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The Zoo-Doo Man - Or How to Make the Best Compost in the World!
Is your garden soil great? Does it produce an abundant crop for you without any great effort on your part? We were once told "By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread . . ", and with several thousand years' rain, snow, wind, and crops removing the minerals from the land, we very rarely see fertile ground anymore.
So, how do you get your ground to consistently grow a large crop of healthy vegetables ? there must be a way? Let me tell you some of my experience with this important question.
For 15 years I have owned a 3/4 acre parcel adjacent to Utah's Hogle Zoo, where I have grown a vegetable garden using The Mittleider Method as taught in many of the developing countries around the world by Dr. Jacob R. Mittleider. To receive Dr. Mittleider's Gardening Basics Course e-book free, visit the Charitable Foundation's website at www.foodforeveryone.org.
During the past 15 years I've been privileged to help Dr. M. on a few projects, and recently, with his blessing, conducted some myself, in Armenia, Madagascar, and Turkey. My Zoo garden is always extremely productive, rather nice to look at, and a very popular unofficial "exhibit" with the 700,000+ annual visitors to the zoo.
Many people have asked, as they visited over the fence, if I used the zoo animals' manure, and I always told them no, that I use natural mineral nutrients. But then one day a lady piqued my interest when she said the Seattle Zoo sells their composted animal manure to the public as "Zoo Doo." I decided to check this out, so I talked to them and found they pile the manure in win-rows, and after about a year, dry, bag, and sell it.
I decided I could make a lot better compost than what Seattle got by leaving it out in the rain for a year. So I first bought a Compost Tumbler and learned the best procedures and mixes as I tested small batches, using the manure from 7 of the large herbivores. Very quickly I learned how to maintain the mix at a constant 140+ degree heat, and after 3 weeks I had beautiful, black, sweet-smelling compost.
I thought this was great, but there was nowhere near enough compost to take care of my large garden, so I then acquired a 10-yard cement truck and began doing large batches. With loads this size, they maintained temperatures over 140 degrees for 3 weeks, and then cooled down for one week. And You've never seen such beautiful material - I really felt like I was making the world's best compost!
I obtained the right to use the Zoo-Doo name, bought bags, T-shirts, banners, cart, etc. and began selling at the Zoo gift shop and in the local nurseries. I ended up on TV and in the newspapers, and became known as "The Zoo-Doo Man."
Whenever I had more than I could sell, I would drive the cement truck down to my garden and off-load the batch over the wall. I then put it into several soil-beds and grew vegetables with it ? to compare which was better ? compost or the Mittleider natural mineral nutrients, which I'd been using all along. And I grew good stuff with my Zoo-Doo.
However, the most important thing I learned in that two-year experiment was not how to make and sell Zoo-Doo. I learned for myself that I could grow better vegetables more consistently, and with a lot less time, cost, and hassle, with a few pounds of inexpensive natural mineral nutrients, than I could with truckloads of "the world's best compost."
I therefore continue to use good, clean organic materials when they are available, but I know that highly productive vegetable gardens are not dependent on improving the soil with organic material.
Another side benefit is that we have been able to avoid any insect or disease infestations (often introduced by compost)in 15 years, and so I never have to use pesticides or herbicides in my large garden.
Jim Kennard, President of Food For Everyone Foundation, has a wealth of leadership, financial, business, teaching, and gardening training and experience upon which to draw in helping the Foundation to achieve its goals of "teaching the world to grow food one family at a time." He is a retired CPA, and has also owned and successfully managed several different businesses, including hotels, shopping centers, apartments, and retail establishments during the past twenty five years.
Jim has been a Mittleider gardener for the past twenty-eight years; he is a Master Mittleider Gardening Instructor, and has taught classes and worked one-on-one with Dr. Jacob Mittleider on several gardening projects in the USA and abroad.
You can get his advice in vegetable gardening questions by visiting the FAQ section of the Foundation's web page at http://foodforeveryone.org/faq/.
