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Strawbale Gardening: Forum: open or subscribers-only?

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Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


August 30, 2007
2:12 PM

Post #3917645

Let's hear from those of you who have participated in the strawbale threads up to now.

Currently this forum is subscribers-only. (The threads that we moved here were in subscribers-only forums, so it seemed only fair to make this one subscribers-only to start with.)

But there is a lot of interest in strawbale gardening outside of the DG subscriber community, so we're opening it up for discussion and input.

Do you think the forum should remain subscribers-only?

Or should we open it up for a while to help it become better established, and then reconsider whether it should remain open or become subscribers-only?
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

August 31, 2007
2:13 AM

Post #3920036

I'm all for opening it up.

Kent
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 31, 2007
5:39 AM

Post #3920580

Kent,

Is that why Donna can't get in to this forum?

First of all Kent, I do NOT like the format for the new Dave's. I know that has nothing to do with our forum. But, it is bad enough that I'm thinking of dropping out. I will give it a little time but from what I can see, I don't like it.

How do we know who is a subscriber and who isn't? I think this is a bad time of year to start limiting this as to who can and who can't participate because winter is on the way and there isn't much going on to discuss. That might just kill it.

So far, Russ and I and maybe a few others have been the only ones on here since they changed it to a forum. Maybe if they had told us they were going to do this and that they were going to limit it to subscribers, they might have had people actually sign up. What were they thinking of?

Plus with the new format, the non-subscribers just might figure to heck with it and drop out anyway. I think this whole thing was handled in a very arrogant way.

Sorry if I sound perturbed, but I am.

Jeanette

cathy4
St. Louis County, MO
(Zone 5a)

August 31, 2007
5:45 AM

Post #3920585

Please open it up. I haven't written in, but I've read all of it recently. I don't think it will overfill like a large group such as roses might, and the information is very good.

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


August 31, 2007
10:33 AM

Post #3920780

Jnette,

The existing threads were in subscribers-only forums before I moved them here. There have never been any non-subscribers participating in these threads, so the only question is: do we now open up those threads to non-subscribers, or leave this a subscribers-only forum?

What were we thinking of when we created this forum?

Ummmm, well, actually we were thinking of the best interests of those who are involved in this type of gardening, and giving you one place to find all the threads pertaining to strawbale gardening. We had received a few suggestions to create a dedicated forum. Coupled with the proliferation of the strawbale threads, we agreed it was a good idea and set it up.

(BTW, as you can see by this post, we do actively participate in the forums, so if you have concerns about this or any other changes, I hope you'll address those directly to Dave or me, rather than talk about us as though we're not here or responsive to your questions and concerns. ;o)

And...who's Donna?
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

August 31, 2007
1:13 PM

Post #3921202

I'd like to see it open to everyone, too. I've learned so much being here, but any new input could only help. I've been quiet lately only because my bales are essentially dead, except for the tomatoes that seem to be in a holding pattern. I'm working on hardening off my broccoli, and deciding what else I can do this fall. It all looks so sad and bedraggled up there...
Most of my bales have decomposed to just kind of lumps of what used to be hay. I'm willing to try planting in that, just to see what happens. I'll let y'all know how it goes. Any hints from anyone who's planted a "second crop" would be welcome.
Margo
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

August 31, 2007
3:31 PM

Post #3921753

Jeanette: it looks like Terry answered most of your questions/concerns.

The "new" look did surprise me because I have been so busy on other issues that I haven't spent much time in our bale gardening threads lately.

There may have been an announcement and I just missed it.

You and Russ have indeed been the ones keeping #16 active.

It took a little getting used to, but I can see where creating a FORUM for us would help in keeping the threads together because I noticed some separate threads with bale gardening topics and members that I've never seen before.

I'm not sure how much longer we can/will keep "our" threads going, i.e., #17, 18...

As for making the Bale Garden forum OPEN, that's a business decision that DG is going to have to make.

I would love to see it OPEN to everyone, but if it's a big draw I can see where DG would want to make "hay/straw" while the sun shines! :-)

For the cost of a subscription, the info here at DG and the quality of the website is WELL WORTH the price.

I still say DG is the "gold standard" for gardening websites.

