Growing and buying high quality food in the Mohave desert

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Marilyn's 200 acres near Snowflake
9 beds 4' x 16' and interested in growing feed for chickens and turkeys - elevation 5,300 -- zone 5b
July 23, 2015
7:07 pm
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Marilyn
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July 21, 2015
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[Moved these posts from the topic on Cover Crops as we got a little off topic.]

Hi Christine,

We do get snow but it generally melts quickly our average low is 10 in Dec, Jan & Feb. 130 or so growing days. This is only my 2nd summer here & have been concentrating on gardens, also limited as husband still works in Alaska so I do everything. I do have hoops over each bed for season extension.

I am looking at a cover crop for the raised beds in the garden just to get more organic matter. The hard packed weedy area is just a large spot near the house and corral. I just want to improve the soil in that area & eventually free range turkeys & chickens there. Was thinking about a rye.

I have 9 beds 4' x 16' large area is maybe 80 ft square (I am however distance challenged ).

 

Marilyn

July 25, 2015
9:24 pm
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Christine
Near Meadview, between Lake Mead and Grand Canyon West (Skywalk)
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You have big beds and the hoophouse, lots of work!

And I really don't know what would grow in uncultivated native dirt, maybe the turkeys and chickens have to work it for a while?

I'll get chickens too, but still have to finish the chicken coop.  Plan to free range them or use portable chicken fencing and also want to grow most if not all feed.  One of our gardening club members sprouts and ferments for the chickens and they lay way more eggs since he ditched store bought feed.

The Kingman Master Gardeners want to do a workshop on cover crops, so hopefully I'll know a lot more soon.   But I definitely want to order some of the old heirloom white Sonoran wheat at Native Seads Search.  Every time I go to their site I could spend at least $100!

And I've been trying to set up the forum so that your posts don't have to be approved -- only the first post for new members is supposed to be moderated. Been busy taking a neighbor to the ER and trying to find an assisted living place for him.  It's tough when you get old and have only a little social security income.

July 26, 2015
8:46 pm
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Marilyn
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Would like to hear more about the sprouts & ferments for chickens. I grew barley seed fodder till it got too hot, animals loved it. It needs controlled temps between 60 & 70 so maybe when we build a barn. I did read an article that broke down the costs of growing fodder & they found it not cost effective at all. Of course they were including labor.

Two interesting bloggers on permaculture, fodder etc.

http://shepherdsglenfarm.com

http://tcpermaculture.com

July 26, 2015
10:39 pm
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Christine
Near Meadview, between Lake Mead and Grand Canyon West (Skywalk)
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Thanks for the links!  So much great info ...

I did read an article that broke down the costs of growing fodder & they found it not cost effective at all. Of course they were including labor.

I bet it's not cost effective, especially when you compare to conventional feed.  But then again, what exactly IS the cost of cancer or whatever diseases we get from using commercial feed with GMO corn and soy?

Limiting the cost to money:

I pay $4 for a dozen eggs from chickens fed with purchased organic feed and the owner can't even break even.

Automation goes a LONG way when it comes to growing fodder and I'll try to get Carl (our permaculture gardener) to post more details.  He has racks with trays and pumps and a well and electric, so for us it will be more difficult.

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