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Do you grow your own... y'know... food? | OT? | [56k modem warning, Apple II and Win'95 users!]

lock2k

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I don't really grow my own food but I do have spices cultivated at home and I'm also a heavy user of kefir milk which I cultivate at home ;)
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Scopa Scopa I remember you mentioning loving traditional Italian food, so this one is up your alley:




On the left is another batch of Conserva cruda di pomodoro that I started last night. In the center is the end result from the previous batch. Conserva cruda is fermented tomato paste. A few posts up I posted the 1-gallon crock full of tomatoes, and this 16oz jar of paste (sitting in front of the same crock, for comparison) is all that remains.

End result was extremely bright and flavorful, almost overpowering (which is okay because it's only an ingredient, not a food). Next time I will mix in more cherry/grape and san marzano tomatoes to sweeten the flavor. A very easy process and worth doing when you have extra tomatoes.

On the right is a 32oz (1 qt) jar of halved tomatoes in some of the cruda brine plus some milk kefir whey. The spices inside are a few bay leaves, some garlic cloves, and whole mustard seeds. These will "pickle" but a better term is that they will gently ferment. Great on salads and with Mediterranean food in the Sicily/Italy/Croatia region.

I will probably preserve another batch of lemons next. I also need to make more 'kraut so I will take photos of that.
 

Scopa

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Scopa Scopa I remember you mentioning loving traditional Italian food, so this one is up your alley:




On the left is another batch of Conserva cruda di pomodoro that I started last night. In the center is the end result from the previous batch. Conserva cruda is fermented tomato paste. A few posts up I posted the 1-gallon crock full of tomatoes, and this 16oz jar of paste (sitting in front of the same crock, for comparison) is all that remains.

End result was extremely bright and flavorful, almost overpowering (which is okay because it's only an ingredient, not a food). Next time I will mix in more cherry/grape and san marzano tomatoes to sweeten the flavor. A very easy process and worth doing when you have extra tomatoes.

On the right is a 32oz (1 qt) jar of halved tomatoes in some of the cruda brine plus some milk kefir whey. The spices inside are a few bay leaves, some garlic cloves, and whole mustard seeds. These will "pickle" but a better term is that they will gently ferment. Great on salads and with Mediterranean food in the Sicily/Italy/Croatia region.

I will probably preserve another batch of lemons next. I also need to make more 'kraut so I will take photos of that.
Haha, funny you tagged me because I was literally talking to a friend today about your original tomato conserve post.

Yes, I love Italian food and have a lot of experience with it, but had somehow never really come across conserva cruda di pomodoro. I don’t know why. Maybe because most of my experience is with more southern Italian cooking and maybe this particular conserve is more northern? I need to ask around.

Anyway, your original post intrigued me, so I looked it up the other day and some recipe/step-by-steps.

I might try it myself at some point.

I love this thread! Your doing amazing work.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Haha, funny you tagged me because I was literally talking to a friend today about your original tomato conserve post.

Yes, I love Italian food and have a lot of experience with it, but had somehow never really come across conserva cruda di pomodoro. I don’t know why. Maybe because most of my experience is with more southern Italian cooking and maybe this particular conserve is more northern? I need to ask around.

Anyway, your original post intrigued me, so I looked it up the other day and some recipe/step-by-steps.

I might try it myself at some point.

I love this thread! Your doing amazing work.
Thank you! Please try to make it someday because it is the easiest ferment I've done (and I've done dozens ferments across numerous cuisines). Perhaps it will get you into the wonderful world of home fermentation. ;) You will need a food mill or food strainer (something to mechanically separate the liquid and pulp from the seeds + skins).

I will do photos of some breads next. My wife is nagging me to make more pita and more ciabatta. I am also hoping to make fresh sourdough dough although I will actually cheat and use milk kefir whey to hasten it instead of doing the normal 1-week process.
 
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Scopa

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Thank you! Please try to make it someday because it is the easiest ferment I've done (and I've done dozens of different varieties across numerous cuisines). Perhaps it will get you into the wonderful world of home fermentation. ;) You will need a food mill or food strainer (something to mechanically separate the liquid and pulp from the seeds + skins).

I will do photos of some breads next. My wife is nagging me to make more pita and more ciabatta. I am also hoping to make fresh sourdough dough although I will actually cheat and use milk kefir whey to hasten the process instead of doing the normal 1-week process.
I definitely will.

