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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a business partner for a profit-making or not-for-profit venture, growing vegan food, anywhere.<br><br><br><br>
My resume and contact info is <a href="http://shakahara.com/resume100.html" target="_blank">here.</a><br><br><br><br>
I now live in a tiny apartment, but I have extensive experience with a 2000 square foot garden, where I grew excellent melons, sweet corn, leafy greens, salad turnips, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and edamame. Some vegan garden photos are <a href="http://shakahara.com/garden6.html" target="_blank">here.</a><br><br><br><br>
The edamame that they sell in Trader Joes tastes rather different than the edamame I grew myself. It tastes like a different type of bean!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
What I didn't make clear, above, is that the edamame at Trader Joe's does not taste nearly as good as the ones I grow myself.
 

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No veggie that you buy ever tastes as good as grabing it out of the garden that day <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/lick.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lick:"> I miss my summer garden <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/bigcry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":cry:"> its all been yanked up and soil turned and greens and root veggies planted
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ayrlin "No veggie that you buy ever tastes as good as grabing it out of the garden that day"<br><br><br><br>
Well, quite often this is the case. However sometimes the difference is distinct, other times it is profound. My canteloupes are distinctly better than local farmer's market canteloupes. They are <b>not</b> better than those I got from a 12-year-old young man in Brownsville Texas with a pickup truck, with Mexican license plates, full of canteloupes, presumably from a family farm. With the edamame, the difference was profound. Even my edamame that I froze, was profoundly better than Trader Joe's and Zen Palate's. So much better it was barely recognizable as the same vegetable.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>soilman</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I am looking for a business partner for a profit-making or not-for-profit venture, growing vegan food, anywhere.<br><br><br><br>
My resume and contact info is <a href="http://shakahara.com/resume100.html" target="_blank">here.</a><br><br><br><br>
I now live in a tiny apartment, but I have extensive experience with a 2000 square foot garden, where I grew excellent melons, sweet corn, leafy greens, salad turnips, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and edamame. Some vegan garden photos are <a href="http://shakahara.com/garden6.html" target="_blank">here.</a><br></div>
</div>
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excellent idea <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Glad to meet you.<br><br><br><br>
I'm interested in starting a non-profit multi-city multi-nation project for community gardens in the future. I have a few things, requirements to achive first before I plan it in any detail..<br><br><br><br>
Do you have any experience with GROWBioIntensive technique? it does involve digging, but has much higher yields than usual techniques..<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
jonjan,<br><br><br><br>
While my system is more intensive than commercial growing systems, I don't think it qualifies as being a GROWBioIntensive System. It used my own system. I borrowed ideas from various systems and came up with original ideas now and then. While is is more intensive than the typical system, I don't think it would qualify as being a GROWBioIntensive technique.<br><br><br><br>
For example instead of planting my sweet corn the usual way, 9 to 12 inches apart in rows, with rows 30 to 36 inches apart, I planted mine 12 inches apart, and with rows spaced 14,14,14,36; 14,14,14,36. That would be 4 rows per bed, each row 14 inches apart, 36 inches between the outside row on one bed, to the outside row on the next.<br><br><br><br>
This spacing, with more plants per square foot, requires more soil nutrients. While I used hugh amounts of compost, and used techniques such as cover crops and green manures, it is very difficult to get a good yield of sweet corn, even at further spacing, using vegan-organic techniques, very difficult if not impossible, without using such high-nitrogen materials as animal excrement (non-vegan) or industrially produced nitrogen plant food (non-organic).<br><br><br><br>
I am not a non-digger either. I believe you can dig too much, and you can dig too little, and where the middle is can be a matter of opinion -- how you want to set the balance between soil disruption and soil ecology disruption, and yield maximization, with greater incorporation of added organic matter, to a greater depth, and improved root penetration in looser soil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am not committed to any one system. The only thing 2 things I am absolutely comitted to is (1) no materials of animal origin and no use of animal husbandry, with the exception of husbanding of small soil organisms and (2) using methods based on whether they succeed rather than whether they meet a gardening method belief system.<br><br><br><br>
By husbanding of small soil organisms I mean observation of how our actions affect soil nematodes, earthworms, etcetera, and perhaps altering actions to achieve a different balance of nematodes and earthworms, etc. I do not mean buying earthworms and raising them.
