mealworm farm becomes bigger by the day

Introduction

People that follow the blog know how I love my mealworms. I’ve been growing mealworms for several years now and I finally decided to go bigger with it. So a mealworm farm it is, now.

In the beginning, I had just a small number of clients but I now transferred all the income from the mealworms to the nonprofit I started and I want to make the system bigger.

3 bins system for my mealworm farm

I remember in 2012 when I started growing mealworms in 3 bins. I had one bin for the mealworms, one bin for the beetles and one bin for the pupae. I really just copied what I then could find on the internet.

In the meanwhile, I have 38 bins and I’m still growing more.

The 3 bin system is a good system if you only need mealworms for your own chickens or reptiles. But once you start to grow for other people you have to enlarge the business a bit.

I had a period where I worked with 9 bins and it worked fairly well. But as already mentioned, I now want to grow more mealworms and get more clients to buy mealworms from me so I’m enlarging the system.

a portable system for the mealworm farm

Because the mealworm farm system is totally made out of bins, it is totally modular and it’s portable. Having a portable system is really interesting in my case. Because I don’t know when the landlord will sell the building we live in at the moment, I need a way to remove everything I have in a fast way.

I did adapt the bins. I’m now buying professional bins that are quite a bit bigger and stackable. The bins are still really portable so I don’t have to worry too much about a potential transportation.

not sure about the price

I’m still not really sure about the price as I have not calculated yet what the mealworms really cost. I must say, I really don’t use all that much wheat bran. And wheat bran doesn’t really cost all that much.

I will eventually have to make a calculation because I do use vegetables to moisten the bins. These vegetables don’t always come from my garden. So, I have to pay for the vegetables I use. I do intend to grow more potatoes and carrots for the mealworms but I still have to calculate the time it will cost me to grow the vegetables.

Selling only locally

I will only be selling locally as it is forbidden by law to send packages with mealworms to potential clients. And the price to transport them ourselves is not comparable to the price we would pay at the post office.

closing

At the moment I don’t really have much more to say. I cannot talk about the garden because the garden is mostly dead right now. But when spring comes, my blog will have more posts again.

Until that day, I wish you well.

 

 

 

sad day, I lost a chicken

introduction to I lost a chicken

chickens, I lost a chickenI know that not many chicken keepers will be shocked when one of their broilers dies.

But to me, it came as a shock. I lost a chicken and I have the impression that I have done something wrong.

what happened?

That is the real question. Because I don’t know what happened with the chicken, I feel bad. I lost a chicken and I didn’t see it coming.

I first found a leg and then I found the whole body.  It was hidden under one of my water capture systems. The animal didn’t seem to be killed by another animal. It just seemed to have died of disease. The other chickens already started picking on the body so it really was a horrible sight.

I really feel bad because I lost a chicken.

chickensI really do feel bad because I found the chicken carcass yesterday. But it seems like the chicken has been dead for a couple of days already. And the worst part is, I didn’t know.

So, it seems like I’m not active enough with my chickens. I really have to change my habits and check my chickens more often.

How did I go from being a really caring chicken keeper to a person that just grows chickens for eggs and meat?

I used to sit with my chickens and feeding them by hand. I knew my chickens and I treated them like pets. Even the broiler chickens had a good life until I butchered them.

Having fewer chickens?

Maybe I should go back to fewer chickens. I used to have 6 chickens that lay eggs and I grew broilers every few months. I had a maximum of 4 broilers at one time.

But I bought a brooder and started growing more and more chickens. I know average at about 20 layer chickens and as many broilers.

Seems like the more animals I have, the less I care. And I don’t really like that.

closing

I really have to check the way I treat the animals. I am mentally becoming a big-time grower chickens and I only have 40 of them. How would I treat 1000 chickens at a time? I don’t even want to imagine.

I’m not really sure if I will go back to fewer chickens but I’m sure that I have to change my habits and treat my chickens better than I have done the last year.

I know this is kind of personal but I just had to write it down.

If you have come to this sentence, thank you for reading.

See you in the next blog post.

 

 

9 Ways to Save Money Gardening

This site may contain affiliate links. to read our full disclosure, click here. Now let’s see how to save money gardening.

Introduction on how to save money gardening

I read a blog post about how much money an average gardener can “save” by growing his own produce.

I must say, it was a real joke. As it seems, there’s no money to be made as an average gardener. I really wonder how then, it’s possible for small farmers to grow produce and live off the sales they make.

I know, farming isn’t the same as gardening. But people that really want to invest in gardening can make serious income changes. You just have to be frugal and believing in it.

Below I have written several ways to save money while gardening. Even if you only have a minimum amount of time to grow vegetables. One thing is true though. You’ll get out of the garden, what you put in. So, more time spent intelligently in the garden will result in more produce grown on the same square feet of soil.

make your own seedling pots

kale seedlings in save money gardeningThis can be a real investment in time or an easy to do job.

I personally “make” paper pots. I do this because I want to be able to sell seedlings.

Selling seedlings in something like a toilet paper roll isn’t as attractive as making your own square paper pots made off a newspaper.

But it’s very much possible to just collect your toilet paper rolls to grow your own seedlings on the cheap.

Real seedling pots, especially biodegradable ones are really expensive, so look for ways to avoid buying these pots.



make your own gardening fences and trellises

pole beans trellisesInstead of buying fancy fences and trellises, start making your own. Everyone has a way to get to pallets or left behind wood.

As long as you find material for free, you can make durable fences and trellises without spending a dime.

Yes, you will have to make those fences or trellises but if you do it intelligently, you can reuse them many years to come.

save seeds and do seed swaps

normal seed saving to save money gardening

parsley flower in the sun in save money gardeningNormal seed saving is growing a vegetable until it bolts and goes to seed.