Again, weird coincidence, I have also been planning to make my own ciabatta and other breads this summer. I have a huge wood oven that has been sorely neglected lately.

I’ve been telling friends and family that I’m going to have a day soon where we cook some bread for everyone and some wood oven pizzas. Maybe roast a Snapper fish too (but that is more for them than for me).

Can’t wait!
 

Liljagare

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It's fall chanterelle season, soon there will be bucket loads of theese guys, and, the red one will kill you.. :p






Well, always found finding something special to be interesting. Been going down to Spain since the 90's and only recently learned about one favourite they have, Tuna Ventresca, Tuna belly in oil. It's spear caught bonito, and you use the belly part for the Ventresca cans.

Bought them for like 2,50 Euro onsite, here at home it's insane.. :p

However, if you haven't tried it, try to find a can, it's like a good pate, really buttery smooth tuna flavour. Beats other "luxury" foods I've tried by a mile.

https://www.amazon.com/Ortiz-Ventresca-White-Tuna-Belly/dp/B00AHLKC3M

 
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DunDunDunpachi

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This is about 1/3rd of the carrot patch. Sow them dense and pull the biggest ones. They're uglier, but you get more lbs per square foot. The little ugly balls in the back are beets that we picked too early. After the first frost, not before.
 

Omeggos

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Potatoes, apple trees, corn, berries, onions, some greens,

Yup, currently living in a relatively rural section of minnesota has its highs I guess
 

Singular7

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Amazing work with the mushrooms! Looks delicious.

I grow:

- san marzano tomato
- tomatillos
- various peppers
- herbs
- cucumber
- zuccini

A great hobby, and absolutely fascinating to sprout life -> nurture -> cook -> eat. Everyone should do it for philosophical reasons and to ground you in reality.
 

Winchester

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This is actually pretty awesome DunDun. Very very nice. Living in townhomes, the only stuff that I've really gotten to grow are herbs at the window. And that was never a great harvest for me. Once the wifeski and I move out to a house with land, I'm taking full advantage of growing my own vegetables and fruit. In our house, we have staples that we cook with daily (e.g. garlic, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, etc) that would be fantastic to just yank out of the back yard when needed. Canning or jarring tomatoes? Yep. That would be handy to have around. Not only that, I'm going to be one of those people and say that the stuff you grow is much better for you than the "modified" stuff you'll find in the grocery stores.

And it tastes so much better too. Every time we head out to her parents farm, we're always treated to fresh produce and herbs from her mom's garden. Doesn't even compare to store bought.

Besides, I need another hobby. I don't think I have enough.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Homemade-yogurt superior race represent.
I'm lazy and cheap: I don't want to deal with keeping the culture at the proper temp. Milk kefir is the only cultured dairy I need in my life.

This is actually pretty awesome DunDun. Very very nice. Living in townhomes, the only stuff that I've really gotten to grow are herbs at the window. And that was never a great harvest for me. Once the wifeski and I move out to a house with land, I'm taking full advantage of growing my own vegetables and fruit. In our house, we have staples that we cook with daily (e.g. garlic, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, etc) that would be fantastic to just yank out of the back yard when needed. Canning or jarring tomatoes? Yep. That would be handy to have around. Not only that, I'm going to be one of those people and say that the stuff you grow is much better for you than the "modified" stuff you'll find in the grocery stores.

And it tastes so much better too. Every time we head out to her parents farm, we're always treated to fresh produce and herbs from her mom's garden. Doesn't even compare to store bought.

Besides, I need another hobby. I don't think I have enough.
I didn't do herbs this year and I regret it. Next year, definitely.

You can do mushrooms indoors pretty easily. It's worth investigating.
 

blu

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I'm lazy and cheap: I don't want to deal with keeping the culture at the proper temp. Milk kefir is the only cultured dairy I need in my life.
You should try (proper) yogurt with honey. Ping me if you ever visit the Balkans.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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It begins...

6-8 weeks before the estimated end of frost, certain plants can be started indoors. On the near side, you can see the empty trays where my spicy peppers haven't yet sprouted. On the far side and in the other tray, those little tomato plants are reaching upward toward the sun. I like leggy indeterminate tomato plants so that I can train them to climb and continue producing for a long time.