As for Donna, have you heard from her?

Have you tried to DMail her?



This message was edited Aug 31, 2007 11:32 AM
PERRYLAWRENCE
SARANAC, NY
(Zone 4a)

August 31, 2007
3:47 PM

Post #3921808

Perry votes to limit the thread to subscribers only - If someone is unwilling to pay the cost of a subscription - they ain't got no business participating... my 2 cents
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 31, 2007
4:52 PM

Post #3922077

Perry/Kent, I see where you guys are coming from, but so many of these people are retired, on fixed income, have families that need shoes? i.e. higher priorities. Are feeding their families.

Terry, I wasn't talking as though you could not read what I wrote. I know you can and do participate but you can't be everywhere all the time.

I think you just took us all by surprise. Maybe you meant it to be a good surprise, but we lost people, like Donna. And you say you participate, but Donna was very active off and on and you don't know who she is? And, if we lost her, how many others have we lost? Donna is an 80 something lady living alone and trying the strawbale gardening for the first time this year.

Terry, you say you have moved other's threads, but how about all the people that just asked questions etc. were they all subscribers? Or were non-subscribers blocked out all together?

Maybe it was doing both at once that I have a problem with. Making it into a forum, and the new format. The first one I don't have a problem with. It is the new format. And, maybe it is the "you can't teach an old dog new tricks", attitude? There is something about this format on the Strawbale forum that isn't right.

I can look at other forums and don't have a problem with them. But with this one, I can't tell whether I have read the "new" posts or not. I am on dial-up, and re-reading them because I can't tell is very frustrating. Maybe it just takes getting used to?

As I said before, with winter coming on, maybe we need to get as much participation as we can or our forum will die.

OK, I have given my 50 cents worth so I will be quiet.

Jeanette

Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

August 31, 2007
5:06 PM

Post #3922133

Strawbaleman,

WOW, thank you for starting threads and including pictures of this method of gardening! When I saw this thread pop up on "the latest posts at DG" my curiosity was peaked and then I saw there is a whole forum dedicated to this type of gardening---granted I'm relatively new to gardening but in all my time on Dave's I'd never heard of this method!!!! This is really interesting stuff!!! I am going to discuss this idea with DH who loves a veg garden to.

I personally love that subscribers have more gardening privledges on Dave's. I would think that anyone interested in the hard work that goes into strawbale methods and can afford to have such a garden exsist at all might be interested in logging into the best gardening resource on the web, Dave's! I've wasted to much money on gardening books that just weren't enough before I found Dave's. And I'm a penny pincher myself---those gardening books were all from a used book store. I find that with the research I'm able to do on Dave's I am able to grow and sell a few plants from home which more than pays for my subscription.

I agree with you Perry. Gardening isn't free and for some it isn't even cheap so to not be able to subscribe to a low-cost endless supply of gardening information and get feedback instantly I don't know other gardeners are managing! I made a lot of expensive landscape mistakes BEFORE I knew about Dave's. It's actually SAVED me money now because I don't make near as many mistakes. :)

Since I do pay I like to see more of Dave's for subscribers only.

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


August 31, 2007
5:23 PM

Post #3922214

Jeanette, I think you are talking about Rutholive when you refer to Donna, yes? If so, I think she's got it figured out. You haven't lost her - she posted this today:
[quote]Jeanette, thanks, think I am okay with new way to get to Straw Bale gardening now. Must go outside soon as another hot day in the offing. Was 93 degrees here yesterday and windy, now quite smoky outside.[/quote]

In the "Melons" thread here in the Strawbale forum: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=3921322

(So why did I ask who was Donna? Well, we have over 200 forums and around 7,000 subscribers. Off the top of my head I can easily list a half-dozen women whose real name is Donna. ;o)

I haven't actively participated in the strawbale gardening threads, in part because they were scattered across 3 or 4 forums. Now they're all together, and that should make it easier for everyone to find.

All of the posts in the threads #1 - #16 were made by subscribers. Those threads have never been accessible to non-subscribers. You haven't lost any participants because the threads were moved to another subscribers-only forum.

I'm trying to understand how this forum would look any different than any others to you. The format is identical to every other forum at Dave's Garden, and nothing about the format of the forums has changed.