 

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nice. my focus is on systems that don't hurt animals also. that's part of the whole point... so people have a more convenient, less expensive source of fresh oragnic plant foods... so they'll explore them and likely eat that, rather than animal foods. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> And it'll help us all in a lot of ways<br><br><br><br>
are you familiar at all with growbiointensive or John Jeavons? I have both of his books and they are excellent..<br><br><br><br>
this is a good overview of the system<br><br><a href="http://www.growbiointensive.org/biointensive/GROW-BIOINTENSIVE.html" target="_blank">http://www.growbiointensive.org/bioi...INTENSIVE.html</a><br><br><br><br>
i found them to be very understandable ideas, they make a lot of sense
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes I have a slight familiarity with both. I don't necessary aspire to them. I do think compost is very valuable. But I believe there is more than one way to do things and I don't like to commit to a belief system. Rather, I use what works, and change it as I learn. I am not trying to get the maximum amount of food on the smallest amount of land. I don't see that as necessarily being a worthy goal. It might be fun, as a temporary goal, but I don't want to make a religion out of it.<br><br><br><br>
I try to be practical and not belief-system-focused. I don't want to be limited to eating only things that are the most efficiently-produced things. I want to grow things that I LIKE, even if their production doesn't involve the most efficient use of land. I just LIKE watermelons, and sweet corn. You can't really grow sweet corn if you insist on being both veganic and organic. Watermelons take up lots of land for very few calories. I want to grow them anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I believe my vegan garden was very nicely productive per square foot, and produced the most flavorful and nutritious produce, of any garden in the world. I don't think there has ever been a vegan garden anywhere that has succeeded as well, and that the flavor and nutritional value of my produce exceeded that of any organic garden, anywhere. I consider myself to be one of the world's foremost experts in vegan gardening, if not the world's foremost expert.<br><br><br><br>
Also, since I used no animal matter in my garden, the risk of disease transmission via pathogens, was greatly reduced. It is known, for example, that tetanus is transmitted by a cut that has soil in it. But what the experts often neglect to tell you, is that the reason "dirt" has tetanus pathogens, is that farmers have long used animal excrement as a soil amendment. Most areas of natural soil are unlikely to cause tetanus, and it is reasonable to believe that the same is true for veganic soil that has been veganic for a few years. The tiny amound of bird feces that gets into such soil is probably not anywhere near enough to present a danger -- unless you get soil in a wound from a particular spot where a bird has recently left a feces. So it is always good to wash out a wound.<br><br><br><br>
However I am not good at marketing and sales and I need to partner with someone who is.
 

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I'm with you. Im more interested in whatever goal, than by adhering to a belief system. But if there are helpful ideas, I like to check them out and see if they're good additions.<br><br><br><br>
I have a focus mostly on producing the most nutrieitns per amount of space. This is because i want the community gardens to really be able to produce as much healthy plant foods as possible, to have the best chance to help plant foods be more cheap and available for people. Of course tasty foods is a plus too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
My dream is to have many community gardens in many cities in many countries. And to charge a small cost for them, in order to build gardens in new places. They can give healthy employment to people too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"><br><br><br><br>
Do you practice any deep digging? I only have minimal experience with gardening myself, but the idea is very logical... the roots can travel deeper more easily, and obtain more water and nutrients. And that means you can plant them closer together, which emans more food for a space. And that means less sun will reach the soil, so the soil will retain its moisture longer... which means less water is required. Less sun on the soil also means weeds can't grow as easily. I'm curious to hear your thoughts, and what techniques you found that work the best.<br><br><br><br>
I did grow some watermelons before, and right, they take up a ton of space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
"Do you practice any deep digging?"<br><br><br><br>
Well, deep digging is more work than shallow digging. I do prefer to have soil that is as deep as possible. But to avoid digging. I know that my soil seemed loose further down than I commonly dug into it, to check it. In other words, it was loose to a deeper level than my fork was long. How much deeper, I don't know. I didn't want to disturb it, to find out. Since I didn't have a post hole digger, that would have meant digging 3-foot wide hole, emptying out the soil in a 3-foot wide circle. Or getting a soil-sample extraction tool that is longer than those commonly sold (which are about 8 inches long I think).<br><br><br><br>
Actually I did do some holes to put trellis posts in, and I think my soil was loose and had added organic matter, down to about 12 inches, even though my walk-behind tiller was designed to only dig down 8 or 9 inches. Past 12 inches I had to work hard with my shovel, to break up what I think was clay-glued sand.<br><br><br><br>