The procedure to save seeds can be found on the internet. And it is quite easy if you have enough patience. Just try it and you’ll see you will have small wins each time you do it.

Sometimes you’ll get a lot of seed. Maybe you’ll get less seed than you want it. Just redo it and you’ll get more each time you do it. You’ll get better at it and save more and more money doing it.

seed saving by reusing vegetables

I personally save seeds from fruits and vegetables I use in the kitchen.

For instance, an apple contains seeds that can be planted. And there are many more fruits and vegetables that contain seeds you can remove just before you eat the fruit or vegetable.

One of the things I also do is replanting cut off vegetables.

leeks

leek roots seed savingLeeks can be cut off so there’s a small piece of the plant still left. You can use these pieces to regrow and use. Or you can regrow these pieces to regrow and go to seed.

I like the second way of going about it. I regrow the pieces and let them go to seed so I can regrow the seeds the next year. That’s a lot more produce to be made by the regrown piece when grown to seed then just the regrown piece itself.

onions

For onions, you can do just the same as you do with leeks. Just make sure you use a good 2 centimeters or 1 inch with the root attached. Replant it and let it go to seed the next year. One plant will give you fresh, more viable seed, to grow all the onions you need for the next year.

celery

celery in kitchenThe regrowth of celery goes by the same principal. just use about 1 inch or 2 centimeters of the celery core with the roots attached and let it grow to seed.

You will learn a lot by using this trick and you’ll get more viable seeds then the store bought ones. The seed that is sold in the stores can be as old as 3 years. I can assure you that it’s really difficult to germinate three-year-old onion seeds.

Compared to store-bought seeds, self-grown seeds have an almost 100% sprouting ratio.

make your own fertilizer

compost to save money gardening

compost pile make your own fertilizerEveryone already knows about compost. There are different ways to make compost. One thing is certain, homemade compost is the best.

Compost contains nutrition for the plants and also contains the life the soil needs to let plants flourish.

urine

Yes, you might call me mad, but urine is a really good fertilizer. You just have to check how much urine you need for which plants. Some plants don’t mind pure urine. Other plants need the urine to be combined with a certain amount of water.

One thing I should mention is this, let the urine stand for at least 6 months. After 6 months there’s no more danger for pathogens.

manure

Chickens poop, cows poop, horses poop. Every animal poops, that’s a fact.

You can compost and use this manure on your vegetable beds. Composted manure is really beneficial for the plants.

You can combine the poop with wood chips or other carbon material to fully compost it before using it.

compost tea

Bad soil can be helped out with compost tea. The best way to treat soil is with compost. But sometimes you don’t have enough compost to fully cover your vegetable beds. A good compost tea can help you out in the beginning until the soil is becoming better.

vermicompost

Last but not least, we have vermicompost. Composting organic material with worms is really making black gold out of kitchen scraps. Vermicompost is a low-level fertilizer with a lot of life in the matter. Using a small part of vermicompost on your vegetable beds, will not only help out the fertility but also the health of the plants.

Use available mulches

collect leaves to save money gardening

In the fall, the trees drop their leaves. This is a golden period. Tree leaves are worth their weight in gold.

Asking the leaves of the neighbors should be a habit, not a problem. At this moment, I’m sure there are neighbors arguing over the leaves blowing around “their” garden.

Leaves are no reason to fight, they are a reason to celebrate life. Because leaf mulch or compost is a heap of life and nutrition to your future plants.

So, start assembling all the leaves you can, so you can start mulch and compost and make new fertility and life in your garden.

use grass clippings

the garden in November use grass clippingsSo many people in our country throw their grass clippings in the green bin. They let the grass clippings being driven away to another place to be composted.

This is a double no-no. First of all, keep the cycle closed in your garden. Pulling the greens away from your garden is the same as stealing from the land.

At the same time, the vehicles needed to drive your greens away, pollute the air without any reason.

Use your grass clippings to mulch the vegetable and flower beds. Compost grass clippings to make fresh fertile soil.

use basic tools

wood chips by hand

I personally sold my wood chipper because I don’t use it enough. In our garden, we chip the wood by hand. No, we don’t have those small wood chips a wood chipper would make. But our woodchips do the job very well.

compost with a basic shovel

You don’t need an industrial compost maker to make compost. Using manpower is enough to make perfect compost. The use of manpower also avoids spending money in a fitness center. So composting really saves a lot of money.

avoid machinery

making a lasagna bed woodchips in save money gardeningAs I already mentioned, in our garden, we do the woodchipping manually. That’s not the only way to avoid machinery. Being a good tenant of the soil, I don’t till the soil. I take care of the soil by mulching and putting compost on top. There’s no need to till the soil, it’s instead much more natural and easy not to till the soil.

use bio-intensive systems

square foot gardening

cheap raised bin square foot gardeningThere are different methods of growing vegetables. Some people like rows of different crops. Other people like to grow mono-crops and use their field for one crop.

I personally love the square foot gardening method. It offers a lot of different vegetable patches in the garden. It’s easy to maintain and it doesn’t cost much to anything to divide the backyard into small squares of one foot each.

You can grow a lot more food with the square foot gardening method than you can with any other method. So, square foot gardening is worth considering.

follow up crops

Growing with the square foot method makes it easy to grow follow up crops. But even if you grow in rows, you can start a new crop as soon as the old crop is harvested. Just check the internet to see what crops to grow in what season.

vertical farming

If possible, use vertical space. Plants like cucumbers, pole beans and can be grown vertically with the use of a simple cheap trellis.

The plants I summed up aren’t the only plants to grow vertically, there are many different ways to grow vertically.

The use of vertical space can grow your small garden really big on the same square footage.

grow expensive produce

tomato plant grow expensive produceIf possible, try to grow the most expensive produce you can. Plants like garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes are all really expensive in the shop but easy and cheap to grow in the garden.

sell produce

This might not be a way to save money gardening. But what can beat making money while gardening?

