them - my kids/g-kids saw a baby bear in them a couple of years ago , didn't see momma but they did hear her <apparently> muttering about those upstart humans thinking they could come in here and take the food from her children's mouths .
Overall I'm very pleased with how the garden is doing , AFAIK this is the first time this ground has ever been broken - judging from the rocks I'm digging up ! Too bad I didn't get back to the local grocery that was selling manure/compost before they ran out . Maybe they'll get more , if not I may have to try somewhere else for "natural" fertilizer . Lots of <commercial> chicken houses around , but the waste from them is loaded with remnants of antibiotics etc . Plus their poo must be composted , way too hot when fresh . Next year it'll be easier , we'll have some from our own hens by then .
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Snag
Happy
Gardening !
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Acidic chemferts will kill off some of the flora and fauna of your garden ecology, and make you more dependent on chemferts in the future. Chemferts are easily dissolved in water which allows plants to suck it up quickly, where it is stored in the leaves. ==== Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan <(Amazon.com product link shortened) 583/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid06815576&sr=1-1> (Available at a library near you, as long as they remain open.)
p.165 Indeed, baby lettuce is one crop that may well be easier to grow organically than conventionally: Harsh chemicals can scorch young leaves, and nitrogen fertilizers render lettuces more vulnerable to insects. It seems the bugs are attracted to the free nitrogen in their leaves, and because of the more rapid growth of chemically nourished plants, insects find their leaves easier to pierce. ==== Otherwise, chemferts will run off and contribute to water pollution.
You need mulch (organic material), and maybe fish emulsion.
Manure Chicken Horse Steer Alfalfa Fish Emulsion N 1.1 .70 .70 3 5 P .80 .30 .30 1 1 K .50 .60 .40 2 1
The organic material (OM) on the surface reduces evaporation. In the dirt it aerates, allows for percolation of the water, and a pound of OM will hold 4 pounds of water. This water, in conjunction with the CO2 (carbonic acid) from decomposition of organic material will extract minerals from the rocks that your plants need.

<http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=vegetables-contain-anti biotics> Less than 0.1 percent of antibiotics applied to soil were absorbed into the corn, lettuce and other plants. Though a tiny amount, health implications for people consuming such small, cumulative doses are largely unknown.
For highly processed plants such as corn, the drugs would most likely be removed, added Dolliver. But many food crops such as spinach and lettuce are not processed, only washed, allowing antibiotics to remain.
Past studies have shown overuse of antibiotics reduces their ability to cure infections. Over time, certain antibiotics are rendered ineffective.
Gupta said all growers should be told that composting can help. Composting decays piles of food or manure as microbes decompose organic matter using oxygen to survive, grow and reproduce. Heating up the material creates conditions conducive for bacteria to break down antibiotics and pathogens.
A pilot study by USDA scientists in Maryland added straw to a beef cattle manure pile, heating up the dense material while allowing spaces for air to penetrate. The higher temperatures sped up the decaying process of harmful substances.
"The process happens very rapidly, in this study it took about 10 days," said Millner. "This is not too surprising since antibiotics are not a thermally stable chemical compound."
In another study, the same researchers who discovered the uptake of antibiotics by plants tested four of these drugs to determine how effective composting would be in reducing harmful chemicals in turkey manure. After 25 days using a combination of natural heat generated by microbial activity, three of the four antibiotics broke down under the high energy conditions created, said Dolliver.
Composting reduced concentrations of some antibiotics by up to 99 percent. "These findings suggest manure management can be an important strategy for reducing the overall impact for these compounds making their way into the environment," said Dolliver. ======
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Remember Rachel Corrie
<http://www.rachelcorrie.org/
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Terry Coombs wrote: ...

i'd leave the rocks in place. instead top the area with 1/2" of shredded bark, sawdust or wood chips and a bit of agricultural lime and/or a coarser limestone grit. it's unlikely those rocks will prevent plants from growing (there was a forest there before so it can support plenty :) ). as the topping breaks down add more. you won't find many rocks in a few years time. especially if you also grow cover crops, use green manures and scrounge compost from other free sources. if you have a medium or heavy duty paper shredder you can often find cardboard for free behind markets. use the plainest kinds (the less inks printed on them the better), worms love it (the glue and the moisture holding capabilities along with the air spaces provided, it's like worm restaraunt, hotel and spa all rolled into one).
if you want more information on worm composting using very cheap methods search back for my worm composting posts made here or in rec.gardens. i'm now generating 240+ lbs a season of worm compost and refurbished garden soil (using about 40sq ft of space). today i used up the last of the buckets ready from this past year (a final 160+ lbs). we use all kitchen veggie scraps and fruit peels (i pre-process some in various ways to eliminate various problems, but that's a long post...).
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