Don Ruch

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Potatoe bucket

I love to grow my own food in my own garden plot and the basic crops that I like to grow are Tomatoes, squash , peppers and potatoes. There is someting empowering about growing your own produce, no pesticides, fresh vegtables moments from the garden and the joy of participating in the creative process. However there is an added treat in growing potatoes that I find compelling, not only is the potatoe easy to grow but the real treat comes in the fall at harvest time. When the plant dies back in late summer the potatoe is ready to harvest. Typicaly you thrust your shovel into the ground several feet back from the dying plant and dig up the potatoes. You never know how many or what size, kind of like digging up treasure. There is only one draw back to this age old harvesting problem, If you miscalculate with your shovel , you could and will put your shovel blade right through a nice potatoe. Boo !
I have come up with a (new?) way to grow potatoes by using a 15 gallon nursery bucket, filling the bucet with potting soil. I have used one seed potatoe per bucket. A seed potatoe, for those unfamiliar, is a potatoe that started to sprout eyes , potatoes that have been around a little to long. When the plant has reached maturity in late summer and starts to die back, it will be an easy matter to tip the bucket over and harvest the tubers, no spade split spuds.
This could be a boon to apartment dwellers in that the potatoes could be grown in lovely planter containers. The potatoe plant is quite lovely in that it will bloom near the end of its life I am in the process (R&D) for growing the potatoe hydrophonically. The issue that I face there is that the potatoe plant (all that is green) is poisionus. Indeed if a tuber should break the surface during its development, the part of the potatoe above ground will turn green and become bitter and poisionus as well. Much to be experimented with here.
Happy gardening.!

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    Apr 24 2012: You're into Geoform aren't you? Would you try this out? or do you already use a variant.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta
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      Apr 24 2012: Cool stuff here too, Ken. Interesting read.
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        Apr 24 2012: It is isn't it,i just wish there was more out there about using it.

        I mean,try it from this perspective.All top soil is either poor in nutrient levels or rich in nutrient levels but they all contain a myriad of lifeforms churning it all about and it contains the largest life form on the planet,silia,combined you've got a colony system.Terra-Preta goes one step further,it grows.i read somewhere that when all the terra-preta sites in south America was combined in a model, it equaled the size of France.not bad for a bunch of Apocalyto's.

        Now look at how we do it now.

        Too bad those indians are not around now,we could of learned so much.
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          Apr 25 2012: Well Ken,

          Sometimes, simpler colonies of civilization are actually the most advanced civilizations. Very open minded and equal among very developed aboriginal colonies, but they prefer a very simple way of living that is in symbiosis with nature. Wish I was raised in that type of society, but maybe we could strive for such a society?
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        Apr 26 2012: Hey Derek

        I didn't understand your return post until i thought "Oh he might of thought i was talking about us humans"

        No,i was trying to point out the differences between how we do things today in agriculture as opposed to how we could do it without the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides which we ingest.Permaculture but let's go one step further,instead of coming up with bright ideas to Terra-Form Mars,let's Geoform earth and once we've done it let's rename it Eden and it all comes back to the soil and whether it can sustain itself which is what we want or whether we will turn our planet into a DustBowl.Without the soil which should be a living colony life form nothing would grow,look after the soil and our plants will be sweet.
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      Apr 25 2012: Thanks Ken. I am into geofrom but didnt realize it till you pointed it out. One of my potatoe buckets contain nothing but redwood bark , charcoal and fish ferterlizer. You have to be picky about the charcoal, some contain petroleum product to assist in lighting.
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        Apr 26 2012: I like your bucket idea,i'm going to try it.
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    Apr 24 2012: That is an awesome idea! I will try that someday! =D