Your "Home" tab should still have:
1) a list of your new/unread dmail messages (when you have one waiting);
1) a list of all new post alerts to your watched threads (when you have any new posts);
2) a list of all your favorite forums; and
3) whatever else you have chosen to have on there (most recent posts across DG, random picture, voting booth, etc.).

The summary page to all the forums is now under one tab: "Communities" instead of in two tabs ("Home Talk" and "Garden Talk") However, that shift was announced and discussed for well over a month before Dave made the actual change. It is an excellent example of why having the Dave's Garden forum: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/dg/all/ among your favorites is a really good idea - if it is, be sure to check there regularly for announcements and discussions.
rutholive
Tonasket, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2007
1:46 AM

Post #3923934

When I joined Dave's Garden around 5 years ago I did not realize how important names were so I just chose my Mothers name Ruth Olive, now I wish I had asked Dave if I could be Donna_WA, I would have asked for a change but remembered Dave at that time at least did not like to change names, so I remain RuthOlive, but am actually Donna.

The change over to a forum of our own was confusing to me, I don't know why as I have seen other changes, I remember when we were allowed to have a seperate forum for Coleus a year or so ago, and had no problem following that change.

Donna
margaran
(Maggie) Jacksonvill, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 1, 2007
1:57 AM

Post #3923997

Dear Terry,

Thank you for putting everything in one forum. It makes it easier to keep track of different subjects such as melons, tomatoes etc. I'm just too darn distractable to keep track of 3 or more subjects in one long thread. I've not posted because I'm still reading all the original threads. Would never have seen this on Veggies if it hadn't been mentioned on Florida. So I thank you for making this a real forum.

Maggie
margaran
(Maggie) Jacksonvill, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 1, 2007
2:00 AM

Post #3924005

OOPS- Open is fine with me. Funny, I like most of my forums closed, but I like this one open.

Maggie
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2007
5:08 AM

Post #3924514

Well, Terry, Kent, Perry, etc. It appears that possibly it is 50/50 split whether to make it open or just subscribers. Actually, I think it looks like more want it open. I have stated that with winter coming on, we may need the additional input from more people.

Winter might be a good time to get new ideas. I just wish that these people that lurk out there and read what the rest of us are doing would participate and give us their ideas. They have a lot to add.

margaran
(Maggie) Jacksonvill, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 1, 2007
9:36 AM

Post #3924669

I look forward to being able to contribute to this forum in a useful way. Once I've read the threads and have questions that haven't been answered a hundred times before or have something of my own to contribute, you won't be able to shut me up. Meanwhile, I'll try humbly to learn from the rest of you guys who are still light-years ahead.

What I'm trying to figure out is if this kind of gardening can be used to jump start a raised bed of perennials. So far, only annuals have been discussed but if my goal is a raised bed, then perhaps starting with a bale is easier. But as I said, I still have to go through the threads. I for one appreciate all the info those of you who have gone before have contributed to inspire the rest of us.

Maggie


This message was edited Sep 1, 2007 5:40 AM
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

September 1, 2007
9:48 AM

Post #3924674

Terry, I read the strawbale threads but don't participate much ... my only question would be whether there is some set of protocols that decides whether a forum is open to subscribers only.

There is always grousing over Web site upgrades. I suppose that there will always be folks on dial-up & folks who can't figure out where to find stuff when the color scheme changes, but as a computer-literate gal on broadband, I get tired of being held back by that, so please keep bringing us new stuff.
wannadanc
Olympia, WA

September 1, 2007
1:12 PM

Post #3924943

A LONG time subscriber here - and an absolute newbie to straw bales concepts, I will add my 2 worth!

I think it is great to have a forum - I would imagine that the title alone is going to draw in new folks who will see that and wonder "what is THIS".

I accept that change is hard on folks - harder on some than others - but as w/ all things, we adjust...(although I still can't program the VCR-LOL). Most of the forward movement has LOTS of advantage - but the learning curve for some is slower to hit the rise.

I have no issue one way or the other to whether this should be "open" or a members only forum. I am happy to support the DG enterprise. I know that not everyone can do that. I remember when I absolutely would not visit ANY forum or website if it cost money to "join up". Again - time changes things - and my attitude adjusted as I came to see the efforts made to have some very incredible websites. DG is certainly all of that!