You can talk to your neighbors to let them buy your surplus of vegetables, fruits or even eggs and chickens.

I personally grow a lot of seedlings. And I sell those to my neighbors and people that garden in our city.

Closing

I’m sure there are many more ways to save money or make money gardening and maybe I will amend this article if I find lucrative projects while gardening.

For now, this is it for this article on 9 ways to save money gardening.

I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.

If you want to be notified when I put on new articles or video’s, please subscribe to my newsletter on the right side of this page.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.

 

my ginger isn’t doing fine.

 

This site may contain affiliate links. to read our full disclosure, click here. Now let’s check on my ginger.

Introduction

ginger rhizome in ginger how to growI brought most of my plants indoors to make sure they wouldn’t get any freeze burn. So I should be happy that I brought everything indoors.
But my ginger doesn’t seem to be happy. The 3 plants are totally stunted. Instead of growing, they are dying back. So there must be something going on with the plants.

season problem?

I am almost thinking that the plants die back because of the shortening days. Although I only planted the plants 3 months ago, they seem to think they have to die back and keep the root intact.

I’m not yet sure what I’ll do with it. But I would really like them to start growing again.

I thought about giving the plants more hours of daylight, artificial light, so maybe they would bounce back. Or maybe I just have to let them die back and grow back in spring.


looking for a solution

ginger 2 in ginger how to grow

I’m looking for a solution to see if I can keep the plants growing. I warmed the room where the ginger is growing. And I hope they will bounce back. I haven’t given more light yet. I first want to see if the heat will change the plant’s mind.

Do you have a solution?

If you read this and you have an idea on how to solve this problem. Or maybe you know a certain way to make the plants grow again. Please contact me through the comment form. I would really be happy if we could put our heads together and try some stuff out.

I am looking for a way to grow ginger inside, especially in the winter. Because it’s too cold in our climate to have a full grow cycle in our area.

I would like to try and grow enough ginger to start selling it for our non-profit.

If you have good luck with growing ginger inside yourself, please help me out. I would really appreciate it.

closing

ginger cut up in ginger how to growSo this is it for this article about my failing ginger plants. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.

I will keep you updated on what I’m precisely doing to solve the problem if that’s possible. I do think that heat will help out a lot. But I’m not sure the temperature will be hot enough to push the plants to grow new sprouts again.

If you want to be notified when I put on new articles or video’s, please subscribe to my newsletter on the right side of this page.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.

 

gardening with back pain. I had a small operation on my back but it’s all reasonably well

This site may contain affiliate links. to read our full disclosure, click here. Now let’s read some more on gardening with back pain.

  introduction to gardening with back pain

zucchini harvest hand gardening with back painI have had back problems for more than 30 years now and every year it gets a bit worse. Stil I want to keep gardening with back pain because I love gardening so much.

Luckily with the medical progress we make, I get some relief from my constant back pain thanks to some medical interventions.

About 3 days ago I got one of those medical interventions. And although these operations are quite painful, I’m happy they exist because they help me out in the end.

no more gardening?

radish seedling no more gardeningI cannot imagine the day that I would have to stop gardening. Gardening really is my way of getting away from the daily troubles.

I can really release all the stress while grubbing in the dirt. Making the small holes to plant my seedlings and seeing them grow up, makes me feel alive.

I did have to adapt a lot of stuff to keep on gardening, I don’t really mind changing the way I garden, as long as I can stay busy in the garden.



gardening with back pain or other problem

gardening with back painDepending on what physical problems I might have, I will always look for ways to keep on gardening.

In my current case, I leveled my grow area to a hight where I don’t have to bend over anymore. And it works out great for me. But I think, whatever problem I run into, I would search until I find a way to solve it.

To avoid lifting problems, I also bought a tumbling composter. This really makes making compost incredibly easy. Of course, it costs money, but I really need to make changes and I hope I will get my money back while growing my own food.

What about the future?

jora compost tumblerI don’t want to know what will happen in the future. I just hope there will always be a solution to my back problem so I can keep going until I drop dead.

I really mean it when I say I could keep on gardening until I die. I don’t feel as if gardening is a burden. To me, it really is a way of life and I love life very much at the moment.

Closing

stefaan walleghem that's meI did need the medical intervention to feel better. I can’t say I’m pain-free now. But at least, I’m not handicapped by the pain anymore. And as long as I can garden I will be happy in life.

I do hope future medical interventions will even get better to maybe finally make me healthy again. But as I already mentioned, as long as I can garden, I’m happy.

Okay, this is just me rambling about my back and my garden. But you get the point. I love gardening. It’s a part of my life I cannot miss.

So this is it for this article about my back and my garden. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.

If you want to be notified when I put on new articles or video’s, please subscribe to my newsletter on the right side of this page.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.

Feed your compost worms for free

This site may contain affiliate links. to read our full disclosure, click here. Now, let’s check out how to feed your compost worms for free.

Introduction

worm bin euro in feed your compost worms for freeKeeping a bunch of composting worms in a bin is fun and it’s sustainable. But there’s a huge difference between having one bin and having dozens of bins.

With only one bin, you can easily feed your worms food scraps from your own kitchen. They will gladly produce the black gold you’re looking for.

Several dozens of worm bins take a lot more input than just your kitchen scraps. You will need to find outside sources to grow your worms adequately.

Maybe you’re planning on making a small business out of your worms and your compost. Or maybe, you just need a lot of compost for your garden. it’s also possible that you want to feed your chickens a huge quantity of worms.

But how do you feed the big mass of worms you need without spending money on expensive worm food.

Worms don’t need worm chow

how to start a worm bin feed your compost wormsIt seems like everything these days can be solved with grains. Every animal on the farm has a big part of grain in its food.

