2020 gardens

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SONNY
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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby SONNY » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:52 pm

Got a danged deer waltzing thru my squash rows! ---- THAT sucker would be in my freezer, cept weather too hot/humid to butcher right now!
Freeze dryer well worth the cost and time to run. 2 years ago we did tons of stuff in it and this summer we used the last of it. Last year didnt get to do anything with it due to our health problems so this year we are trying to make up for it. We would like to get a 3 year supply of freeze-dried stuff put away if possible. We find ourselves really hittin the ole storage bin hard in the off season! --It not only saves on buying at the stores, but saves on gas to go to town.
We never have enough meat to try, but a friend of mine on FB has done meat and she says it does great.
We did a few different things 2 years ago to see what we wanted to concentrate on.
About anything can be put in them, eggs if you have a bunch, cucumbers, squash, onions, sweetcorn, melons, etc. Some of the stuff has a more limited use than fresh but at least its food!

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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby Dale Finch » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:26 pm

Are you drying or FREEZE drying. My sister is drying various things...her first attempts, and she's experimenting with an assortment of foods. I find it hard to imagine freeze dried meat, though. I picture it being crunchy like freeze dried apple chips!

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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby Eugene » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:03 pm

Dale Finch wrote:I find it hard to imagine freeze dried meat, though. I picture it being crunchy like freeze dried apple chips!
Reconstituted raw beef steaks and pork chops. Add water, wait for the meat to soak up the water. Still need cooking. Almost as good as fresh.

We use to buy freeze dried meat in 1 gallon cans. Water added would equal about 10 lbs of meat.

Frog strangler. Around 6 PM we had 1.5" rain in half an hour with pea sized hail. Garden was under water. Sump pump working. Low water crossings to acreage are going to be flooding tomorrow morning.

Weather is confusing. Almost a month of above normal temperatures. The past couple of days of below temperatures.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby SONNY » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:49 am

Dale!---This is FREEZE-drying, not dehydrating--- its a completely different process. Freeze-drying leaves the product lightweight where dehydrating makes it hard/heavy/burned taste, or toasted taste,--anyway gives an off flavor to everything.
We have a big 24 tray dehydrator and only use it to dry shell beans and I do a little sweetcorn to grind for flour in it.--- The flour is fairly decent. Other than that, our run-ins with dehydrating was bad! ----that's when we went to the freeze-dryer. ---expensive,--maybe, But the end product is so much better! ---- takes about the same length of time to do and quality is excellent.
This is a Harvest-right unit that we have,---- Stainless steel, 5-tray model. They have 3, 4, and 5 tray models and we could use a 10-tray one IF they had one! lol!

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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby SONNY » Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:16 pm

white squash just starting to produce. First cabbage head cracked but tasty ---fried some and cut the rest up, bagged it and put it in the freezer.
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strange squash this year.
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Anybody else have a smut problem in your sweetcorn this year???

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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby SONNY » Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:03 am

Did a few pints of greenbeans, yellow squash, and corn, so far. Been runnin the ole freeze-dryer round the clock for over 4 weeks now.
We did the onions, yellow squash, white patty-pans, now doing potatoes til the next corn is ready, then switch to corn for a few batches, then back to potatoes.
The potatoes turned out excellent, so we are going to do a lot of them this way. First time we got to try potatoes since last year health problems kept us from doing any freeze-drying.

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Potatoes in storage are fine, UNLESS you plant early norlands or short season varieties. They are not long term storage type and we have a lot of norlands this year and will freeze-dry a lot of them. The other long season ones will store in out crates in the basement like always.