So - thanks for the forum - and I look forward to my learning a new trick!!! This old dog is quite capable of that!



Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


September 1, 2007
1:38 PM

Post #3925023

To answer the question, "What is the protocol?" We don't have set of hard and fast rules, but our philosophy is this:

If we start a new forum, it is most likely free to begin, especially if the subject matter lends itself to an open forum (and a subject like strawbale gardening certainly does.) However, if a forum is created to consolidate threads from other (subscribers-only) forums (as this is/was), then we have to consider the expectations of those who posted to those threads.

We respect that the participants had a certain expectation of "privacy" when they posted. (I use the term "privacy" loosely, since an audience of 7,000 subscribers isn't really "private".)

So this is kind of an odd situation:

One one hand, the subject matter has the potential to pique the interests of many new members, so making it open would probably create more activity and bring in a broader array of ideas and questions.

On the other hand, if the core "founding" group here would prefer that it remain closed to subscribers-only, we will respect their wishes ;o)
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

September 1, 2007
3:43 PM

Post #3925351

I'll recast my vote for an OPEN forum.

One reason are the many hand-written letters I've received from elderly folks who read some of my stories about bale gardening from other publications, and how they now have "a new lease on life" with this method of gardening.

They had given up gardening, mostly for health reasons or tired of dealing with terrible soil conditions, but can now resume a hobby that they love with a passion.

Some have written me to say how bale gardening "gives them a reason to get up in the morning."

Many had neighbors/friends/family pull up the magazine articles off the web for them since many didn't have a computer at all.

With an open forum, other people like them can do the same.

I doubt if the computer owners would subscribe just to get some info for others.

Someone who would use all of the site are probably avid gardeners who can greatly afford the cost of becoming a member of DG.

Kent
PERRYLAWRENCE
SARANAC, NY
(Zone 4a)

September 1, 2007
5:12 PM

Post #3925587

OK - I have a question: If this is to be an open forum, does somebody monitor the postings & if it becomes overwhelmed with spam like so many other so called "open" sites seem to - is there any way to curtail the spam - if not, I still would like to see the forum remain closed - If someone cannot afford the subscription to DG - then they probably cannot afford the bales or fertilizer to use this method of gardening anyhow.

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


September 1, 2007
7:35 PM

Post #3926029

Perrylawrence, we absolutely monitor ALL the DG forums for spam and remove it.

In fact, if you ever see any post (in any forum) that seems like an "ad" of any sort, please report it to us so we can take care of it.
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

September 1, 2007
9:08 PM

Post #3926345

yeah, it sounds as if there is nothing to be gained by making it private. do you have the ability to see what types of people view the threads, such as the percentage of non-subscribers & just visitors?

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


September 1, 2007
9:42 PM

Post #3926475

That's something we can't easily do (I know I can't do it, and I don't think Dave tracks the movements of members and visitors in that way...)
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 2, 2007
1:02 AM

Post #3926947

Terry, didn't you guys in admin used to keep track of non-subscribers and what they were doing? Maybe I didn't make that clear. I think I remember subscribers in the "plant and seed trading" forums complaining about non-subscribers begging for seeds etc.

How did those people know these others were non-subscribers? Was it an individual thing? Like was there a list they could look at and see that a person was a subscriber so assume that if they weren't on that list they must be a non????

BTW, I would challenge any of these computer-literate gals to come out here and wire our rural county for Broadband so that we don't hold them back.

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


September 2, 2007
1:18 AM

Post #3926994

Occasionally a subscriber has complained that they are being pestered (via dmail) for plants and /or seeds by non-subscribers.

You can tell if someone is subscribed or not by going to their member page - that's how they knew they were non-subscribers.

But we have never really monitored subscribers or non-subscribers' activities as distinct groups. So I can't tell you how many non-subscribers posted to the [insert the name of any free forum] on [x] date, versus the number of subscribers' posts to the same forum.
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

September 2, 2007
1:47 AM

Post #3927074

Terry: I'm a member of another forum where they track how many posts you make and that number appears and is updated in each person's posts under their name.

