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Sack of Potatoes - For John

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Not applicable
NOw, now guys, this is becoming a rather nasty fight and very un-necessary.

I prefer baby potatoes, but that is just me. I actually dont eat much starch at all. A bag of potatoes lasts over 2 months in our house. Did not say I would/could not eat full size spuds, I just prefer other cultivares.

And believes or previous careers aside, this is a healthy discussion about yeilds and as John put it, Can a family feed themselves off small or no available land. Ultimately it is an experiment for self gratification and does it benefit you to grow your own produce. Costs aside I believe if you have an option/decission as to what goes into the mix in the form of chemicals, soil types, nutirents etc you know you are eating something healthier than the store bought possible genetic modified stuff. If you can buy from Woolies and take organic only produce etc then you aren't cared about the costs, and growing your own comes basically down to just do you want the effort of doing it?

If you are shopping for the basic "get as much as you can for your moneys worth" then every saving helps and here the idea of growing a yeild bigger/healthier than store bought options is a way to consider it with little input costs. most of your watering could be grey water from your bath/shower/ hand basin so in effect recycling water. (here inorgaig uptakes etc could be factored in but then again the carp in the air collected by rain that falls on a farmers lands in likely to be more toxic than your bath water). Soil is reasonably cheap/free to obtain and re-useable just adding the minimal required extra nutirent for spuds to grow.
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saash
Super Contributor
:-) But boys will always find something to fight about. And sometimes, girls will join just cos its fun :-) And John, if you don't have land, where'd the soil come from? Hope you didn't steal it from MY land =;-)
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john_1
Super Contributor
I was not fighting, I simply want to stop what started out with the best intentions into a profit debate.... as for the land any municipal garden refuce site has everything a hungry person needs... compost and the sacks..
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HateGauteng
Super Contributor
If you're interested in persuing your idea further I suggest teaming up with an NGO of sorts, they might point you in the direction of funding and so on. Try the Institute of Natural Resources (INR). I used to work for them years back. Tel: 033 - 3460796; [email protected] Not sure where you are but there might be some local organisations such as women's groups, etc in your area.
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Not applicable
This is truly an amazing debate / discussion. Thank you John for stpping the inevitabl eslide into that quagmire debate of Organic vs Inorganic. It is always about nutrients, isnt it when Organic agriculture is more about improving soil fertility as most of our soils have all teh nutrients you can ever require already there. They are just locked away by lack of carbon & nonexisistent microbial activity. Before you ask - I am a trained Soil Scientist, an Intensive Agriculture farmer & a full believertat commercial agriculture can be done in a sustainable & Organic fashion. From using earthworms to make a nutrient solution that is biologically assimilatable, composting hormone free chickem manure & homogenising algae grown on a settlement pond that is fed by our Bio-digester that produces enough methane to cook for over 200hrs a day, or power our lawn mowers & golf carts. All this while driving hard the bottom line to produce a IRR >25%. Given that most poor people only have time as their greatest asset, the concept of can one garden & feed ones family off a bag of soil & minimal inputs is not only topical but highly relevant. John, I appluad you for brining this into what is usually such a hard nosed environment. Maybe all who have read this threadwill just stop & think & maybe spend a little time motivating someone to try this. The Doppleganger effect on this country could be huge.
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platsak
Super Contributor
I am thinking of setting up a website with information I gathered over the years relating to green technology and organic diy which will hopefully show practical implementation of green projects. Will anyone in the forum be willing to contribute projects or ideas to such a site and if so what categories. Full acrreditation will of course be given to contributors.
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HateGauteng
Super Contributor
Hi Bruberi. What would be the cost effective organic solution to low soil phosphate (P) levels? I worked in Lesotho where the soils are naturally P deficient. I had soil samples that returned a value of zero for P content and P defieciency symptoms all over the crops. The believers dropped the cowdung buzzword. The agronomist before me tested the dung also found negligible P. The organisation that I worked for also brought in some organic farmers from Europe. I asked them what would be the solution and they were clueless as well. I later found out that their farm was once nonorganic and so much P was applied in the past that they now merely recycle the residual P via the organic route. (This is not a practical solution for some of our P fixing soils). I also found this a bit two faced since they benefited from technology but are now denying access to fertilizer technology to Africa by perpetuating beliefs. I wrote a paper on this whole issue got pissed off and left. (I have the paper somewhere, I can scan and send it to you if you give me your email.) The find the whole organic non-GM thing a remnant of the dark ages. As in the dark ages, beliefs were created and exploited in this case the exploitation is via using the environment as trade barriers and to deny technological access.
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Galuc
Super Contributor
I think it is a great idea platsak, very interesting and can only benefit us all.
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Not applicable
Now finallly this debate is getting a new direction. Absolutley I will be there. I want to learn and contribute what I can to make any change to our living standards. If we can assist some time generous poorer community in the process, that is just a spin off benefit. But good to see some real heavy weights in the debate that have the scientific edge and at the same time just some ambitious home project newbies wanting to try it out.