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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby Nelson 634 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:20 am

Sure wish I could raise a garden. Not that I Haven't tried. Deer ate beans, tomato plants, pepper plants, okra plants. Laid on squash and killed plants then moved to watermelon and musk melon. I had hopes of getting some corn as they didn't seem interested in my corn patch. Nope didn't get any corn. Looked like a tornado went thru it. Chased a black bear out of the garden about 1 a.m. about 10 days ago he didn't leave one ear. Yes I have a kill permit for the deer. But you can't kill them If they don't come around. Harvested one before bear showed up. Left his scat every where. Haven't seen a deer since. Day or night. Not a good garden season for me.
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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby outdoors4evr » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:54 am

Fences help! I put a chicken wire 7 foot tall fence around my garden. Deer can jump over a 7 foot fence, but they haven't tried yet. I don't think fences help with bears though.
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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby Nelson 634 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:56 pm

The Bear has become problem. He is a frequent visitor to our community. There have been numerous complaints. I believe he will be dealt with before garden season in the spring. Either hunting season or VDGIF trapping. He has become a nuisance. I talked to one gentlemen that lost a 50 lb sack of corn off the back of his truck that he had for feed. The deer will be hunted and used to feed people who can use it. It is frustrating to put in a garden just to have it eaten. I love all the nice pictures I see of the bounty, but then my mouth starts watering! Ha Ha.
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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby SONNY » Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:00 am

I have used electric fences in the past in a pinch to save a garden----shouldnt have to, but sometimes you have no other choice. I have used electric fencing to keep everything from rabbits and coons to coyotes and deer out of gardens.
When the deer slowed down, I put up a perm. standard woven wire fence for the coyotes and so far it keeps them out and the occasional deer that come by dont bother even tho they could easily jump over it. I did put a dead wire above the woven wire and that may be whats making them think!
Never give up on a garden!

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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby Nelson 634 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:37 am

I forgot about the coyotes! We didn't have any until about 15 years back. Some bright individual at the Game Commission (VDGIF) decided we needed them to help with deer population. Go figure.. So we have that problem too. Don't leave your cat out.
I was trying to raise a large garden. 60 ft. by 200 ft. Using my Cubs work the garden. Putting any kind of fence around that would be cost prohibitive for me. Plus make it difficult to use the Cubs. Not to mention the bear will not be deterred by any fence, electric or other wise. They just run thru them. So my new plan is to go to Square Foot gardening. Much smaller foot print. I'll have it at my house. Fenced in maybe even electric.
Keep working on the deer at the "farm". I can take 5 with each permit. So should be able to reduce pressure within a year or two.
So I got wiped out totally this year. Spring will be here in 8 months and I'll do the Square Foot thing, 4X4 boxes raised beds no rows. Looking forward to It.
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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby outdoors4evr » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:16 am

Good fences make for good neighbors! (even the wild ones)

Some people plant other flowers in their garden as a "repellent" for the deer.
https://www.deernono.com/8-deer-repellent-plants-protecting-garden-deer-damage/#:~:text=Herbs%20like%20mint%2C%20rosemary%2C%20Russian,as%20poppies%2C%20daffodils%20and%20snowdrops.
Probably won't help with other species of invaders though.

I have deer, coyote, rabbits, and my dogs that like to peruse the garden. For a small garden, chicken wire works well. Larger spaces would probably push me toward an electric fence. 3-4 strands ranging from 6" to 6' high. Spray the weeds under the fence 2-3x per year.

If it were me, I'd split my garden into two spaces. One area fenced with 100' or 150' of wire fence 6' high and populate this with plants that small animals eat (lettuce, carrot, green beans, tomato, etc) A second area that is not fenced - or lightly fenced with a solar electric fence that could host the other plants (corn, cucumber, pumpkins, squash, etc)
- Plan on one plant for you, two plants for the animals.
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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby Nelson 634 » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:42 pm

One of my problems with the garden has been solved. Unfortunately someones vehicle was damaged. Bear went up against a car a mile from my garden. 300 lb. bear vs. car not a good out come. Car received a lot of damage.
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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby ajhbike » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:23 pm

Had a tough spring with 6 rabbits in the yard tearing at the garden. I can't put up fencing on 6 big raised beds that are spread out. So I had to dispose of them

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Re: 2020 gardens

Postby Don McCombs » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:33 pm

The rabbits or the raised beds? :lol:
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