There’s a simple reason for that. Financially, it seems really cheap to grow the grain for the animals. But there is a catch. It’s not sustainable. I hope people will eventually understand that monocropping is not sustainable at all. Instead, it’s really detrimental to the soil and earth as a whole.

And one thing is for sure. Worms don’t need grains. As a matter of fact, it’s really easy to kill worms if you feed them too much grain. Something called protein poisoning will kill all of your worms due to an abundance of worm chow in your bins.

You can go and take a look in the forest. There is no worm chow for the worms. The worms live in decaying leaves and plant matter and sometimes in animal feces. So how can it be difficult to get wormfood for free?

All you need is organic matter

weed in compost wormsWorms eat the fungal growth and the bacterial growth on decaying organic matter. So, the answer can be found in nature. And there are natural elements around us all over the place. Even in the middle of a city, you can find some trees and some shrubs.

Something much more common is kitchen scraps. Yes, I already talked about your kitchen scraps but why not collect your neighbor’s kitchen scraps. You can also go to coffee houses and collect their coffee grounds.

You can rake up the leaves in the fall and you can ask your neighbor you can have his fallen leaves. Leaves are one of the best beddings you can have for worms. And they can feed off leaves as well.

So, let’s make a list of free materials you can use as bedding.


bedding in “feed your compost worms for free”

  • fallen leaves (preferably shredded)
  • aged compost
  • aged horse manure or cow dung
  • wood chips
  • coco coir
  • corrugated cardboard (noncolored brown cardboard), ask around in shops
  • newspaper

food to “feed your compost worms for free”

  • kitchen scraps
  • compost that doesn’t heat up anymore
  • weeds
  • coffee grounds
  • garden waste
  • grass clippings (only small quantities as this will heat up really quickly)
  • fresh leaves of shrubs and trees
  • spoiled fruits and vegetables

ask around

compost pile in bedding for your wormsIt’s really easy to get free food and bedding for your worms. Just start asking around. Once people will start to know you, they will gladly donate their kitchen scraps and yard waste.

People want to get rid of their greens for free. Because in most towns around here, we have to pay to dispose of compostable materials.

There is a catch though. Always make sure, if people give you garden waste, they don’t use pesticides. Chemical fertilizers aren’t a problem but some fertilizers come with herbicides and/or pesticides. So be informed and talk to the people about it.

Teach people

You will most certainly come into contact with people who love to use chemicals just because it’s easy. Don’t try to change their opinion as this will only lead to disappointment and anger. Instead, try to inform them and educate people about easy, natural ways to treat the garden.

The people who use chemicals may not immediately change their opinion. But eventually, you will change some people’s minds towards the light.

Closing on “feed your compost worms for free”

So this is it for this article on how to feed your compost worms for free. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.

If you want to be notified when I put on new articles or video’s, please subscribe to my newsletter on the right side of this page.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.

How to grow sprouted fodder for chickens

This site may contain affiliate links. to read our full disclosure, click here. Cut your feed bill by 3 after reading this article on how to grow sprouted fodder for chickens.

Introduction

How to grow sprouted fodder for chickensDo you want to know how to multiply your feed by 3 for the chickens?

Keep on reading and find out how to sprout your wheat or barley grains to have more food for the same price. It only takes a bit of time and some water.

You read it right. It only takes a BIT of TIME and SOME WATER, nothing else.

Grains don’t need fertilizer to sprout and grow for about 10 days. They only need water. You don’t even have to give them light. Normal daylight in a south facing room is enough.

why should you sprout grains before you feed it to your chickens?

grow sprouted fodder for chickensGrains can be fed as is and the chickens, or other animals for that matter, will be happy with it. But did you know that chickens only process about 35% of the grain in its dry form?

By sprouting a grain, you go from one seed to one sprout that ways at least 3 times as much. Are you understanding where I’m going? A bag of 20 kilograms or about 40 pounds costs about 7 euros where I live. By sprouting the grains, I can grow it to about 60 kilograms or 120 pounds of food.

Besides the fact that the food grows “for free”. The nutritional value grows as well. So, that’s a double whammy. A dry grain will give 35% of nutrition due to the difficulty to digest the seed. A sprouted grain will give up to 80% of nutrition.

Now the weight is growing and the nutritional value is growing, your bill is shrinking A LOT.

What’s the catch?

This is the best of all, there isn’t a catch. You just do what every farmer is doing. You are increasing the value of a seed by growing it.

If you grow one tomato seed, you will get multiple tomatoes by just waiting for it. Of course, tomatoes need some nutrition to survive. But that isn’t even necessary if you grow your sprouts for about 10 days.

Maybe, there’s one negative. You have to make the system to grow your sprouts because the available systems cost a lot of money.

Don’t despair, it’s really easy to build a rack to automate the system.

I made a small video on how to grow fodder without a rack. It’s a bit more work. And it takes more water than when you work with a rack. Check it out.

Is there a fungal problem?

sprouted fodder for chickensIn this system, you see I don’t even use a rack yet. I just grow it in different containers. This is just a testing system. I’m planning to grow the system in a couple of weeks.

The amount I grow at the moment is really small. But it gives a good impression on how it works when going bigger.

There’s one thing I have to check out though. People always talk about fungal growth on the sprouts. That’s something I haven’t encountered yet. Maybe it’s because I just grow a small amount. I don’t really know, but I’ll soon find out.

The people that talk about fungal growth, seem to use bleach as a countermeasure. But I don’t really like to use bleach in my chicken food.

Maybe, if necessary, I can use hydrogen peroxide to avoid problems. That seems less invasive.


How to do it?

How to grow sprouted fodderI started with it in a really easy fashion. You saw the containers I use. I just went to our garden center and asked if the wheat grain was viable. It was so I bought a bag of 20 kilograms and started experimenting.

first experiments

It didn’t take much experimenting. I found out that it’s really easy to do.