I need to pick up more fill dirt to get starters for bell peppers going. Here are most of the rest of the seeds:



I'm hopeful for the wildflowers. They will help the rest of the garden thrive by attracting insects and birds.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Scopa Scopa Liljagare Liljagare Omeggos Omeggos Singular7 Singular7 hargwood hargwood
Calling you out because you've mentioned you grew stuff in the past. Please post pics over the coming months if you are so inclined, and I'd love to hear about your 2019 plans.

I'm doing starters (pictured above) for the first time this year as well as a lot more indoor plants. My herbs have barely sprouted, but I'll share pics of those as they get bigger. The "spending money" from our US tax refund is going almost entirely to seeds, dirt, mulch, and timber to build up the garden beds. I'm excited to take pictures and share in a few months.

Soon I'll have sprouts to show off, which isn't anything difficult to grow but is still cool to look at, IMO.
 

Omeggos

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Calling you out because you've mentioned you grew stuff in the past. Please post pics over the coming months if you are so inclined, and I'd love to hear about your 2019 plans.

I'm doing starters (pictured above) for the first time this year as well as a lot more indoor plants. My herbs have barely sprouted, but I'll share pics of those as they get bigger. The "spending money" from our US tax refund is going almost entirely to seeds, dirt, mulch, and timber to build up the garden beds. I'm excited to take pictures and share in a few months.

Soon I'll have sprouts to show off, which isn't anything difficult to grow but is still cool to look at, IMO.
Me and my grandparents will begin growing around April. Right now the ground is still too frozen.

Unless we successfully sell the house, then it’s a different story.
 

jshackles

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I've never really grown anything before, and certainly not food - but this year for Christmas my mom got me an Aero Garden from Micracle Grow. It's easy enough for someone like me to put together and understand. Basically, it's a tank of water with a pump in it, a place to put pre-seeded pods of various things, and a light at the top that works on a timer. The model I got supported 6 pods and came with a set of "salad green" pods.

It's this thing: https://www.amazon.com/AeroGarden-Classic-Gourmet-Herb-Seed/dp/B010NBJMLI/

(Sorry in advance for all the photos!)

Starting out, this was about a month ago:



You put the little seed pod things in the base, fill it up with water, and drop in a couple of caps of the plant food. I changed the settings to "Salad Greens" which just controls the light cycle.

Anyway, it took a couple of weeks to get going. At first I thought "hmm, I'm not sure if the electricity used in running that pump 24 hours a day and the light 17 hours a day really pencils out. After a few weeks though, these things are going to town: sucking up a bunch of water, leafing out, you know... being plants.

After a few weeks...



Then a few weeks more they REALLY took off...



Since there was a lot of growth competition here, I decided it was time to start harvesting some of them, leaving others to grow and keep leafing out more.



I got a pretty big bowl of salad!



Added some ham chunks, a bit of cheese, and some ranch dressing and it was surprisingly tasty



I've also been cutting it to shreds to have on tacos, whole leaf on turkey burgers, and it's been better than any store-bought lettuce I've had.

I've found that I really have enjoyed watching it grow, and there is a certain satisfaction from eating something you "did yourself" rather than just going to the store to buy a $2 head of lettuce. Obviously, this machine isn't going to ever pay for itself unless I start growing weed with it. It's been fun and it's nice to plan meals around stuff that just needs a bit of lettuce, and getting the sheers out and having it fresh. Since it's an indoor / year-round system I imagine these guys will probably just keep on growing.

Hope you've enjoyed my silly lettuce journey!
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I've never really grown anything before, and certainly not food - but this year for Christmas my mom got me an Aero Garden from Micracle Grow. It's easy enough for someone like me to put together and understand. Basically, it's a tank of water with a pump in it, a place to put pre-seeded pods of various things, and a light at the top that works on a timer. The model I got supported 6 pods and came with a set of "salad green" pods.

It's this thing: https://www.amazon.com/AeroGarden-Classic-Gourmet-Herb-Seed/dp/B010NBJMLI/

(Sorry in advance for all the photos!)

Starting out, this was about a month ago:



You put the little seed pod things in the base, fill it up with water, and drop in a couple of caps of the plant food. I changed the settings to "Salad Greens" which just controls the light cycle.

Anyway, it took a couple of weeks to get going. At first I thought "hmm, I'm not sure if the electricity used in running that pump 24 hours a day and the light 17 hours a day really pencils out. After a few weeks though, these things are going to town: sucking up a bunch of water, leafing out, you know... being plants.

After a few weeks...



Then a few weeks more they REALLY took off...



Since there was a lot of growth competition here, I decided it was time to start harvesting some of them, leaving others to grow and keep leafing out more.



I got a pretty big bowl of salad!



Added some ham chunks, a bit of cheese, and some ranch dressing and it was surprisingly tasty



I've also been cutting it to shreds to have on tacos, whole leaf on turkey burgers, and it's been better than any store-bought lettuce I've had.

I've found that I really have enjoyed watching it grow, and there is a certain satisfaction from eating something you "did yourself" rather than just going to the store to buy a $2 head of lettuce. Obviously, this machine isn't going to ever pay for itself unless I start growing weed with it. It's been fun and it's nice to plan meals around stuff that just needs a bit of lettuce, and getting the sheers out and having it fresh. Since it's an indoor / year-round system I imagine these guys will probably just keep on growing.

Hope you've enjoyed my silly lettuce journey!
Those countertop growers are exceptional little devices. I think it's neat that you were able to garden without any previous experience.

It would be cool to grow herbs or tomatoes in that thing. Do you have plans to re-up with the same lettuce cartridges, or try something else?

Thanks for sharing your pictures.
 

jshackles

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Those countertop growers are exceptional little devices. I think it's neat that you were able to garden without any previous experience.

It would be cool to grow herbs or tomatoes in that thing. Do you have plans to re-up with the same lettuce cartridges, or try something else?

Thanks for sharing your pictures.
I have a set of pods with herbs in it



But I'm not sure if I would get as much utility out of those and I fear it might make for an odd combination of smells in my kitchen.

The salad greens I have say they have an "average lifespan" of 4 months so I'll definitely be chowing down on those for the next few months at least.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I have a set of pods with herbs in it



But I'm not sure if I would get as much utility out of those and I fear it might make for an odd combination of smells in my kitchen.

The salad greens I have say they have an "average lifespan" of 4 months so I'll definitely be chowing down on those for the next few months at least.
Yeah, if you clip leaves as you go, you get a larger harvest over the long run. I use the same method in my outdoor garden.

The nice thing about keeping the fresh herbs on hand is you'll only use a little bit at a time anyway.

However, it sounds like you're getting meal-sized amounts of lettuce, which is pretty remarkable. Why not stick with what works? Can't you select only 1 or 2 herbs and then make the rest lettuce again (I can't imagine you are forbidden from mixing and matching)?
 

jshackles

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Yeah, if you clip leaves as you go, you get a larger harvest over the long run. I use the same method in my outdoor garden.

The nice thing about keeping the fresh herbs on hand is you'll only use a little bit at a time anyway.

However, it sounds like you're getting meal-sized amounts of lettuce, which is pretty remarkable. Why not stick with what works? Can't you select only 1 or 2 herbs and then make the rest lettuce again (I can't imagine you are forbidden from mixing and matching)?
I think you can plant whatever you want in these :D The instructions say they don't recommend mixing and matching stuff that uses different light cycles, and I'm not experienced enough to know whether basil will grow with a 17 hour light cycle vs a 16.5 hour one but I imagine it's probably okay.

They even sell "empty" pods so you can plant whatever you want with these. Since it's legal in my state, I did seriously consider trying to grow marijuana with this and even read some tutorials online.
 

Scopa

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Our summer is coming to an end and fortunately/unfortunately, I’ve had a very busy one and the garden has taken a hit as a result. I have naught to show but a bit of basil and my regular fruit trees. Love your work though DunDunDunpachi DunDunDunpachi , you are really organised and dedicated. I was wondering what happened to your updates. Makes sense now that you were going through your winter, lol.

Man jshackles jshackles , that Aero Garden looks interesting. I’d like to try one indoors during the cold season for herbs. What are the running costs like?

In terms of growing weed with it, it would be an interesting experiment, but I’m not sure you’d get much yield considering the size of the machine. Fascinating idea though. Keep us updated.
 

hargwood

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I'll be looking at growing almonds this year and also looking into the possibility of getting a few hens. Used to collect eggs from a local farm park with my grandad when I was young and have always wanted to produce my own eggs, meat etc. if possible.
 

Liljagare

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Calling you out because you've mentioned you grew stuff in the past. Please post pics over the coming months if you are so inclined, and I'd love to hear about your 2019 plans.

I'm doing starters (pictured above) for the first time this year as well as a lot more indoor plants. My herbs have barely sprouted, but I'll share pics of those as they get bigger. The "spending money" from our US tax refund is going almost entirely to seeds, dirt, mulch, and timber to build up the garden beds. I'm excited to take pictures and share in a few months.

Soon I'll have sprouts to show off, which isn't anything difficult to grow but is still cool to look at, IMO.
Way too early for my region to start. I just ordered everything though.. :p Usually till and plant in april.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I'll be looking at growing almonds this year and also looking into the possibility of getting a few hens. Used to collect eggs from a local farm park with my grandad when I was young and have always wanted to produce my own eggs, meat etc. if possible.
Almonds? I'm very jealous. The only way I could do almonds is if I put one into a greenhouse, because I think our winters are too harsh.

My wife and I are headed in the same direction with eggs. We're hoping to have a coup by end of 2020.

Way too early for my region to start. I just ordered everything though.. :p Usually till and plant in april.
Yeah, I cheated a bit and started some plants indoors. No worries if you haven't started anything yet. Feel free to share any ideas or plans you have, in the meanwhile.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Some updates today:



Broccoli microgreens. I am experimenting with different seeds types with the goal of producing high volume-by-weight batches of veggies to feed the family. Everyone except the 2-year-old likes to eat sprouts/microgreens. This tray is only 72 hours old. It will be twice this height in a few days.

If you zoom in, you can see whilte tufts of fuzz. Some people mistake this for mold growing on the sprouts, but these are actually tiny root hairs.



Tray of tomato seedlings from two weeks ago. There hasn't been much vertical growth which is perfect, because I want them to focus on pushing down roots. You'll notice how "leggy" they are, and that's because I deprived them of light when they were younger. When I plant them outside, I want them to be as tall as possible without sacrificing a good root structure.



Some garlic bulbs. They were random extra cloves that had sprouted little green tips, so I decided to plant 'em. Garlic is easy to grow and well worth the effort for the sake of garlic scapes... :messenger_weary::messenger_ok:



Out-of-frame left: mung bean sprouts, about 10 days old
Pink bulbs: some kind of store-bought garlic my wife brought home. They are sitting in a light saltwater brine and I am waiting for bubbles to begin forming. Once pickled, they will keep in the fridge for 6+ months. As a bonus, the skins peel off much easier compared to fresh garlic. This is my preferred form of garlic but I ran out recently, so it was time to make another jar.
1 gallon jar: sauerkraut with some caraway seeds for flavor.
White lid, red sauce: fermented hotsauce, about 2 weeks old. I threw a pound of sliced red jalapenos plus a few garlic cloves, fermented for 5 days, pulsed it in the blender, and it has continued fermenting for another 10 days in this jar. After pulsing it, I threw in a peeled knob of fresh ginger root. I'll give it a try in about 1 month. It needs to be shaken once per day to ensure that no mold is allowed to form.
 

kbear

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Holy shit, subbed. Didn’t expect to see this niche hobby have an OT. I’m goin’ in hard this Spring.

DunDunDunpachi DunDunDunpachi Know that your efforts keeping this AAA thread going are appreciated even if no replies
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Holy shit, subbed. Didn’t expect to see this niche hobby have an OT. I’m goin’ in hard this Spring.

DunDunDunpachi DunDunDunpachi Know that your efforts keeping this AAA thread going are appreciated even if no replies
Thanks for the kind words. I'll keep updating with stuff as I do it, and I'm glad that others are adding their own pictures and updates.
 

Scopa

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Holy shit, subbed. Didn’t expect to see this niche hobby have an OT. I’m goin’ in hard this Spring.

DunDunDunpachi DunDunDunpachi Know that your efforts keeping this AAA thread going are appreciated even if no replies
Yeah, same. I read every single post, study every picture and get insanely jealous and hungry. Sometimes there’s not much to say, but stare in awe and admiration.
 

Liljagare

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Yeah, I cheated a bit and started some plants indoors. No worries if you haven't started anything yet. Feel free to share any ideas or plans you have, in the meanwhile.
Going to be moving, not that far though, just 5 minutes up the road, but we will loose our nice yard. Going to have to go for alot of spices this year in the colony lott!! Will probarly only do 20% corn/squash/beets/beans/artichoke/carrots/onion/selery, skip the brussel and remove the raspberry, and try to transplate some wineberry bushes over.

