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Hello from California!

Discussion in 'New Sufficient Self Member Introductions' started by Junebugaboo, May 29, 2019.

  1. May 29, 2019
    Junebugaboo

    Junebugaboo Power Conserver

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    Hi everyone...I'm really excited to be a part of this community because self-sufficiency is a topic very near and dear to my heart, and whenever I find someone who shares this interest, there's an instant connection :)

    I live on top of a canyon in the East Bay of the San Fran area. Our backyard is a steep decline down into dense forests of live oak and bay laurel trees. I see a lot of turkeys, deer, foxes, the occasional coyote, and even had a run in with feral pigs that terrorized our terraced garden! We grow a lot of vegetables in an ever-expanding garden, have several fruit trees and bushes, hops vines that my husband harvests to make his own beer, and a couple of layer chickens.

    I teach biology and am a freelance illustrator, but my dream is to be a farmer, even if it's just to provide for my family.

    "Industrial agriculture has tended to look on the farmer as a worker-- a sort of obsolete but not yet dispensable machine-- acting on the advice of scientists and economists. We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist. It is the good work of good farmers-- nothing else-- that ensures a sufficiency of food over the long term.

    --Wendell Berry
     
  2. May 30, 2019
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    Welcome to SS! It sounds like you will fit right in here :) @CrealCritter is our resident beer brewer here. I'm sure he'd be interested in your DH's beer brewing and hops growing!
     
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  3. May 30, 2019
    Britesea

    Britesea Sustainability Master

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    Hiya! We lived in Morgan Hill for years before we escaped to the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. My daughter lives in San Francisco, and if you go to plays in the city you may have seen her on stage (Genevieve Perdue- now Genevieve Schakne). I do miss the wonderful long growing season of that area, but I don't miss the crowds of people.
     
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  4. May 30, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    Welcome to SS. What varieties of hops does your husband grow?
     
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  5. May 30, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Welcome to SS. We'll enjoy your input! I love your quote, and... how true it is!

    "Industrial agriculture has tended to look on the farmer as a worker-- a sort of obsolete but not yet dispensable machine-- acting on the advice of scientists and economists. We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist. It is the good work of good farmers-- nothing else-- that ensures a sufficiency of food over the long term.

    --Wendell Berry


    What measures do you have in place to protect your chickens from the local predators? Even pigs like chicken! My flock has been attacked by a fox recently, with 4 killed, and 2 severely wounded. I've doubled security with electric around the coop/run which is surrounded by 6' fence with skirt. That fox continues to be a menace, returning at all hours of day and night, never in location or time at which he can be safely eliminated.
     
  6. May 30, 2019
    Junebugaboo

    Junebugaboo Power Conserver

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    @Britesea I haven't been to any plays in quite a while, unfortunately, but I will keep my eye out for her name whenever I go into the city! And yes...I love the long growing season, too, but man, there are a lot of people. Not my ideal place, even though there are many wonderful things about it. I need a bit more room to breathe.

    @CrealCritter Thanks! My husband grows Wilamette and Cascade...I think they are supposed to grow pretty well here. Do you grow any?
     
  7. May 30, 2019
    Junebugaboo

    Junebugaboo Power Conserver

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    @Lazy Gardener Yes! I love Wendell Berry...one of my favorite writers. And I also have had problems with foxes. I lost two a few months ago, just after they turned 7 weeks and went into the coop. I reinforced my coop and small run area on the bottom with chicken wire because I noticed digging all around the bottom edge, and that has seemed to work. I just pile on cardboard and straw over it and replace it every few months. I plan on moving my run area and building another small coop closer to the house under some redwood trees because that ground is sturdily reinforced with shallow redwood roots and there's not way they'll be digging that (at least I hope). I've also read that foxes can jump pretty high, so I'm going to get extra tall T posts for the open run area.

    Let me know if you experiment or find any good tips!
     
  8. May 30, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    My understanding is that chicken wire will keep your birds in, but... in no way, will it keep a determined predator out. Coons and foxes can tear through it. If you can afford to do so, you would be better with welded fencing. Including a buried skirt (laid on the ground, and let vegetation grow up through it, or buried either horizontally, or deep vertically. Foxes are adept diggers, and a red can jump 6' high to go over your fence. A grey can actually climb trees, and have been known to go 18 meters high, and move from limb to limb. If you want a scary education, do a google search for videos of foxes climbing trees and fences.

    My run is chicken wire, with buried skirt, bird netting and tarp over the top. 6' high. There is no way I could afford the welded wire for the size enclosure I've built. We came home to find a determined fox trying to break in. (this after the first attack that killed birds when they were out free ranging). If we had not returned when we did, I've no doubt that the fox would have broken through the wire, or gone over and through the top, killing off the rest of my flock like catching fish in a gold fish bowl. So, we went the next step on security: electric fence surrounding entire enclosure. You might consider this option.

    The benefit of electric fence is that once the local predators have an up close and personal meeting with the fence, they will learn that your chicken buffet comes with a huge ouch factor. They will move on to easier pickings. Then, because your local predators have an established range, a newbie will not move into your territory unless he takes out the existing population. A good fence will deter all of the larger predators, including bear. Check out Premier 1 electric poultry netting.
     
  9. May 30, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    I'm thinking hard about growing hops, but haven't done it yet. I use Wilamette as an aroma hop in my high gravity Golden American Wheat Beer. Love the aroma. I'm not to keen on Cascade though, I like MT Hood better as a bittering hop in this style of beer.

    Here's my Golden American Wheat recipe. Please share with your husband and let me know what he thinks. Everyone who tries the beer likes it.
    IMG_20190504_163040.jpg
     
  10. Jun 1, 2019
    Junebugaboo

    Junebugaboo Power Conserver

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    Will definitely share with him! He's just started some kind of IPA using our hops and is pretty excited because he hasn't had any time for beer lately...we've been remodeling our bathroom for the past 5 months, and it's FINALLY finished.
     
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