About half way through the growing season, the lackluster performance of some of our veggies prompted us to pull out the test kits and check our soil out. The most important discovery is that throughout our garden, the soil PH is far higher than it should be, over 8 in some places. Most plants perform best in a range of 6 to 7, with some acid loving plants performing well as low as 5. An elevated soil PH can keep plants from absorbing available nutrients, which inhibits growth, invites pest problems, decreases yield, and makes the food produced less rich in micronutrients.
To us, financial independence is a large part of self-sufficiency. Debt is a claim on future labor. When a substantial part of your income is going towards debt, you are working for your creditor, not for yourself. We have been following the method presented in Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey to reduce our debt and build wealth.
Seed to Seed provides essential information on how to germinate, grow, and save seed from almost any plant you could want to grow in your garden. This book is a necessity for the home gardener that’s just getting started with saving seed from heirloom and open pollinated varieties.
Chickens lay best in their first year of production after they’ve begun laying. Most chickens will slowly decline in production until they stop laying sometime in their 5th or 6th year, though this can vary a bit by breed. Our long term goal is to have a gradient of ages among our flock, so we’ve always got some at the peak of their production, and some that are tapering off.
The easiest, most accurate way to determine which ones are laying is to isolate each and see if or how often they lay. Luckily, there are some physical signs you can look for that will give you a pretty good idea which ones to watch.