I’ll try to explain it as easy as possible. Buy yourself a bag of viable grain. This can be wheat, barley or another kind of grain that chickens can and will eat.

Make sure you have 10 containers. You should be able to grow the grains for about 10 days. And you need a container for every day. Start by filling your first container so the bottom is covered with dry seed. Once you need what amount it takes to cover the bottom of the container, make sure you can replicate that amount every day.

How to grow sprouted fodder for chickens

How to video with a rack

Make sure the containers have holes to drain water. You can drill this holes on one side of the container and tilt each container over another one on a rack like in this video.

Now put your grains in another bucket or container without holes and cover the grains with water. Make sure the water level is high enough because the grains will swell up.

After 12 to 24 hours you can put your grains in your first growing container (with holes in).

The second day you can do just the same thing. So, you’ll have one container growing grains and one bucket or container with water.

Do this every day and put the containers underneath each other. That way, you can use the same water for all the containers.

grow sprouted fodderWater the containers once in the morning and once in the evening. You can do it three times if you want to but you don’t have to.

After 10 days, the first day will have a green cover of grain sprouts and a nice layer of thick roots.

Give all of this to your chickens. You don’t have to cut off the roots or something. They will eat all of it.

Closing on how to grow sprouted fodder for chickens.

Now you can give your chickens a daily dose of fresh grains and vegetables all at the same time. Even in the winter, you can keep on going with this system. The chickens will get fresh greens every single day.

So this is it for this article on how to grow sprouted fodder for chickens. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.

If you want to be notified when I put on new articles or video’s, please subscribe to my newsletter on the right side of this page.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.

 

give more space to my chickens

This site may contain affiliate links. to read our full disclosure, click here. Let’s read about how I give more space to my chickens and why.

Introduction on how to give more space to my chickens

chickens in give more space to my chickensI have been thinking about the chickens a lot lately. They are a group of 19 and there isn’t all that much space for them to walk around.

Also, with the bad weather we’ve had, their space is a mud pool. There’s no walking across without getting your feet wet.

Fencing in the chickens

fencing in the chickensI have some specific fencing laying around for the chickens. There’s only one problem with it. They can fly right over it. It isn’t high enough.

But it’s winter now. So, if they cross the fence, they won’t attack my vegetables. It’s worth trying and seeing how they thrive. I know I can put up a higher fence in a couple of weeks. So, it’s better for them. And I’ll manage to keep them fenced in by the time I start new seedlings.

I don’t have to worry about predators at the moment. There’s no way for predators to get into our garden and my dog is watching everything, every second of the day.

Bigger is better

They will get an area that is at least 5 times as big as what they have now. And above all, it’s filled with grass and weeds. So, they’ll have the time of their life scratching and eating.

I don’t like my chickens to sit in a small space. They scratch everything until there’s nothing left and they sit in their own poop. I wouldn’t want to sit in my own poop so why would I let a bird do that.

composting pile as food for chickens

I will start a new composting pile in the middle of the fenced area as well. I saw a good video on how to feed your chickens for free by using a compost pile.

I don’t think the animals will survive without the added grains in the beginning. There is still a lot to learn for me. But I want to eventually grow chickens for free.

I will have to see how it works out in the beginning but there’s a learning curve to everything. So, it’ll just take time to teach me how to do it. And eventually, I’ll be keeping chickens for free.


How will this help me?

give more space to my chickensI must say, if I get to the point where I don’t have to pay food for the chickens, things will get a lot easier for me.

As I already mentioned in another post. I grow vegetables and meat chickens for the needy. This costs a lot of time, effort and money. Growing chickens for free will give me the opportunity to grow more chickens and feed more people.

Besides the fact that I can feed people, I will also be able to learn people how to grow their own food for nearly no money.

Growing food for free is the reason I do this. Too many people have to depend on big stores to buy their food. And food from a big store isn’t food at all. it’s pure poison without any nutrition.

Giving poor people the opportunity to eat right, will, in the end, lead to healthier people. Healthier people can get out of poverty by doing something useful. Too many people are poor because they are “useless” to society.

Growing free food will set poor people free. No more dependence on cheap unhealthy food. Okay, I know, I’m rambling again. But this really touches my heart.

How can you help us?

As a non-profit, we need money to survive. That’s one of the downsides of our capitalistic environment. I don’t have any problem with capitalism, I am part of it. But I do find that people should help out other people if they have the opportunity.

You can help us out without spending a penny towards our non-profit. Just use our link whenever you want to buy something from amazon.com and we will make a tiny profit.

closing

It will be a happy day for the chickens. They will have more space.

My day will be good as well. As I don’t have to mow the lawn anymore where the chickens will be, I’ll have more time to do other stuff.

So this is it for this article on how to give more space to my chickens. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.

If you want to be notified when I put on new articles or video’s, please subscribe to my newsletter on the right side of this page.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.

start making money with any vegetable garden

This site may contain affiliate links. to read our full disclosure, click here. Now, let’s read on through on how to start making money with any vegetable garden.

Introduction

start making money with any vegetable gardenA lot of people want to start a farm but they don’t know where to start.

Something those people don’t understand yet is the fact that you can start with almost nothing.

You can even take one vegetable and start growing it for business.

One vegetable revolution

potato field making money with any vegetableThe green revolution is the perfect example of how even a poor kid in a poor neighborhood can start a farm.

No, I’m not saying you should buy chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

I’m also not saying you should start growing a thousand vegetables a time. I just want to show that one small bag of vegetable seed can be enough to start a business. Expanding is just a job that comes next to growing the vegetable.

What is the center of the green revolution? It’s monoculture. The worst thing one can do is start a monoculture, but it can be a possibility to start making money before you diversify. Just one bag of, for instance, lettuce, contains 1000 seeds and more. And All it takes is about 45 days to grow a lettuce head.

