How To’s

Seed Starting Charts

Click on the below links for germination charts on starting seeds - what temperatures different herbs and vegetables prefer, and how long it should take them to germinate at those temperatures.

Germination for Common Herbs
Germination for Common Vegetables
Another version of the same for Common Vegetables

Homemade Fertilizer

Click here for a handout on adding fertility to your garden naturally, using the weeds from your yard!

Swales, Berms, Ditches, Drains... Contour!

Click here to learn more about controlling water on your property using earthworks and contour lines.


How to Save Seed

Saving seed from your plants each year is easy. There's a learning curve, but once you start doing it you will kick yourself for all the seed you bought in the past. One plant yields 100x the amount of seed that comes in a purchased packet.  Some plants are easier than others.  There are already many great publications about how to save seed. Click on the pdfs below to read.  Our favorite book on this topic is, Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, by Suzanne Ashworth. 2002. Seed Savers Exchange.

2 handouts on Seed Saving:
Seed Saving Chart of Vegetables
Seed Saving Tips of Vegetables

seeds

Seed Saving Powerpoint by Red Beet Row

Screenshot Seed         Screenshot seed2         Screenshot seed3

Learn more about Seed Saving

From these books:

  • Seed to Seed, by Suzanne Ashworth, Seed Savers Exchange, 2002.
  • Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties, by Carol Deppe, Chelsea Green, 2000.
  • The Organic Seed Grower: A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production, by John Navazio, Chelsea Green, 2012.
  • Organic Seed Production and Saving: The Wisdom of Plant Heritage, by Brian Connolly, Chelsea Green, 2011.
  • Garden Seed Inventory, Seed Savers Exchange, 2005. The New Seed Starters’ Handbook, by Nancy Bubel, Rodale Books, 1988.

And these websites:


Wild Edibles!

Wild Handout Pic

Click on the picture above for a handout about Spring Wild Edibles
Click here for a handout on Summer Wild Edibles
Click here for a handout on Fall Wild Edibles


Companion Planting

Screenshot compplant


How to Pasture Pigs

Yes! It's true! It is possible to pasture pigs. It's cheaper on feed cost, and its healthier for the pigs (and those who eat them).
Everything you need to know has already been written on Sugar Mountain's extensive blog! - explore at will


Animal Fats are Awesome

Here is a wonderful hand-out explaining how to render fats and why they are healthier than vegetable cooking oils. From an herbalist friend in Knoxville, TN, at Reclaiming Your Roots !

Screenshot fats

 
Permaculture, Introductions

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Pages from: http://permaculturenews.org/2015/02/07/permaculture-student-kickstarter/ Matt Powers. Kickstarter campaign to publish educational materials for kids. Permaculture News, Posted Feb 7, 2015.

Bill Mollison Tribute

The co-founder of "Permaculture," Bill Mollison, passed away in 2016.  Red Beet Row was inspired by this man's words and life's work.

Here is a link to a speech Mollison gave in 1981 that is still chillingly relevant.

Here is a link to a video interview with Mollison in 2005.

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”
-Bill Mollison


Recommended Links

Allan Savory: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
This is a GREAT video! Very well-explained. Please watch it and pass it onto others.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI

Juliette of the Herbs
Here is a neat film on Juliette de Bairacli Levy - an herbalist who recorded plants that heal from peasants and gypsies when no one else was writing it down. Her written works are well worth reading.
http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/8638/Juliette-of-the-Herbs

Schauberger and the Magic of Water
Callum Coats explains Viktor Schauberger's ingenious works, especially with water, harnessing Nature's simplicity with understanding of the vortex.  This video is long, but well worth the watch! Super cool to understand how water can be used for energy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX2tKwDaWAw

Weeds: Guardians of the Soil
Free pdf online of an out-of-print book. This book teaches the useful aspects of supposed "weeds." Very good!http://www.naturalsequencefarming.com/press/Weeds%20guardians%20of%20the%20Soil%20%283%29.pdf

Farmers of Forty Centuries
Free pdf online of an awesome book.  This one talks about using natural materials on the land to add fertility to your gardens - which is how farmers in Asia have kept their fields vigorous for centuries.
http://permaculturenews.org/files/farmers_of_forty_centuries.pdf

Large-Scale Permaculture
This website belongs to Mark Shepherd's operation.  He is a permaculture farmer who practices on a large scale.  Think permaculture can't be scaled-up? Thank again!
https://www.forestag.com/

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture
This website promotes Sepp Holzer's ideas.  He has excellent examples of permaculture practices for our climate.
http://www.holzerpermaculture.us/index.html


Recommended Reading

Permaculture: A Designers' Manual.  Bill Mollison. 1988. Tagari Publications
This book is the "bible" of permaculture. Wonderful text book!

The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book: Secrets of the Famous Year-Round Mulch Method.  Ruth Stout and Richard Clemence. 1971. Rodale Press
Anything written by Ruth Stout is worth a gander.  She explains how easy a mulching no-till garden is to work.

The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers. Harvey Ussery. 2011. Chelsea Green
This is an excellent publication on keeping any fowl at any scale.  Ussery explains many methods of using your chickens for more than just eggs and meat.  The only chicken book you need to read!

The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable. Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 1991. Faber & Faber
This lady is cool! She was an herbalist who recorded methods of healing practiced by gypsies and peasants during a time when no one else was paying attention. She was a talented healer of animals in particular. This is the only book you'll need for animal herbal healthcare.

Creating a Forest Garden: Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops. Martin Crawford. 2010. UIT Cambridge.
Wonderful book explaining specific steps to take to turn your landscape into a forest garden, full of edible perennial plants.  Great advice for our climate, and good lists of plants to use.

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Save the World. Paul Stamets. 2005. Ten Speed Press.
Cool book about the importance of fungi in your garden, your woods, your body, and all around you. Mushrooms can even be used to reclaim toxic lands!

The Fifty Dollar and Up Underground House Book. Mike Oehler. 1981. Mole Publishing Company
Any of Oehler's publications will explain how to build underground, using the earth as insulation and thermal mass, creating a zero-energy or near-zero-energy structure. He also publishes on how to build a greenhouse underground, but you need to read this one before you can understand his other publications.

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening. Sepp Holzer. 2011. Chelsea Green.
Desert or Paradise: Restoring Endangered Landscapes Using Water Management. Sepp Holzer. 2012. Chelsea Green.
Any of Sepp's publications are good.  Sometimes they lack detail, but his books communicate useful ideas.

Passive Annual Heat Storage: Improving the Design of Earth Shelters. John Hait. 2013. Rocky Mountain Research Center.
Excellent book explaining how to use earth to live in a structure that needs no heat, even in cold climates!  Very useful in combination with Oehler's Underground House book listed above.

Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build. Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson. 2006. Cob Cottage Company
We are still experimenting with rocket stoves.  There aren't many publications out there - we wish there were more!  However, lots of information about these on the internet.  Rocket stoves can be tricky. For outdoor use, nothing beats a rocket stove for free easy cooking.  Indoors, we are still experimenting with what can work in our climate.

The One Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming. Massanobu Fukuoka. 1975. NYRB Classics
Any publications by Fukuoka are wonderful. He was a Japanese farmer experienced at natural, easy methods of growing rice. His lessons are useful for anyone growing food.

The Natural Building Companion: A Comprehensive Guide to Integrative Design & Construction. Jacob Racusin & Ace McArleton. 2012. Chelsea Green
This is the best how-to guide on natural building published yet. It has really good depictions of various foundation systems, roof systems, and wall configurations for many natural building methods.  This book is highly recommended.

Around the World in 80 Plants: An Edible Perennial Vegetable Adventure for Temperate Climates. Stephen Barstow. 2015. Permanent Publications.
Use this book to learn about perennial vegetables we can grow here!  What they are, how to grow them, how to cook them!

The Art of Natural Building: Design, Construction, Resources. Joseph Kennedy and Michael Smith. 2001  New Society Publishers.
This is a wonderful comprehensive survey of contemporary natural building methods across the globe, in various climates.  Great read for someone just starting to learn about natural building, or someone who thought they knew all the techniques.

Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, A Gardener's Guide to Over 100 Delicious Easy-To-Grow Edibles. Eric Toensmeier. 2007. Chelsea Green.
We learned so many new plants in this book!  Perennial vegetables are delicious, nutritious, and easier to grow than annuals! This is a must read.

Building a Low Impact Roundhouse. Tony Wench. 2001. Permanent Publications.
Accessible book, very short, explaining an extremely cheap and efficient structure you can build with round pole timber.