Never had much luck at moving russian tarragon/thyme/sage so will be leaving those for the next lucky owner.

Going to be a tight fit. :p

On a happy sidenote, my redwine berry wine is turning out excellent and so is my sherry! :) 30L of each, should be nice for first spring party, it's allready all highly drinkable.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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These were a good experiment: mung beans grown on four soil-free trays. I will definitely repeat these but I made the mistake of giving them too much light. As a result, they are fully grown, fully edible, fully healthy, but slightly bitter from the chlorophyll in the leaves.

The white mesh part of the tray separates and makes it easy to swap out the water. Clean water is essential to making this method work.



10 days from bean to sprout. Not bad. I think I'll do 2 trays of mung beans and 2 trays of fenugreek.

Aside from that one issue of too much sunlight, these were remarkably easy to grow.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I'm excited to show these off. I learned some lessons from growing microgreens (mostly unsuccessfully) last year and these seem to be faring much better.



(Clockwise from Top-Left: *turnips, *turnips, broccoli, broccoli, 2/3 clover + 1/3 buckwheat, *buckwheat, *turnips, and *fenugreek)

The *pale sprouts were moved upstairs out of the dark basement today and they will green up for 2-3 more days on my shelves. The bright green ones on the right side have already been in the sun, as you can tell.



(These are the broccoli microgreens that I showed off on Saturday; now they are about 3.5 inches / 9 cm).
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Updates! I am still plugging along with microgreens. These kohlrabi greens have about 1 or 2 days left before I want to eat them. In the background is the same 1-gal jar of 'kraut mentioned above.




Here is that 1-gal jar parceled out into three smaller jars.



Foreground: some carrots at the bottom of this jar of 'kraut, immersed in the juice as well. Since fermentation is an active biological process, it makes sense to "keep it going" by pickling other fresh veggies, or reserving a piece of the sourdough to ferment future batches, or retaining your kefir grains to ferment another batch of milk, or using the same "pickling stone" in each batch, etc.

This mentality was far more common in old cultures but is mostly unheard of nowadays.

The 'kraut on the far right was jarred on June 27th of last year. This is perhaps my longest fermenting experiment so far. No mold! No rot! It's a bit mushy and the flavor is milder than traditional 'kraut. This particular batch was made with milk kefir grains, a pinch of salt, and clean water, with the goal of observing how long food could be preserved using kefir grains. If you look closely, you can see the off-white chunks in the jar (those are the grains).

I first got the idea from this ancient website (which is the most concentrated source of kefir knowledge I've found so far, surpassing even YouTube or mommy-blogs) and the method appears to work very well for long-term preservation.

My next experiment is to use the milk kefir pickling method to preserve "hard" veggies like carrots, beets, and turnips. If the cabbage turned a bit mushy but was otherwise preserved with zero mold or rot, I hypothesize these vegetables will retain much of their flavor while staying relatively crunchy. I may add a few wild grape leaves (they grow in and near my yard) to the bottom of the jar, which is a traditional method used to keep pickles crunchy. The leaves are high in tannins.
 
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I dream about firing up an aquaponics rig with catfish and tilapia, which I would also harvest for meat. I have a huge backyard, and could feed the whole goddamn neighborhood if it was implemented properly.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I dream about firing up an aquaponics rig with catfish and tilapia, which I would also harvest for meat. I have a huge backyard, and could feed the whole goddamn neighborhood if it was implemented properly.
I'm headed in that direction within the next few years, too. Seems like the trick is to balance the fish, the bacteria, and the plant beds themselves. Growlights vs greenhouse vs fully outside. Wicking beds vs float beds vs drain-and-fill rock beds vs vertical pipes. Type of fish involved makes a difference, too. Plus, I'm already doing some of the adjacent things like growing my own red worms, which I can feed to the fish.

I better stop there, because to be honest I could rant and rant about it. :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
Aug 29, 2018
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I'm headed in that direction within the next few years, too. Seems like the trick is to balance the fish, the bacteria, and the plant beds themselves. Growlights vs greenhouse vs fully outside. Wicking beds vs float beds vs drain-and-fill rock beds vs vertical pipes. Type of fish involved makes a difference, too. Plus, I'm already doing some of the adjacent things like growing my own red worms, which I can feed to the fish.