How to start a mini-business

Go to a container park or recycle center and look for seedling pots. You can also make your own seedling pots from plastic bottles.

You can already go two ways once you have seeds and pots. You can start selling seedlings. But you can also wait for fully grown plants to sell.

One thing you really need is the habit of selling. You will have to learn how to sell. Because no business works without being able to sell.

Selling is not as difficult as it sounds. If you want to learn how to sell, just start doing it and keep going no matter what rejection you get.  You’ll need a thick skin and you’ll need ways to overcome resistance. Both these challenges will make you a better salesman while you are doing it.

No good salesman became a good salesman without the habit of bettering himself and the habit of rejection. Every rejection is a way to learn something new and adapt your way to sell. You’ll become a better salesman with every rejection you get.

Now, I’ll show you a way how you can develop the selling skill and the growing skill without overdoing it. It won’t make you rich in the first year. But it will add a lot to your future self and it will make you enough money to grow your business once you have the hang of it.



new clients, returning clients

returning clients

 making money with any vegetable gardenI cannot tell you how long it ‘ll take before you make a decent client base but you should be growing towards returning clients from the first lettuce head you grow. The way you can get returning clients is by making sure you over deliver for a good price. If you give the client more than he or she expects, you will have a returning client.

new clients

In fact, getting new clients is reasonably easy. It will take some hardship as you can be rejected quite often in the beginning. But if you want to learn from your mistakes, you will get better at it.

You can easily get new clients just by going door to door. Or talk to people you meet along your way.

combine vegetables with business

Okay, let’s get to the real deal. Let’s start growing the vegetables and let’s sell some lettuce.

One lettuce head at a time

lettuce fieldJust start with growing one lettuce head a time. Really, don’t start growing lettuce like a madman. Just go for one a day. And keep on growing one lettuce each following day.

The reason you only need one lettuce head a day has several reasons.

  • In about 45 days you will only have one lettuce head a day to sell, which makes the start quite easy.
  • If you don’t sell the lettuce, in the beginning, you can eat it yourself. If you grow more lettuce heads a day, you’ll be eating lettuce like a rabbit. Expect you’ll have difficulty, in the beginning, to sell one lettuce head a day. The problem in selling is, it takes a lot of practice to become good at it. So don’t despair. Just eat your lettuce and start over again the next day.
  • Once you sold your first lettuce head, you can easily rethink what worked while selling and what didn’t. I would advise you to write down every experience you had while selling the lettuce head. This way you can recapitulate and learn from it the next day.

Go back to clients

Once you find your first client, write down the address and the date they bought the lettuce head.

 start making moneyNow, this is the second hard part of the game. Go back after about a week and talk to them. You can ask them what they thought of the lettuce. And you can ask them whether they would want to buy a lettuce head every so often.

Try to get to a certain date. If you can make them buy a lettuce head every week or every two weeks. You will have a date where you can grow 2 lettuce heads on that day and you have one certain sale for that day.

By trying to convince them to buy regularly, you’ll have a client for the rest of your days as long as you overdeliver for a decent price.

Also, make sure to tell your returning clients, they can talk to other people about you. That way, you’ll get even more people who will ask you instead of you asking them to buy lettuce.

Don’t worry to tell new buyers your first delivery will take at least 45 days as lettuce doesn’t grow in a day. People will understand and gladly wait for your product.

Expand in different ways

Once you have a couple of clients, it’s easy to expand in different ways.

You can grow more lettuce heads a day to sell to all your existing clients and keep expanding by 1 a day to get a new customer each day.

It’s also possible to start a second vegetable, let’s say radishes, and go back to your existing clients to tell them you also grow radishes now.

Many existing clients will gladly buy new different produce once they know you and they know you deliver nice healthy vegetables for a decent price.

What can you expect?

light bulb vegetable gardenNow, this system really works and I know because that’s how I started.

There are some things you’ll have to think about along the way.

Unless you are really persistent, you won’t sell every lettuce head you grow every day. Just make sure you have a goal of at least 10 new clients in a month.

It’s really necessary to put a goal on paper about the sales you make because many times, you’ll have to push to break through. And the problem with selling is, it only gets easier once you have more clients. So the start can be quite hard.

From the 10 new clients, you make a month, you’ll have at least 50% that will stay a client for a long time, so you’re slowly building towards a bigger business.

Grow fast-growing crops in the beginning

bunch of radishes in Grow fast-growing cropsOnly try to grow fast-growing vegetables in the beginning.

You need vegetables that convert to money quickly. You also need vegetables that make you go out and start learning to sell quickly. The more you try to sell, the better you’ll become at it.

Another reason to grow fast-growing crops is the repetition you get from returning customers. If you see your customers every week, they won’t forget you. If you have to wait for, for instance, tomatoes to grow to maturity, it’ll take a couple of months before you can return to your clients.

See your customers quite often to tighten the bond between you and your customers. Customers will buy from people they know and trust.

Closing

This is a really easy and simple way to start selling. I have to say though, it can be really weird the first days you go out to sell one lettuce head.

No matter what you sell, the beginning is the hardest phase. The more you do it, the more you’ll get used to it. And of course, if you put your experience on paper, you’ll learn a lot from it.

After a while, it’ll be so normal that you can expand faster and better without any worry.

Just keep it small and simple in the beginning and grow steadily so you don’t get overrun.

Gardening is all about experimenting and that’s just what you should do. Start the plants from seed and it won’t cost you much at all.

Selling is all about learning from your mistakes, so make as many mistakes as you can.

So this is it for this article on start making money with any vegetable garden. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.

If you want to be notified when I put on new articles or video’s, please subscribe to my newsletter on the right side of this page.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.