Cannibals on the Porch
No, ghosts of the Donner Party have not started haunting my porch, nor have others of the human type I may have reference to. I am speaking of cannibals in the insect world of which there are many, but two in particuIar that make me stop and wonder. The first is waxy black with a small red hourglass on her abdomen. She dangles on a thin thread late on warm summer nights in doorways or dark corners waiting for the what ever comes her way. I am sure you guessed, it is the female black widow spider, (Latrodectus Mactans) that I am referring to, and she is no stranger to many porches and gardens around the world . Her potent neurotoxic venom is more deadly than a rattle snake, although the actual bite is less noticeable. But she is only one of the many cannibals waiting outside.
Starting a Shade Garden...
The shade garden can be exploding with color and texture. No matter how much shade is in your landscape, the right flowers, plants, bushes and bulbs will grow in this area when given a chance. As there are various types of shade, you will need to choose the plants that are 'right' for the type of shade you have: partial, dense, full, or filtered shade. In starting a shade garden, one of the easiest shade gardens will be the filtered shade garden. What you need to do first is look at the trees or bushes that are making this area a filtered shade garden. Pruning off the lower branches on taller bushes and on the tree will allow additional light into your garden. Because you are planning a filtered shade garden, you do want some amount of sunlight in that garden below the tree.
Tidy Your Garden Up Cheaply
Recently I got involved with gardening. Preior to that, all I use to do was mow the lawn when it overgrew. However, nowadays, I enjoy making my garden looking beautiful and like to share my success with others.
Themes of Shade
A Shade Garden can be created in any of several different types of shade. It can be in the mottled shade that comes from a broad leaf tree to the deep dark woods mentioned in Robert Frost's "Stopping by A Woods on A Snowy Evening". We have morning shade (not so good for a shade garden if this area gets afternoon sun - it will much too hot and drying) and afternoon shade. And we can even create or modify our shade with man-made constructions. Each type of shade supports different types of plants although there is over-lap. Of course, you should always be prepared to experiment with your garden.
The Advantages of Silk Flowers
The silk flower is growing in popularity among young couples and families for many different reasons. Many event hosts or planners struggle over whether to choose fresh flowers or artificial flowers. Silk flowers are non-allergenic, will never wilt and can be maintained as keepsakes for years. There are many more positive effects in ordering or owning silk flowers.
Lap Pools ? Great Exercise Inside Or Any Size Backyard
Do you love swimming? Do you dream of an in ground pool in your backyard; but you just don't have the room for it? If space is an issue; in ground lap pools allow you the exercise you desire for any size backyard. They are so great because they allow you to go swimming and get some exercise in a very small space. It doesn't matter if you own a mansion or have a small backyard. Lap pools are versatile in their style and design and you can configure your own pool to the size and shape of backyard you have. A lap pool was once typically a long and narrow pool and usually only 3 feet deep. Sizes range everything from 6 x 30 to 12 x 44. It was meant purely for the enjoyment to swim back and forth. Health spas or gyms often have these types of pools because they are meant for exercise instead of just recreation. Since they are just for this purpose; more space is needed for these pools, but you can customize them to fit right alongside the house. You can also configure the pool to be an L shape or whatever is needed for your space. If you don't want this kind of in ground pool for doing laps there are other choices available to the homeowner.
Cultivating Plants In Your Garden...What To Watch Out For
There are so many plants available for you to choose from that it's hard to know where to start. Are you looking for house plants, tropical plants or some beautiful garden plants? Green plants are not only beautiful to look at they also provide a much needed source of fresh oxygen for our breathing. Nature has a way of providing a balance for everything.
Hills and Holes: Not Part of Your Landscaping Design?
Do pests 'gopher' your lawn? Chances are, if you have a lawn, you risk the chance of having pests, such as the gopher and his cousin the mole. And, perhaps even those pesky six-legged creatures- ants and other insects- call your grass patches home. Why are these animals and insects attracted to your lawn? And, what can you do to stop them from burrowing and nesting? Those answers and more will follow in this article.
