Direct from Farm - mulch and other goodies.

Go down

Direct from Farm - mulch and other goodies.

Post  siri on Sat May 03, 2008 4:58 am

If you are planning on buying mulch, now is a good time to be doing it in Central Vic, where quite a few pea farmers have baled and are selling it direct from the farm in bulk. If you have a large property then this is the way to go. I saw somewhere else that they were expected to pay $14 a bale for pea straw. I managed to source it for $6 and paid a farmer friend $1 a bale to cart it for me. My $6 are a good size and tight (heavy) compared to $5 from the same farmer last year for older, looser bales.
Oaten and Wheaten straw is probably newly available in late Spring. Lucerne at various times through the summer, but an expensive crop at a time when farmers need it for their stock. First cut lucerne is usually the cheapest, but you run the risk of introducing lots of weeds, in particular variegated thistle.
Just a suggestion for those of you who live in the country on larger blocks. Buying in bulk, even if it means buying ahead for the next 2 or 3 years, can save a considerable amount. Buying from grain stores, or garden stores often costs twice the amount.
1/2 doz to 1 doz beers will usually get you a good sized load of fresh eucy mulch if you live close enough to where the power line people are cutting. Leave it to compost for a year or more, or use it on paths.
Driving around the country side you will often see for sale signs up. Of course you will also see bags of horse poo at the farm gate, for sale. Pine cones are another useful purchase around here, bagged up for $2 to $3. Great fire starters. Plants and fruit are often available from the farm gate, and of course fresh eggs.
If you are from the city and taking a trip in the country any time soon, keep the boot space free, and look out for bargains. Farmers markets are not the only places for great buys.
My best buy was alpaca poo mixed with stable straw. Great on the roses. Bit smelly in the back of the station wagon - LOL. I picked it up in the Malmsbury - Lauriston area, whe I was passing through one day. Too good to miss!
What other great buys have people had, or know of?
Cheers, Jan
avatar
siri
Cosmic Traveller!
Cosmic Traveller!

Posts : 289
Join date : 2008-04-27
Location : Central Vic

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Direct from Farm - mulch and other goodies.

Post  Blossom on Sat May 03, 2008 7:28 am

4 years ago, when my daughter's now ex was growing peas, McCain's rejected his crop because he hadn't sprayed according to their contract - so he baled up the lot, peas and all into big round bales and brought me three bales - he actually got more for the bales of straw then he would have for the peas! Nurseries were clammering for it because he hadn't sprayed, they sold it as unsprayed and got a premium price. I got mine free of course - just finished it up last year. Her latest is a dairy hand and I get sh*t from him from the calf pens, untainted with drench and calves only fed on milk. I'm a believer in free if possible but I did buy some good barley straw this year. We are cropping about 6 mushrooms a day from the mushroom compost that we just spread on top of the calf litter where the tomatoes were. 6 bags cost us $8 at the car boot sale and we picked over 2 kg mushrooms when we bought it a month or so ago and have picked every day since then. By contrast the mushroom kit cost $25 and has one puny mushroom so far! The pebbles that filled the gap around the patio until we were ready to do the wall will be recycled as backfill, this was also free - as the ex was working at a crusher quarry and got them for nothing because of their odd sizes. We don't buy much produce as we grow our own, but we do get eggs from the car boot sale too. I've seen people picking up trailer loads of old veg from the veggie shed on Saturday afternoons when they close. Supposed to be for chooks and compost, but I reckon they get quite a bit of good produce - and I'm not talking about the lower socio economic group - but quite prosperous people. I guess that's why they are prosperous! The bulk frozen foods lot also throw out fish that is past its use by date. A friend collects it to make his own fish emulsion. Haven't been game to do that myself though. Ah well, I's better get back to the Wall!
avatar
Blossom
Admin

Posts : 630
Join date : 2008-03-26
Location : Tasmania

View user profile http://cosmicconnection.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Direct from Farm - mulch and other goodies.

Post  Fran on Sat May 03, 2008 8:45 am

I didn't get any mushrooms from my mushie compost after it was spread around but I dug it in a little and put straw on top - should have kept some aside by the sound of it. Presume you would need to keep it moist Blossom ? Love my mushrooms and have to buy them - one food I allow myself from the supermarket because they do sometimes have in a variety. I love to mix a few each of various with the big flats.

I live in sugar country and sugar cane mulch is the cheapest available round the ridges here - direct from a farm of course. The commercial stuff is way too dear - you'd have to be desperate to buy it.

I used to get big round bales of grass hay, sorghum hay - whatever was available from the nearest farming property. If you have a trailer or can hire one than buying any sort of mulching material direct from farmers is the way to go. If you have something to barter it will be cheaper still. I noticed at one of the produce stores last year a dry old bale of grass was selling for $12 and thought I'd rather go rake up after the council slasher than pay that Shocked
avatar
Fran
Cosmic Traveller!
Cosmic Traveller!

Posts : 506
Join date : 2008-04-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Direct from Farm - mulch and other goodies.

Post  Blossom on Sat May 03, 2008 9:01 am

The mushrooms like to be in shade and a bit moist so we put a bit of shadecloth over the bed first off. Now the weather has changed and it's cooler and raining, they are producing quite well. I we tried not to disturb the compost when we put it down - just tipped it out of the bag and gently moved it around without disturbing the white spore stuff. We got the tip from a friend who moves his chooks every year and buys mushroom compost and just spreads it over the chook area - swears he hasn't bought a mushroom in years and he only has a tiny backyard, so we thought we'd try it. We have had a few slater problems - they seem to get into the older mushrooms but picking them while small has not been a problem. That's if we can beat the birds to them!
avatar
Blossom
Admin

Posts : 630
Join date : 2008-03-26
Location : Tasmania

View user profile http://cosmicconnection.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Direct from Farm - mulch and other goodies.

Post  Fran on Sat May 03, 2008 9:15 am

Sounds good. We bought a few dozen bags and some were left for awhile and these did produce a few mushrooms even though I didn't water them - they were also in full sun so there must be a lot of reserve energy in those bags.

I will do that then - we are due for some more. Thanks for the tip.

Forgot to say about mulch - if you know a farmer with a hay shed he might let you rake up the old hay on the floor - take your trailer and a cover. Same goes for anyone you know with chooks who doesn't bother raking up all that valuable manure under the roosts. YOu need a mask for that job - hanky or scarf for round the mouth and nose.
avatar
Fran
Cosmic Traveller!
Cosmic Traveller!

Posts : 506
Join date : 2008-04-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Direct from Farm - mulch and other goodies.

Post  tilly on Tue May 06, 2008 10:45 am

I will be honest I was spending a fortune on sugar cane mulch.....then got the most beautiful lucerne from a truck that had caught on fire....(was on side of road)..now I am buying hay mulch off a local farmer...it lasts longer and heaps cheaper then the packaged sugar cane mulch....would love some more mushrrom compost but the last time I went to the mushroom farm ..I was pretty sure the guy ripped me off on purpose...so they are on my banned list now...

tilly
Busy Bee
Busy Bee

Posts : 31
Join date : 2008-03-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Direct from Farm - mulch and other goodies.

Post  The Estate on Tue May 06, 2008 10:50 am

No real farms close by for me, but I can get compost pretty cheap I found out the other day, so I will be doing the compost mulch thing this year flower good change from the mushroom and euyc stuff.
avatar
The Estate
Cosmic Traveller!
Cosmic Traveller!

Posts : 447
Join date : 2008-03-27
Location : Melbourne

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Direct from Farm - mulch and other goodies.

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum