Farming Thread

Bolly

Pelican
If you see three men sitting in the front bench seat of a pickup wearing cowboy hats; which one is the real cowboy?

-The one in the middle. He ain't gotta drive and he ain't gotta open gates.


What do you call a retired cowboy?

Deranged.

;)
 

Brother Abdul Majeed

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I finally figured out how to make pictures small enough to be uploaded here.

When the quarantine hit, I had a choice to make and I chose to stay in town and take care of my business there. We were only allowed to be out for 4 hours a week and I couldn't take care of the farm or stay there, so it was boarded up. Needless to say everything on the farm got out of hand and the jungle started growing back. I lost all of my crops except for the bananas, plantains and yucca. They don't need human assistance to keep growing.

I'm allowed to go back up there now, so there is a ton of work to do. I will upload more pictures of the damaged crops and wildlife shortly, but this is a start for now. I have a small crew and we are working hard plowing under the beans and other useless crops. It will add nitrogen to the soil. It was depressing going up and seeing the work that has to be done, everything has to be replanted. The Indians stole all my tomato crops and the monkeys damaged everything else. C'est la vie.

Anyhow, this is the house I built, it was a labour of love. It is completely self sustainable.

There are 45 solar panels, a 30 kw generator for backup, a rain collection system of 5 1750 gallon tanks (1 large rainfall here is enough to fill them all completely).
 

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semilla

Pigeon
I finally figured out how to make pictures small enough to be uploaded here.

When the quarantine hit, I had a choice to make and I chose to stay in town and take care of my business there. We were only allowed to be out for 4 hours a week and I couldn't take care of the farm or stay there, so it was boarded up. Needless to say everything on the farm got out of hand and the jungle started growing back. I lost all of my crops except for the bananas, plantains and yucca. They don't need human assistance to keep growing.

I'm allowed to go back up there now, so there is a ton of work to do. I will upload more pictures of the damaged crops and wildlife shortly, but this is a start for now. I have a small crew and we are working hard plowing under the beans and other useless crops. It will add nitrogen to the soil. It was depressing going up and seeing the work that has to be done, everything has to be replanted. The Indians stole all my tomato crops and the monkeys damaged everything else. C'est la vie.

Anyhow, this is the house I built, it was a labour of love. It is completely self sustainable.

There are 45 solar panels, a 30 kw generator for backup, a rain collection system of 5 1750 gallon tanks (1 large rainfall here is enough to fill them all completely).
Sorry to hear about your crops. Your set up is awesome, I take your abode as inspiration for my future Latin American plantation someday.
 

Brother Abdul Majeed

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Sorry to hear about your crops. Your set up is awesome, I take your abode as inspiration for my future Latin American plantation someday.
Thank you kind sir. If you're ever in Panama give me a shout.

Anyhow, here's more photos I took today.

There's a beach at the end of my driveway, it's a public beach, but I've only ever seen one or two people on it besides myself, my family and my dog. It's generally deserted because of the remoteness.

The photo captions are self explanatory.

Tomorrow I venture into the jungle. I have cleared an acre in the middle of it where I grow bananas and a few other small crops. I haven't set my eyes on the clearing since March. God alone knows what awaits me. I will post some pictures. I hope this does give some inspiration to others to venture forward and follow their Latam dreams.
 

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Brother Abdul Majeed

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I started clearing some of the growth to get reclaim some of the land. I had to stop short today because I hurt my back. It's gruelling work. It took a very long time to clear the path and the clearing, and in 4 months almost everything grew right back. Farming here is different than back at home, the land never sits still for winter breaks.

When I bought the land I discovered a stand of bananas right in the middle of the rainforest. This island was once entirely owned by the United Fruit Company, but they pulled out in the 30's as it was cheaper to buy land and cultivate on the mainland. Interestingly enough, the bananas are a variety known as "gros michel" bananas. They were mostly wiped out in the 1950's during the banana blight, otherwise known as the Panama disease. They were replaced by Cavendish bananas, and just about all the bananas that are grown worldwide are now Cavendish. Most people have never eaten a banana that hasn't been a Cavendish. This is why candies that have "banana flavouring" taste nothing like the bananas you can buy in stores, the flavour has always been based on the old gros michels. These bananas are indeed a sweet treat.

My crew and I cleared the area around the banana crop and have been cultivating them ever since. Luckily the clearing was mostly intact, just a lot of grass growing on the ground and creepers had started strangling some of the trees, but nothing that can't be fixed in short order. The pathway there was overgrown and we had to hack our way through. Bamboo grows wild, and once it takes root, it is hard to eliminate because it is a rhizome.

Another plant that grows wild is called Manilla hemp. It was imported from the Philippines during WWII. When the Japanese took over the Philippines, the American Navy ran out of material to make rope with, so they quickly started growing it here and on the mainland. That is one of Panama's great contributions to the war effort. I have no use for it though.