Frame Your Garden With Edging
You've planted the flowers, put in the shrubs and even added a bird bath and a few garden decorations, but what's missing? Could it be the edging?
Mulch Your Spring Bulbs In The Fall For A Beautiful Spring Display
Flower bulbs need a good, long, winters sleep. Like some people we know, if they wake up before they are fully rested, they get kind of cranky, and then they don't bloom well at all.
How to Control Deer in Your Garden
Deer are the most difficult of all pests to deter from a garden. They love many different plants. Flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs are all on their menu.
Fall Garden Planning - Garden Plans for Next Spring and Ordering by Mail
It's August, the weather has cooled a bit here and the summer monsoons where I live in New Mexico have begun. The kids are starting back to school and I feel the onset of fall. I'm getting that garden planning itch again! It happens 2-3 times a year... This time, it's time to start ordering bulbs and perennials for fall planting. I'm always planning how my garden will look better next season and I suppose most of you do the same. Fall is the perfect time to plant for established growth next spring!
Simple Lawnmower Maintenance
Do you have trouble starting your lawnmower up in the spring? Before deciding to take your lawnmower in for repair, try these few simple suggestions. After completing them most of the time your lawnmower will fire up and run like a champ.
Teak Patio Table - Why You Need One
Do you love to cook outdoors but end up having to dine on makeshift outdoor furniture or maybe even inside because you simply do not have the furniture to properly entertain in your yard, deck or patio? Would you love to find the perfect patio table or set to transform your empty space to an elegant outdoor dining room? If so, maybe you should think about enhancing your outdoor space with a teak patio table.
You Cant Beat Perennials For Glorious Color All Season Long
When you start gardening with perennials, it's easy to think that all you have to do is get your plants into the ground, and with the exception of weeding, watering and cutting back, your garden will be done. But here's what really happens: in the first year your new plants are underwhelming ? the clumps small, the flowers sparse. By the second year, your perennials have grown fuller and have more flowers, but in the third season ? watch out ? your plants look like they're on steroids, and you look like an accomplished gardener. After that, many plants get bigger each season, while the odd one confounds you by doing a disappearing act. Responding to the inevitable change is your challenge as a flower gardener. Veteran gardeners say that no flower garden is ever truly finished. When I was starting out about 15 years ago, my husband used to joke that my plants should have been on wheels because I moved them so much. Perennial plants are the backbone of the flower garden because they're the plants with staying power. Their leaves die back as winter approaches, but with luck, the following spring, they come back. Some plants are short-lived, but old favorites like daylilies, hostas and peonies can last for decades.
Teak Planters - Accent Your Outdoor Space with One
Do you want to add something to your outdoor space that will take it from beautiful to breathtaking? Do you have all of the right teak furniture but feel that something is missing, some accent that will truly make your space unique and worthy of only the highest praise? If so, maybe you should accent your outdoor space with teak planters.
Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners (part 4) Environment
THE BASICS OF HYDROPONICS.
Create and Furnish Your Outdoor Room
More and more people are enjoying their time spent outdoors by creating outdoor rooms. Whether your plans for outdoor living involve a grand plan or a more modest one, the many choices available are sure to allow you to furnish your outdoor room just the way you want it.
Science Cant Explain Everything!
You will know that if you have spent at least some time reflecting on the world around you, some things cannot be explained in purely scientific terms. Armies of scientists and researchers swarm in labs around the world trying to take the mystery out of every bit of wonder we witness.
Sculpture Can Bring Life to Your Garden
I should know: I've been a sculptor most of my life, and I have plenty of years behind me of experience. Most of my sculptures reside in the gardens and landscaped outdoors of residences. My work is also in public places such as parks and downtown areas. But in this article, I want to focus on residences.
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