I will gladly get some mates to Host a site like this (maybe I can convince them for free ;-) - expect initial setup charges but those are minumal anyway).
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HateGauteng
Super Contributor
P.S. I also got my parents a wormery for the kitchen waste. They use the liquid and compost in a vege garden but the birds ate everything!!!! The worms are also a regular supply of bait whenever I visit. Schweeeeet.
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SimonPB
Valued Contributor
wow dude, you really are .. birds is easy to ward off, tis called netting ..
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HateGauteng
Super Contributor
Parents live 6 hours drive away from me. No time to go and rig up netting. There is some netting on the fruit trees but the mousebirds figured out how to get around this and so I'm not too confident about using it. Summer is almost here, birds (except mousebird) natural food sources should pick up and they hopefully leave the garden alone.....
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platsak
Super Contributor
Due to the response I received I forfeited the usual Friday grill and reserved the domain www.greendiy.co.za . Any questions, suggestions, projects, experience, practical implementation etc can be emailed to [email protected] . This will a strictly non profit vehicle to explore practical diy green projects and ideas. As I am not a web developer please judge gently on the graphics. I will apreciate help and advice from ppl like Werner in this regard. As a security precaution rather register under another username as the one in this forum. Also please make suggestions as to the classification e.g green energy section with subsections like solar, wind, battery etc.
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john_1
Super Contributor
this is fantastic. well done.
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Not applicable
Great, I am a member as of now ;-)
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HiSo
Frequent Contributor
Great idea Platsak. I noticed you have solar on your site as well. I've been trying to research making my own solar panels to do basic things like heat a small quantity of water or run a couple lights etc (apparantly its realy easy to do yourself) but all I've come up with from my google searches have been DIY guides that are for sale and I don't trust them. Anyone know where I can download a free DIY guide to making small time solar panels/systems or a website where I can learn how to do it? Thanks.
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Not applicable
One crop that is easier to grow than potatoes and could help our biofuel industry is hemp. I have contacted AgriSA and COSATU to try to get them interested in promoting it in South Africa. According to http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/hemp.htm Growing hemp could help revive the textile industry in America, creating thousands of jobs. If hemp (not dagga) was grown in South Africa perhaps it could rejuvinate our textile industry.
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john_1
Super Contributor
now if it were Dagga not hemp we made not need a clothing industry...
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platsak
Super Contributor
Hiso. Check out the following link.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zy3ELxwdtE . I think it is not worth it because we do not have shops like radio shack in SA where one can cheaply buy the loose modules. I have a place in a private game farm where Escom or generators are not allowed. I use 2 15watt panels to charge a small deep cycle battery. I use the battery to charge cellphones, rechargeble lights etc. I mainly do not convert the battery direct current to alternating current and use battery clamps with hella connectors (car cigarette lighter socket)to charge and use a variety of 12volt apliances that one can buy at shops like outdoorwarehouse. My wife even uses a 12v hair dryer and there is even a 12volt kettle. Gas stays the best to heat water to boiling point. I have a small ellies dc to ac converter 120 watt which I use to power my laptop . There is adapters that takes 12volt to the 17-19 volt needed to power a laptop. I dont trust these devices as they can damage the laptop. At the end of the weekend I pop the system in the boot and it becomes the backup system at home. These small systems can be bought at places like Philtron for a a 1000 bucks which includes 2 panells, 4 lights and a charge controller. You only ad the battery which doesnt really need to be an expensive deep cycle jobby if you only use it occasionally.
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WarningGP
Contributor
R u guys talking in codes here, R ya'll smoking your sox or wot? This is a share Trade Site - not a blinking DIY gardening worm farm site! Maybe u need 2 sprinkle some BHP or pour Anglo on the rotting potatoes... and then your yield will increase with gearing and make sure u use potatoes with a PE of less than 6...&a good place 2 buy your equipment is JSE's in Sandton...
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