A friend of mine is slowly becoming certified organic. Like me, she owns over an acre and a half of land -- but unlike me, she's motivated to work it. Next year I think I'll garden-- simply because the cost of food is rising.
She's getting her young daughters involved and what ever the girls make in profit goes into their college money. They have invested in a wide variety of chickens and some turkeys so that the bug problem is easier to deal with. These recipes are for the rest of the little pests the chickens wont get:
Aphid Control: 1 cup blended and pureed onions with 1 cup water. Lasts in fridge for 6 wks. Use in a spray bottle.
Dormant Oil Spray: 1/2 cup mineral oil, 1/4 cup fish oil, 1/2 cup liquid detergent, 15 cups water. will last 6 months in a cool place. Spray on plants.
Oily Garden Repellant: 1/4 cup chopped garlic, 2 cups water, 2 teaspoon mineral oil, 1 oz. of oil based soap like palmolive. Blend in blender Spray on plants.
Vegetable garden repellant: 1/4 cup garlic, 1/4 cup hot pepper, 1 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup wood ash, 1/4 hydrated lime. Puree garlic, pepper and onions. stir all together and spray on plants.
Now.. if you ask me... some of the best books of all time are:
"Cheaper and Better: Homemade alternatives to storebought goods" by Nancy Birnes.
Any of the "The Tightwad Gazette" books by Amy Dacyczyn. I found used copies of these in my local Goodwill thrift store, and when ever I find more of them.. I buy them and give them to friends. They really made the reevaluate how I was brought up. My mother and grandmother had grown up in very poor rural Indiana, but when the 80's came along-- we suddenly had money to spend and we stopped living so frugally. I was in for a shocker when I got out on my own and discovered I couldn't afford $200.00 snake skin boots on a minimum wage job.
There's so much talk right now about America being in a recession. I remember the late 70's when we were saving left overs in old bread bags. We couldn't afford fancy ziplock bags. We ate a horrible beef stew on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights with a can of corn thrown in on Wednesday to perk it up. Entertainment back then meant going to the library and getting a week's worth of Sci-Fi books. We had no cable, no satellite, no Atari yet. (yes.. I'm showing my age). My family now don't know what "poor" and "recession" really means.... it's going to be an interesting decade if we really do hit recession like I remember the gas crunch era.