I avoided unnecessary digging. If I could avoid stepping on the soil, it would stay loose without frequent hand-forking or power-tilling. I think it is best to keep the soil levels the way they naturally tend to settle into, since disturbing the soil disturbs the ecosystems that start to develop. Now, these are NOT "natural" ecosystems. They are new "naturalistic" ecosystems that are specific to the particular soil being cultivated. The best "cultivation" is leaving alone when you can leave alone, and interefere when it is necessary and prudent to interfere, and leave alone as much as possible. Once they develop, I think disturbing them tends to undermine the systems that build up to keep the organic matter functioning within nitrogen cycles and oxygen cycles. Different organisms thrive where they are. Move them, and they tend to die. Competitors then tend to overgrow. Running out of their normal food, they may begin to attack the plants you are trying to cultivate. So once I loosen the soil the first time, I like to re-loosen it as infrequently and as un-enthusiastically as possible.<br><br><br><br>
One way to have loose soil to a great depth is to simply pile the soil from the paths, onto the beds. I did this for carrots. My carrots never did turn out well, however, anyway. Straight without too many forks, and good texture, yes, but not good flavor. Cetainly, i think they are more likely to have fungi attack their skin, in soil that is disturbed too frequently, than in soil that has settled into a happy ecoystem.<br><br><br><br>
Melons and squash, their roots don't seem to penetrate too deep. They like to spread out, not down. Melons and squash can be grown on trellis tho. They can save enormous amounts of space. But take some work to build strong enough to support heavy fruit.<br><br><br><br>
Commercial growers almost invariably grow bush-type beans and peas. However I found that the vine-type always taste better, and they also produce ready-to-pick fruit over a more prolongued time, instead of being bred so that a machine or a crew can go down the row once, and pick all the fruit at picking. The crew leader signals when they are ready, and then they all get picked, some being just a little bit undermature, and some being a bit over-mature. With vine types, you pick them a little at a time, when they are closer to just perfect. They also use much much less space, growing up on a trellis or sticks or whatever. This makes them more-labor-intensive, from every angle you can think of, planting, caring for, and harvesting. Where labor is expensive, and land is not, commercial growers always want to reduce labor needed and don't worry too much about how much land is needed. However vine beans taste much much much better. If only the public knew that, and appreciate that. But they don't. The difference IS hard to put your finger on. I'd be hard pressed to describe it. But I know it is there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What seems to happen is that even thou I only dig down 8 or 9 inches, the soil ends up being loose down to about 12 inches. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe a part of the reason is that I am always adding new organic matter to the soil, and there is more soil than there once was. I added astonishing amounts of fall tree leaves, every year. Lots of lawn-grass clippings. The leaves come from deep soil since the tree-roots penetrate many feet down, so maybe they are kind of taking soil from down deep and putting it on top, and from other areas, from areas not used for vegetable production. The lawn grass comes from areas not used for vegetable production.
 

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you're certainly very into gardening, sure sounds like much more than a hobby for you..<br><br><br><br>
some ideas...<br><br>
i had heard that roto-tillers actually compress the soil underneath.<br><br>
growbiointensive does use a technique so that the soil layers are kept basically the same, so that the micro-organisms and such stay where they are designed to best be.<br><br>
biointensive also does instruct on how to grow corn, and all their techniques are organic... so it seems like they can grow organic corn.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
If you want to PM me your address, I'll send you a copy of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHow-Grow-More-Vegetables-Fruits%2Fdp%2F1580087965%2Fsr%3D8-2%2Fqid%3D1162445890%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_2%2F103-5002651-1012611%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/How-Grow-More-...e=UTF8&s=books</a> the latest edition of the detailed growbiointensive manual.<br><br>
There surely some stuff you know, and I'll bet a barrel of organic apples that there a few new ideas that you'll find helpful. build up the muscles in your green thumb.. you've clearly developed a gift and a skill, grow it!<br><br><br><br>
I have the 2002 edition, so I don't know what's new in the 2006 ed., but I'd think it's as excellent or better than the 2002 one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I meant organic as well as vegan. I later edited my comment to say that. If you use enough animal excrement, yet it is high enough in nitrogen to grow corn, but if you want the garden to be vegan, and addition, not use excrement or stuff like blood meal, you will have a difficult time growing corn unless you are willing to use industrially produced nitrogen plant food -- which is not considered appropriate for organic growing. Nitrogen is alway the hard part. The other macro and micro nutrients can provided from sources that are acceptable to organic growers (ground rocks, basicly), but not nitrogen. I am not sure if Chilean nitrate is acceptable to organic growers. It is "natural" in that it is mined, not created in a factory. But it is hardly something that would end up on soil, in nature. At it is not organic matter. It is considered to be an inorganic mineral. In any case, industrially produced nitrates are chemically identical, and much cheaper, than Chilean nitrate, so I don't see the point in wasting money on Chilean nitrate in order to get the appelation "organic grower."<br><br><br><br>
