Note that the above video shows how they prepared their new food growing garden bed.
Link: UMass Permaculture Amherst
Link: UMass Permaculture Amherst
The artist talk this year was by Lisa Grossman and it did not disappoint, as she so eloquently described to us her zen like approach to plein air painting of the Kansas prairie and sky landscapes and likened the process to haiku. Originally from Pennsylvania, she now lives in Lawrence, Kansas. [more of her art here]
For those who are not aware of the fact, the Land Institute is now using marker assisted breeding technology, which became possible with the completion of their new building a year ago, and the hiring of Dr. Shuwen Wang. This should accelerate the process of breeding useful perennial grains, which they feel could help to provide the resilience needed for our world which is facing both peak oil and climate change while using unsustainable methods of industrialized agriculture.
There were other great talks, too, by Brian Donahue, Kamyar Enshayan, Naomi Klein, and Richard Heinberg. And I was thrilled to finally see a screening of “John Muir in the New World.”
As compared to chickens, pigeons are easier to care for and can be eaten sooner. They forage for their own food and are edible in 28 days. Their houses protect them from predators.
Many nations including Scotland and the Middle East continue to house pigeons. Pigeon houses were found on plantations in the U.S. until the early 1920’s. A few centuries ago in parts of Europe, pigeon meat was important especially for the winter months and only the aristocracy were allowed to raise them.
In the sad tale of the North American Passenger Pigeon‘s extinction, the bird went from being one of the most abundant birds in the world during the 19th century, numbering in the billions, to extinction in the early 20th century. Unregulated hunting, loss of habitat, deforestation, and use as commercialized cheap meat for slaves and the poor were contributing factors.
Examples of Pigeon Houses from around the world
A pigeon house may be referred to as dovecote, dovecot, doocot, pigeonaire, pigeonnier, colombier, tour-fuie, culvery, duivekot, columbaria, colomendy, or palomar. Many are free standing, from small to large, but others are built into tops or sides of barns or other buildings.
See the large variety of house types from around the world in the photos below:
Some pigeons have been bred to be larger, specifically for their meat, and this group is called the “utility” pigeon. Breeds of pigeons preferred for meat are the King, Carneau, French Mondain, Homer and Swiss Mondain.
Young pigeons, or squab, become very large in their nests prior to flying and these are used for their meat which is tender, rich, nutritious, and mild-tasting.
Squab is served at some of the finest U.S. restaurants such as French Laundry. Examples of squab dishes are breast of squab (French salmis), Egyptian hamam mahshi (stuffed with rice and herbs), and Moroccan pastilla.
The greatest volume of U.S. squab, however, is sold within Chinatowns.
Pair bond parents, beginning around eight months of age, incubate eggs for 17-19 days, and brood their squab for four weeks. Both parents produce a “pigeon milk” to feed their young. One pair can produce 15 squabs per year and ten pairs can produce eight squabs per month without being fed by their keepers. They forage and return to their dovecote to rest and breed. Mates will produce young year round for five to six years. In addition to foraging, pigeons can be fed bird seed, Flock Raiser, and corn.
Pigeon Dung or Guano
(N 4.2-6.5; P 2.4-3; K 1.4-2.5) Pigeon guano has higher nutrient values than other fowl manure. It should be composted prior to using. The usefulness of their manure has added to the overall usefulness of raising pigeons throughout the ages.
Recommended reference for information about how to raise pigeons: Mother Earth News
The following instructions for setting up a bucket garden in Africa, are from chapin living waters.
Location of Bucket
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve put together some photos to illustrate how bucket drip irrigation works.