The last picture is of a spider on the wall of the house. For scale, it is about as long as a beer can from leg to leg.
 

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NoMoreTO

Ostrich
I'm looking into getting some chickens, maybe 10. I have a little coupe for them in my barn. A mix of laying hens and a few meat birds.

Anyone have any experience with that?
 
I keep chickens. If you want to keep meat birds you should have 2 coops (have an optional partition or something). I made this mistake (Cornish X with French Black Copper Marans). Several reasons:
  • Your meat birds will mature before your laying hens (like months before if you use a fast one like the Cornish X). This means you will still be feeding your laying hens and meat birds chick starter with antibiotics and other medications. Most people don't advocate eating chickens still on that feed.
  • Meat birds in general are messier. More feed in = more poop out.
  • If your laying chicks are competing too much with the meat chicks you might not get the optimum maturity of your layers.
I'm sure there are better ways of doing it...and in my example, I had a "genetic freak" of a bird with the Cornish X. It does become a bit of a financial consideration however if you keep the meat birds with the layers. The feed formulations are different. My birds free range most of the day but they still go through alot of feed. The meat birds eat more so its just nicer if you can separate their food supplies. Meat birds get a set amount of meat feed mix...and the layers get their feed with the extra calcium for their shells. Separated the meat birds won't dominate the feed area which can be detrimental to your laying hens.

My coop is a converted bus (1/4 coop 3/4 greenhouse) and I use a 13'x13' run when they are not free ranged. I've kept anywhere from 5-13 birds. They are almost as satisfying as dogs when it comes to personality and enjoyment.
 
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Laner

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Yeah my family does some chickens.

For meat, they buy 60 chicks in the spring and harvest in the fall.

For eggs, they have a separate run and the kids harvest the eggs each day. After a few years, they retire the hen to canning and replace. They pretty much drown in eggs but the girls do a nice little business selling them.

*edit

One of our neighbors is a young family man who does a kind of petting zoo thing for birthday parties. Its actually pretty cool. He is an 'Earthship' type guy. He recommends rabbits and ducks to begin with. Especially rabbit.
 

Bolly

Pelican
I dated this gal once who bought a batch of chicks and she put the heat lamp waaay to close to them in the brooder. Huge fail! She came back in the afternoon and all her chicks were burned to a crisp. She cried, I laughed. Her living room almost smelled similar to KFC, but a little more peculiar. Poor little buggers never had a chance. Food for thought though lol.
 

gework

Ostrich
Gold Member
I have a little experience with chickens.

My grandmother used to keep them. About then. They had about 8 acres, which is 36,000 sqm. They were kept in an old, stone chicken coup, which was built in the late 1700s. It was about the size of a disabled toilet. The chickens were let out once a day and they freely roamed about the land. The chickens would find a place to lay their eggs. I remember one used to lay them in an old lawnmower that had hay in it. As Laner states, it is a good jobs for kids. I'd see it as a bit of a bigger commitment, that is better for the wife or kids.

The main problem with them was foxes. No matter what foxes got into the coup and would kill them and not bother eating most of what they killed. It didn't matter what was done, the foxes always found a way to get in. I don't remember any dying during the day.

They also had ducks, which are more fun for children, given chickens are largely devoid of personality. They just lived on the river and once a day someone went down to chuck them some feed and or bread.
 

Laner

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Out here its Coyotes, but same that they will just rampage through the coop. To be fair to the predator, it must be pretty damn hectic in there when the killing is going down. I imagine just a blizzard of feathers and noise.

I agree that ducks are more interesting than chickens. Chickens are a bunch of pussies, really. Except for roosters, who can be complete savages.

Ducks are more happy and fun. The eggs are richer and the meat fattier, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

A buddy here is raising Quail. I love raw Quail eggs, and the meat is pretty nice though I have never cooked it myself. Not sure the work vs reward, but I will update when they harvest. 25 Quail for $100 so the price is right.
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Ducks look pretty interesting. I'm just thinking about a possibility and maybe ducks > chickens.

Looks interesting at the end of the video how the ducks are easily herded. I can say from experience that chickens do indeed spread out all over the place and its a pain to get them all back to the coop.

 

Thomas More

Hummingbird
Just slightly off topic, but not really when you look at the scenery in this video. These are churches in the area where I grew up. I recognize a number of them. I have relatives buried in the cemetery of one of them. My dad has preached at one of them as well. I've been to weddings and funerals in these churches as well, although the church I was raised in is not shown.

 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Very nice. So many rural Churches in my area are going up for sale. The collection plate is pretty dry, especially when the parishioners are older.

Considering the beauty of some of these buildings they are a steal. I could never really buy one and convert it into a loft or something, but a rural schoolhouse or something that might fit the history would be a nice thing to see.
 
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