It gives each member a "ranking" so to speak, Jr Member, Member, Sr. Member, based on the number of posts of that person.

I also like the use of avatars in other forums. They're fun and gives each person an added "personality".

As for others being able to afford the cost of DG if they can buy bales, etc, the hand-written letters I get are from folks who don't even have a computer such as my 93 years young friend I mentioned in Part 14. They are totally dependent on others to help get the info to them. A minority group, for sure, but I still have a soft spot for them. Just call me a push over.

Jeanette: you go girl!

Kent

Edited to add this P.S. - how about rigging DMail up so if we receive DMail it would automatically show if the sender is a member or not.

This message was edited Sep 1, 2007 10:07 PM
deanna8
Raeford, NC

September 2, 2007
2:17 AM

Post #3927138

I personally do not care one way or the other but I subscribed to DG because you had to be a member to post a reply and getting certain info from certain forums.If it had been completely open I would not have joined (subscribed). Which brings up another question if we open it up to all, we who are members will we pay a higher membership price to renew because all this is not free someone has to pay for the site and all the upgrades Dave does and isn't this part of his lively hood.There is alot more info here than most sites I have been to that are free. Maybe we should ask him what he wants.I'm easy so whatever. Deanna

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


September 2, 2007
4:05 AM

Post #3927397

You can see the number of posts you've made on your member page. We've shied away from things that establish a pecking order based on number of postings or duration of membership. (There are a whole lot of really silly and one-word posts among our 3.9 million posts, and having a lot of them to your name doesn't necessarily mean you're a "senior" member ;o)

We don't do avatars, either but that's a whole other story - you're welcome to check out the DG forum for old posts on the pros and cons of them.

People cannot send you a dmail unless they have signed up for an account and logged in. They won't be able to participate in any of our forums until they've signed up and logged in (which means they have to have a computer and internet access, either at home or access via a public computer, such as their local library.

As to the fear of a higher price at renewal time...we had the same price ($15) for five years. We finally increased the price this year (to $19.95.) In those five years, our membership grew exponentially. Our subscriber community also increased very steadily.

Currently we have about 7,000 subscribers and over 320,000 members. We have about 50 free forums and about 150+ subscribers-only forums.

I don't think there's any reason to fear that making one other forum open to non-subscribers will cause the subscription rates to increase ;o)
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 2, 2007
5:46 AM

Post #3927565

I'm sorry Terry, you lost me. : ( must be that dial-up thing again, what's the difference between a member and a subscriber?

Jeanette
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

September 2, 2007
12:01 PM

Post #3927815

Terry: appreciate the prompt response to my questions. I'll go back and read up on the avatar issue.

Kent

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


September 2, 2007
12:38 PM

Post #3927884

Members
Everyone who signs up for a free username is a member.

- Membership lets you participate in about 50 free forums. However, members can only read the first post in threads posted in subscribers-only forums. (Some forums are completely invisible to them.)

- Members can add reviews to the Watchdog, Go Gardening, Bookworm, etc.

- Members can also participate in PlantFiles and BugFiles (create entries, add photos, comments, ZIP code reports, etc.) They are limited to ten searches per day in PlantFiles, and can't use the Advanced Search feature.

- Members can have a diary or journal, and use the trading tools to trade plants and seeds.


Subscribers
Those who pay $19.95 per year are subscribers. They have access to everything the free membership offers, plus:

- They can read and participate in all forums.

- Subscribers can turn off all advertising if they choose to.

- Subscribers have unlimited use of PlantFiles and all the search/browse features.

- Subscribers can participate in twice-weekly chat sessions.
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

September 2, 2007
3:11 PM

Post #3928318

Jnette, I didn't mean to sound as if I were taking a swipe at you with your sloooooooowwwwww connection, I just forget about that rural issue sometimes. Technology is funny --- I have broadband but couldn't get a cell signal even if I had a cell phone.

Growing up in the mountains of Montana, we took cable for granted because that was the only way to get a signal bouncing around this peaks. Imagine my surprise 15 years later when I moved to Philly & found that whole neighborhoods of that big city STILL couldn't get cable due to political infighting over who would profit!
inanda
Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 2b)

September 3, 2007
6:39 PM

Post #3932363

As a SB ediface (shed/houses/hobbit houses gardener) maker came racing over here as soon as I saw the name. Should be great for elderlies and far cheaper than raised wooden structures for us guerrilla gardeners to build for our guerrilla garden elderlies.

