The Flog

Farmers come in many packages. Some of us are full time employees of the land, earning our bread and water through cultivation. Others among us are simply urban dwellers interested in staying in contact with the natural world. Whichever you are, our farmblog (the Flog) will have something for you. Topics range from how to make your own great soil mix, to how to make a natural piggery that has no smell and doesn’t need cleaning. The unconventional tips and tricks here will save you time and money, guaranteed. Patrick and Gil will be contributing based on their respective areas of interest.

Patrick

If you live in an urban setting and would like to learn some neat tricks to small scale gardening whether on a balcony, patio, or backyard, follow along. I’ll be growing a balcony garden using the skills learned from Gil, some farming experience from long ago, and lots of research. It’s been awhile and there will be some bumps along the way, but this will be a great opportunity to get an idea of how to be an urban farmer. I’m hoping to grow all my vegetable needs off a small outdoor balcony – let’s see how it goes! Topics will include how to make your own fertilizer, planters, soil, watering system and more, all with the limited workspace and materials you’d have in an apartment in the city.

Gil

Owning and operating my own Organic farm, I have much to share on the topic of organic farming. I’ll be posting enhancements to existing recipes, new recipes, building plans for natural piggery and free range chicken habitats, updates on my 1000sqm farm and more. These updates should be extremely useful for farmers eager to learn about natural farming techniques.


Updates for this Year

This week in the Flog:

  • Updates for this year
  • Hints about the next recipe to come!

Where have I been? Phew!! What a year. Remember the last Flog where I said we would be traveling for a bit? Well that happened. It was awesome, my 2YO loved it, his first experience with snow. Upon returning from the trip we had to move out of our place on short notice, so that whole process unfolded. And in the meantime my workload doubled as I took on a side project at work which grew quite a bit over the last year.

Enough about me, what does this mean for the Flog and TUF? Don’t worry, nothing is changing with the […]

Sprouted Seed Tea

seeds for sprouting

This week in the Flog:

  • Make Sprouted Seed Tea (SST)
  • Supercharge and store your SST through Fermentation!

This is a great recipe I think you guys are really going to like. Have you heard of SST (Sprouted Seed Tea)? If not you can read about it here.

SST or Sprouted Seed Tea is where you take a bunch of seeds, generally of a fast growing plant like alfalfa, and you soak them in water overnight or so, then drain and keep them moist. In a few days they will sprout.

So now you have a whole bunch of seeds that are just starting to sprout. Once you see the roots start popping out, the seeds are really […]

Animal Feed Bokashi - [Part Two]

bokashi animal feed - results

This week in the Flog:

  • Following up last week’s flog on supercharging animal feed
  • This week we get to see the bokashi in action!

Last week I started the process of bokashi composting animal feed for my roaches. Yeah, roaches. They make awesome cockroach compost and are a great food for my Bearded Dragon, Opi. But I’m also going to use this animal feed bokashi for our dog, Floflo. She will be the real test, if she likes it, it was a success. Dogs aren’t that picky but let’s see, I hope she likes it! This week is all about the process, and the results, including lots of pictures. Let’s get started!

Here are all the ingredients that […]

Animal Feed Bokashi - [Part One]

Animal Feed Bokashi - ingredients

This week in the Flog:

  • Turning Animal Food Into Superfood!
  • Theory This Week, Practice Next Week

Another bokashi Flog! Why another bokashi flog? Because it’s like the composting version of our recipes. It’s all about fermentation, which is what the recipes are based on. And it’s composting! I love composting, as you might have noticed by the composting series earlier this year. And like the recipes, there are so many ways to go about it, and ways to use it. This article is one example of that.

I have roaches out the balcony to feed Opi, our bearded dragon, and to produce cockroach compost from kitchen scraps. The compost is amazing, the plants love it! And the roaches […]

The Unconventional Farmer's Mission

This week in the Flog:

  • How do I view the future of The Unconventional Farmer and why?
  • What is the best thing we can accomplish as a community?
  • What is our next step as a community?
  • An inspiring video and how it relates to us unconventional farmers

Today I’m going to share something totally new, that’s actually been brewing here for some time. This is a very different post than normal, and I hope you will read on as I share a mission statement for The Unconventional Farmer (TUF). This is something of a Call to Action – and in the modern spirit of iterative innovation, it’s a bit half-formed still. You can help me solidify it…

Once, […]

How to Make Your Own Air Filter

Carbon Filter in Action

This week in the Flog:

  • The Long-Awaited How-To Guide for Air Filtration
  • Use This Simple Technique to Filter Your Air and Kill Smells

A little while back, I wrote an article demonstrating how to make your own fish fertilizer at home. This is a really fun (and kinda gruesome) recipe, one of our more popular ones because it is so easy and such an effective fertilizer.

As I mentioned in that article, you can make your own biofilter very easily at home. This is a great way to keep down the smells associated with some of these recipes. I know many readers live in the city, and want to do things like the fish fertilizer, that make some […]

Good Compost Results

Organic Compost - Papaya

This week in the Flog:

  • Great Before/After Pictures From Compost Series Results
  • See the Power of Good Organic Compost

Earlier this year, I went on this crazy mission to start a big ‘ol compost pile outside on my balcony, even though we don’t have much space out thereā€¦

I ended up using many different composting methods, on a variety of input materials, to come up with a mixed compost that looked wonderful. What were the inputs? Check out the list of composting styles and methods that went into this batch of compost:

  • Cockroach Composting
  • Bokashi Composting
  • Basic Composting – layer style
  • Worm Composting
  • Basic Composting – Coconut Composting
  • Basic Composting – Composting Bokashi

Click any of […]

How to Make Bokashi Bran from Coffee Grounds

Bokashi Bran Ingredients

This week in the Flog:

  • How you can make your own bokashi bran for almost nothing
  • Putting to good use Starbucks coffee grounds

Some time ago I wrote an article about Bokashi – everything you need to know from start to finish about how to bokashi. Later, I followed it up with an article all about bokashi bran – this was a great article that might surprise even experienced bokashi practitioners – you can make your own bokashi bran at home with nearly anything – plus sugar, water, and a bit of lacto inoculant.

This week’s article follows up the bokashi bran article I wrote a few weeks ago, with a typical example of making bokashi bran at […]

How to Propagate Lacto

Bokash Juice + Lacto - before and after

This week in the Flog:

  • How to make super strong lacto (aka propagate lacto culture)
  • Sidenote: cheers to the innocent bystanders

A few weeks back, I posted a Flog on How to Make Super Strong Lacto. I subsequently used it to treat some bokashi juice which smelled a bit foul (quite foul actually). If I’m going to use the bokashi leachate on the garden, it needs to smell a bit better, not for me or the plants, but for my wife who already puts up with all my weird experiments taking over the balcony…

That sparks an interesting topic – our significant others. You have to agree they are pretty awesome for tolerating our strange “things” we’re into. […]

What is Gil Up to?

Natural Farm Initiative

This week in the Flog:

  • Natural Farming’s Real Value (sustainable, profitable, responsible agriculture)
  • Gil Carandang’s activities in the Philippines

I’m writing a quick post this week highlighting the activities of Gil Carandang, my teacher in natural farming and the inspiration for this website.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed I’m running the TUF website and weekly Flog. Gil stops in periodically with a few comments but mostly I’m running the show online. My expertise is IT and my passion is gardening so this is a great fit.

I really want to bring Gil’s stuff to the international audience. You guys reading just reinforces that and helps keep me motivated despite the periodic long hours. This site will […]