25 shade-loving vegetables in the garden

This site may contain affiliate links. to read our full disclosure, click here. Now, let’s read on about 25 shade-loving vegetables in the garden.

Introduction

Not everyone will have full sun in the garden all day long. Some may even have shadows for almost the entire day.

But don’t worry, there’s always a way to garden, even in the shadow.

Not every plant needs that much sunshine. Some plants will do well with just a couple of hours of sun a day. Some can even sustain themselves in the shadow of a tree throughout the day.

In this article, I will show you 25 shade-loving plants you can grow even if you don’t have enough sun in the garden

Lettuce

shade-loving vegetablesThis plant is the first in the list of shade-loving vegetables in the garden.

Lettuce is a really easy plant to grow.

The plant is mostly grown in early spring and later in fall. Because it doesn’t like the hot sun all day, this is a wonderful plant to grow in the shadow.

Lettuce will even germinate slower and bolt faster when it’s standing too hot.

So, just start your lettuce seed and sow them where they only get a couple of hours of sun. And they will do just great.

They might grow a bit more slowly but they won’t bolt in the summer.

Make sure you give them enough water, especially when it’s really hot.

If you want to know a lot about growing lettuce, follow this link on growing lettuce.

Spinach

This plant is, in fact, a cold-loving plant. You can even grow it in the greenhouse through the winter. So, this plant will love the shadow during the warmer months.

When other people brag about there summer crop, you’ll be able to brag about your winter crop that is totally out of season, but oh so yummy in a fresh salad.

Arugula

As I’m writing this article, it’s the month of November and I just started some more arugula. The plant is quite hardy and really needs some shadow in the hot weather, unless you really need the seed.

I’m growing it, in the fall, in my greenhouse where I only get sun in the afternoon. So, even in the fall t only needs partial sun.

Arugula is a leafy green which spices up your salads with a nutty taste. A must-have in every garden.

Endive

shade-loving vegetables in the gardenEndive is a great vegetable to grow in the garden. It’s really healthy.

You can make a really good potato mash with steamed endive.  I would eat it until I burst.

Just start your endive as you would start your lettuce. So, you can start it in small pots or you can sow them directly in their final space. The plant will take a bit longer to grow. But once you will taste the sweet-bitter leaves, you’ll be in love.

Did you know that endive is a chicory plant? There is one kind that is called red chicory or radicchio. In the partial sun, it will not turn dark red, but it will have a nice color and it’ll taste delicious.

If you want to know everything there is to know about endive. Read this article.


Swiss chard

swiss chard in vegetables in the gardenIf you take the colored variety, you’ll get some nicely colored spots in your shade garden.

Just like red chicory, these plants need some sun but not a lot to thrive. The more sun it gets, the brighter the colors will be.

You can prepare both the leaf blade and the stalks. But most people use them separately to make delicious meals. The leaves are also really nutritious which makes them really good for healthy diets (something I maybe should look into)

Growing Swiss chard is easy, read this article to learn more.

potatoes

potato harvestPotatoes need full sun to grow big. But nothing prevents you from growing smaller, sweeter potatoes.

The plants will take longer to grow. Or, as mentioned above, will be smaller at harvest.

Smaller potatoes have the tendency to be sweeter. So,  that can be a positive instead of a negative.

Try growing potatoes after reading this article on how to grow potatoes.

carrots

carrot juice in fast-growing vegetables to grow in spring and fallJust like potatoes, carrots are a root crop. They grow below the surface and don’t need all that much sun to grow.

They will grow more slowly but the taste will be the same. And you can grow them closer together to get more carrots in the same space. That way, you will get almost the same amount as someone growing in the sun. But you’ll have real finger-sized carrots.

Try growing your own carrots after reading this article on how to grow carrots from seed.

Parsnips

parsnips on white background in how to grow parsnips in the gardenParsnips, just like carrots, will grow slower in the shadow. But the plant is more of a winter root. So, growing in the shadow will go really well.

The plant may be a bit smaller but you can grow it for a full season and keep it in the ground until you want to eat it.

So, just give it a bit more time and the plant will do just fine and give you a nice harvest.

Start growing parsnips after reading how to grow parsnips in the garden

Radishes

bunch of radishes in fast-growing vegetables to grow in spring and fallRadishes may be a bit more delicate but they will grow in the shadow. They do need a couple of hours of sunlight though.

You will also have to harvest them smaller. As radishes have the tendency to bolt early in summer, it’s better not to leave them in the ground for too long.

Just make sure, you check them daily once they start to bulb up.

You can read my article on how to grow radishes here.

turnips

six turnips in fast-growing vegetables to grow in spring and fallTurnips are really delicious tubers. And they can be grown in partial shade.

With only a couple of hours of sun, you will be able to grow nice small turnip bulbs. Just like with radishes, don’t wait too long to harvest.

You can harvest some leaves while waiting for the final harvest. Turnip leaves are really tasty and fresh in a summer salad.

You can eat fresh turnips in about 2 months after reading this article.

Rutabaga

The rutabaga is said to be a cross between the turnip and the cabbage. But this hybrid doesn’t taste any less.

The root and the leaves are edible. But the leaves are mostly used to feed livestock.

The plant can be eaten cooked or raw and there are many dishes to be made with this delicious hybrid.

Broccoli

broccoli plant in how to grow broccoli from seedAnother plant in the list of shade-loving vegetables in the garden.

Although broccoli is, in fact, the immature head of flowers of the plant, it is a wonderful crop to grow in the shadow.

Broccoli doesn’t need much sun to grow nice tasty heads. In fact, it’s even easier to grow it in the shadow in the summertime than it is in full sun.

Not many people use the leaves of the broccoli plants but they are as edible as the head itself. Giving it some frost will make the leaves crunchy and sweet.

How to grow broccoli from seed?


Kale

kale plant in 5 perennials you can grow once and for yearsKale is not the all-time favorite in my family as I am the only one who eats it.

But I do grow kale through the winter. If you can grow a plant through the winter, it means it needs much less sun than summer plants. So kale is a really good shadow plant.

In the winter time, my kale plants only get about 3 hours of sunshine and they grow big and strong without any chemical fertilizers. If I can do it, so can you.

Grow kale like a pro after reading my article on how to grow kale.

Cauliflower

cauliflower head how to grow cauliflower in your backyardCauliflower follows a bit the same patterns as broccoli. With less sunshine, you’ll get tighter heads. And they will bolt much slower.

The plants don’t need 6 hours of sunshine to give you a nice crunchy harvest.

You can grow cauliflower easily too, just read this article on how to grow cauliflower.

Cabbage

cabbage in 25 shade-loving vegetables in the garden

Cabbage is broad-leaved. But if you want a nice firm big head, it’s better to grow them in partial shade.

 

Growing your cabbage plants in full sun will lead to smaller head and more loose leaves.

Brussels sprouts

 

 

brussels sprouts on stalk in frost tolerant vegetables to grow in winterIn our zone 8B, brussels sprouts are known as winter crops. But you can easily grow them early in spring and harvest in the summer.

The plant only needs about 2 to 3 hours of sunlight to grow nice delicious green sprouts.

Don’t overfeed with nitrogen because the sprouts will look like small flowers if you do so

Brussels sprouts take time to grow and have to grow slowly. Read everything you need to know in this article on how to grow brussels sprouts.

Bush beans

Another one of the 25 shade-loving vegetables in the garden.

With only 4 hours of sunshine, you can grow bush beans.

Unlike pole beans that mature later in season, bush beans like it a bit cooler.

They can take a bit longer to grow beans as they do need some sunlight to flower and grow the beans. But in the hear of the summer, you’ll be happy you planted them in partial shade.

Although not a shade-loving plant, I do want to talk about pole beans.

If you have a spot where the sun comes in at a height, for instance, due to a small hedge that is shading out the plants. You can still try to grow the pole beans.

I have a spot where I grow my pole beans and they only get sunshine at a height of about 1 meter. So I just put them in pots and grow them higher until they reach the sunny part.

Once a part of the plant is in full sun, the beans will thrive and you’ll get a harvest for a long time.

peas

how to grow peas in fast-growing vegetables to grow in spring and fallGrowing peas is easy. But the plants need a bit of sunlight to grow flowers and eventually pea pods. About 3 to 4 hours of sunshine will make your harvest decent.

Peas don’t like the heat of summer so a shady place might even get them through the summer unharmed. Your harvest will be less in the shadow. But you’ll be able to harvest for a longer time.

Make sure not to overfeed on nitrogen, especially when the plants are in the shadow. You would get a lot of leaves but almost no pods.

Normally a pea plant can sustain itself in the shadow without any nitrogen amendment at all.

Peas are a must have in the garden. Read all about it in this article on how to grow peas.

coriander or cilantro

cut cilantro in frost tolerant vegetables to grow in winterAlthough not a vegetable, coriander is a much-used plant in the kitchen.

Cilantro really loves the colder weather. It will bolt really fast once the sun starts to heat up the garden in late spring.

Keeping the plant in partial shade or almost full shade in the summer will give you a harvest for a longer period. You will get more and bigger leaves. And it’ll take longer for the plant to start flowering.

Mint

mint blue blackground in how to grow mint in containersThis plant will take over your garden in no time. Whether it grows in full sun or in partial shade, the roots will spread and form new plants all over the place.

So, try to keep the mint plant in check. I personally on grow mint in containers, read about it in this article.

Parsley

curly leaf parsleyParsley is another shade-loving plant. It doesn’t mind standing in the sun but it will do okay in partial sun as well. This tasty herb really loves to grow.

Just make sure that there’s enough wind blowing through the leaves. The plant is prone to get powdery mildew when there’s not enough airflow between the leaves. More info on this link.

Basil

Basil doesn’t need full sun either. I must say, it grows a lot faster in full sun.

when the plant is standing in the partial sun, it will grow slowly and a bit more spindly. But it’s easy to prune back several times so it forms more of a bush.

In the partial shade it’s more prone to disease, so be careful not to put it in too humid conditions.

chives

flowering chives in containerChives are, in fact, really tiny onions growing in bunches.

Instead of bulbing up to a really big size, the chives split and form new bulbs.

Chives can be easily grown in full sun or partial shade.

Although it will grow less vigorous in shade, the plant will still do good as long as the soil is fertile and nutritious.

Leeks

single leek in field in frost tolerant vegetables to grow in winterThis is one of the plants that have to be used to make soup. The plant is like a huge green onion and thrives in a moist and cold environment.

I personally grow leeks through the winter here in zone 8b so it’s easy to grow in partial sun in the summer.

I must say, there are certain kinds of leeks that thrive in full sun. So, always check the package of the seed to see whether it’s the winter variety or the summer variety.

onions

Onions aren’t really rooting vegetables but they grow just like them. The bulb forms partially in the soil.

The plant does need a couple of hours in the sun but it will bulb up as soon as the days are getting longer.

Onions don’t need much attention for growing when given a good nutritious compost. They are susceptible to pests and diseases though. So make sure you check the plants often.

Closing on 25 shade-loving vegetables in the garden

This list is most certainly not final. And the list isn’t perfect either.

Depending on the plants you want to grow, you will really have to test out the conditions and the placement. Some plants will do much better than presumed and others will wilt and die.

Gardening is all about experimenting and that’s just what you should do. Start the plants from seed and it won’t cost you much at all.

So this is it for this article on 25 shade-loving vegetables in the garden, I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.

If you want to be notified when I put on new articles or video’s, please subscribe to my newsletter on the right side of this page.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.