Also, prevention of corn ear-worms (caterpillars) is very difficult without pesticides. While nicotine will kill anything, I think the products produced by the "chemical industry" are safer for people than nicotine, although nicotine may be safer for the environment - it degrades rapidly.<br><br><br><br>
I don't think I could successful grow sweet corn without using industrially produced nitrogen and pesticides. While Kenneth Dalziel O'Brien, a pioneer in the veganic (vegan organic) gardening movement, claims he has grown sweet corn veganically, I am skeptical. He does say he uses 12,12,12,30 spacing, rather than the normal 36,36,36. Closer spacing than I use (I use 14,15,14,36, I corrected the middle number, where the trench is). I like to be able to fit between the beds without wedging myself sideways. 12 inches just looks too close to me, especially since I put water in a <i>trench</i> down the middle of the bed, as well as on the paths. This is easier than using hoses with little drip holes, or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would worry about eating food grown in city soil, at least, I would be worried about having a substantial part of my diet coming from such soil.<br><br><br><br>
Certainly such soil could grow food plants very successfully. But I don't see how such soil could possibly not be contaminated with all kinds of materials from construction, and living, that are unwholesome, if not actually specifically proven to be dangerous. It is just hard to tell, or even take a guess, what might have ended up in the soil. I mean, every square foot of city soil seems to be filled with (rayon) cigarette filters, which take 5 to 14 years to degrade, and which must make rather strange compost or organic matter when they finally do degrade. Plus old plumbing material, electrical material, layer upon layer of wino urine, and dog feces. There must be decomposed powderd shoe leather from people walking on sidewalks for years, and material from car tires.<br><br><br><br>
Actually I worry about soil that has been used for any kind of human use, including organic gardening, previously. Anything but vegan gardening. I would prefer to work with virgin soil, clear wildnerness land that has never been used by humans before, or at least use soil that hasn't been cleared and used for farming or contruction for at least 20 years or so, and is in an area where it is unlikely there was a factory on it, ever, or at least not in the last 300 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There do not appear to be <i>any</i> commercial farms that offer vegan grown vegetables, vegetables grown without the use of products of animal slaughter and animal husbandry. If you start one with me, it will be the very first one in the United States, and maybe in the whole world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There might not be enough local customers, but a location near a major city would increase the potential number of customers. Also there are a number of things that can be grown that have a long shelf life, so that worries about selling them before they are no longer salable, would be reduced. After lines of supply and marketing get better organized, we can try growing and selling items where time is of the essence.<br><br><br><br>
Onions and potatoes. Even carrots. Any kind of dried beans. Dried tomatoes. Vegan grown rice (tho I don't have experience growing rice). Oats -- i have grown oats and rye. Split peas too.
 

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soilman,<br><br><br><br>
I'm definitely interested in the idea. I'm not near that place right now, but starting convenient, cheap, veganic, organic, plant foods gardens and farms in Many cities is a dream of mine that I keep re-visiting. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Especially fruits.<br><br><br><br>
focusing on my current situation now! succeeding at this will allow me to progress to where that dream can become a reality. focus focus .. one step at a time... the step that's directly in front of me<br><br><br><br>
hope the book is inspiring to you. i really enjoy it myself<br><br><br><br>
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
"farms in Many cities"<br><br><br><br>
Planting some fruit trees in cities sounds like it would be a good idea. For the appearance and to clean the air. And to provides sample amounts of fruit for people to taste. But to have a competitive yield of competive quality fruit -- you have to realize that commercial fruit trees are not normal trees and a commercial orchard is not a normal bunch of trees. Often they are tree tops that grow the fruit that the farmers want to produce, grafted to roots that will work in the particular soil where the farmers want to grow those fruits, but whose original tops would produce fruit that have no marketability. There is a pear orchard near where I used to live and I took a tour of their orchard with a local vegetarian group. Lots of grafting to get the fruit they want. And of course the trees are generally dwarf varieties so they don't need helicoptors or cranes to reach the top. I'm not sure how a nice old fashioned apple tree will work out in a city -- and what kind of dangerous substances it will pick up thru its deep roots -- buried construction materials from many years earlier. No-one seems to know what has been dumped, where. Eating food from city soil sounds like a scary proposition to me. Now, I'm sure a piece of fruit once in a while would be fine. But I would be afraid to make city-grown food a substantial part of my diet. We KNOW that we can't use the ground water in NYC, for example, because soil contaminants have percolated down into the grown water; they have to import water from upstate NY.
 
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