I better stop there, because to be honest I could rant and rant about it. :messenger_grinning_sweat:
I fell into a deep youtube trap over a year ago learning everything I could about it. The idea of covering my entire family's produce consumption for the cost of water circulation, fish food, and ph chemicals for the initial investment of about $1000 is insane. Plus I get all the catfish I can eat!
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I fell into a deep youtube trap over a year ago learning everything I could about it. The idea of covering my entire family's produce consumption for the cost of water circulation, fish food, and ph chemicals for the initial investment of about $1000 is insane. Plus I get all the catfish I can eat!
Heck yeah! Well, if you end up going that route it would be great to hear about what does or doesn't work for you. I'm still at least a year off from that. I might do tilapia but that would likely restrict me to indoors. Eventually, I'd like to have a setup outside that can survive the Midwest winters.

My opinion is that if you're going to put in all the effort of doing the plumbing and pumping of aquaponics, you may as well take a few extra steps to incorporate the fish. You could get started for about $500 if you use the IBC container route.
 
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Scopa

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Oct 27, 2017
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Updates! I am still plugging along with microgreens. These kohlrabi greens have about 1 or 2 days left before I want to eat them. In the background is the same 1-gal jar of 'kraut mentioned above.




Here is that 1-gal jar parceled out into three smaller jars.



Foreground: some carrots at the bottom of this jar of 'kraut, immersed in the juice as well. Since fermentation is an active biological process, it makes sense to "keep it going" by pickling other fresh veggies, or reserving a piece of the sourdough to ferment future batches, retaining your kefir grains to ferment another batch of milk, using the same "pickling stone" in each batch, etc.

This mentality was far more common in old cultures but is mostly unheard of nowadays.

The 'kraut on the far right was jarred on June 27th of last year. This is perhaps my longest fermenting experiment so far. No mold! No rot! It's a bit mushy, but the flavor is milder than traditional 'kraut. This particular batch was made with milk kefir grains, a pinch of salt, and clean water, with the goal of observing how long food could be preserved using kefir grains. If you look closely, you can see the off-white chunks in the jar (those are the grains).

I first got the idea from this ancient website (which is the most concentrated source of kefir knowledge I've found so far, surpassing even YouTube or mommy-blogs) and the method appears to work very well for long-term preservation.

My next experiment is to use the milk kefir pickling method to preserve "hard" veggies like carrots, beets, and turnips. If the cabbage turned a bit mushy but was otherwise preserved with zero mold or rot, I hypothesize these vegetables will retain much of their flavor while staying relatively crunchy. I may add a few wild grape leaves (they grow in and near my yard) to the bottom of the jar, which is a traditional method used to keep pickles crunchy. The leaves are high in tannins.
Haha, you are like some mad professor. I picture you in an isolated rickety cottage in the woods doing experiments, lol. You do so much!

Quick question (and please don’t take it the wrong way because I love your updates Dun): Do you do it for the love of the game or are you...ah...prepping for something?

It’s not like I’d blame you for being a prepper in today’s world.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Apr 18, 2018
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Haha, you are like some mad professor. I picture you in an isolated rickety cottage in the woods doing experiments, lol. You do so much!

Quick question (and please don’t take it the wrong way because I love your updates Dun): Do you do it for the love of the game or are you...ah...prepping for something?

It’s not like I’d blame you for being a prepper in today’s world.
You could say I do it for the love of the game. Nope, I'm not prepping for anything apocalyptic, but I think it's valuable and interesting to learn about this stuff.

I'm also learning about foraging and permaculture. All these topics are within the general realm of "ways to make your own food within your circumstances".

Even though I have a 1/2 acre yard, my area is teetering between "suburb" and "urban". I would love to own a thick plot of woods someday because then I can do a lot more mushrooms and a bunch of hugelkulturs. In the meanwhile, I am learning methods to maximize my output within a small-ish area.
 

Wimbledon

Member
Dec 7, 2018
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Wow i'm glad i just discovered this thread.

I really want to learn how to do this, especially once i get my own place.

Bookmarking this for later.
 

Liljagare

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May 8, 2013
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Well, colony lott cleaned and tilled atleast, just gotta wait for real spring now.. Gonna be frost nights for another month prolly.. :p
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Not a pretty sight (yet), but I thought a 'before' picture would be nice. This will be the second growing season on this plot of garden. The fencing behind the wheelbarrow is for peas and the bigger posts in the foreground will be for tomatoes. I used random poles and scrap wood from my garage. Maybe I'll make it look more uniform next year but for now this will work fine.