Didn't make the enclosed Wendy House. My pix are all locked up in picasa and haven't worked out how to pur picasa pics into DG. Learning curve here.

As I've been a paid subscriber for a few years, think this should be a closed (for subscribers only) forum.

my .2 worth

inanda aka Ginny

Thumbnail by inanda
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 3, 2007
6:56 PM

Post #3932429

Ginny, Love your Hobbit House!! You didn't really give a reason for your 2 cents worth other than that you are a subscriber. Guess you don't need a reason, just an opinion.

I personally don't care since Dave has chosen to have member non-subscribers. Don't know the reason for that either. Guess he doesn't need one since it's his, and the best, show in town.

Jeanette

kooger

kooger
Oostburg, WI
(Zone 5b)

September 3, 2007
7:09 PM

Post #3932488

Jnette - Not sure what you mean by member non-subscribers. All subscribers have paid to access the whole site. All members have not paid and have limited access to DG.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 3, 2007
10:42 PM

Post #3933302

Kooger, you have described it to a "T". Exactly. That is what I mean by a member-nonsubscriber. A member who has not paid the dues of a subscriber. That member has limited access and the subscriber has full access.

What don't you understand? Maybe I should not have used them in the same sentence. Ran afoul of the language police.

Jeanette

kooger

kooger
Oostburg, WI
(Zone 5b)

September 3, 2007
10:54 PM

Post #3933350

I guess I thought you meant that there was a new category Dave had created - all's well. :)

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2007
1:31 AM

Post #3934078

As much as I believe strawbale gardening is a great idea for everyone, especially folks with a physical limitation or poor soil conditions, I believe this forum should remain subscribers only. Just my 2 worth...
Kamikid
Thomasville, GA
(Zone 8a)

September 7, 2007
2:30 AM

Post #3945927

Have read most of the strawbale forums, but in South Georgia it is hard to find square bales. Will the round bales work as well and would the seasoning time be the same.? You've heard the joke i'm sure that the Government has outlawed round bales because the cows can't get a "square" meal. Have a good evening. Elaine
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 7, 2007
4:36 AM

Post #3946338

Elaine,

I don't know about your round bales, but the ones they have out here on the west coast are so big it would take a forklift, a big one, to do anything with them. How would you even unroll it and make 2 or 3 out of one? I'm not sure what you have in mind, how you would plant them? Don't know. I do think we have had this question before and don't know what the person ended up doing.

Jeanette
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 7, 2007
6:17 AM

Post #3946433

I have had the same problem here in Australia - most of the farm hay is now done up in huge rolls by machinery. Someone suggested I try a horse feed supplier, and it worked - they still have normal "bales" of hay and straw. I hope this will help you, Kaelkitty.
Kamikid
Thomasville, GA
(Zone 8a)

September 7, 2007
11:08 PM

Post #3948854

Thank you for the information. I don't think I will do it but was curious if anyone had used the round bales. The concept seems to work.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

September 8, 2007
11:21 AM

Post #3950295

I'm thinking about it for summer squash. They''ll be able to fall down the sides, and I think it'll be easier to harvest them. OTOH, with my luck, they'll all crawl into the middle, and hide *G*. It all depends on how the winter goes. If there are any old bales left in the spring when I can get new hay for the cows, I'll get one of the old ones up to the garden and see what happens.
Margo
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

September 8, 2007
1:07 PM

Post #3950514

Kaelkitty: Glory to be! You're our very first post from another continent that I'm aware of in the bale gardening threads!

Everyone else has been from the USA or Canada.

Have you been following the bale gardening threads?

Welcome aboard!!

Kent

This message was edited Sep 8, 2007 9:08 AM
Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 8, 2007
3:40 PM

Post #3951090

Yee-Ha! I've come to the attention of the master! (but that was my fourth post - I've had three in the Melons thread as well, snicker!)

Now, all I have to do is sort out my bales, before it gets too hot here. We are on massive water restrictions, with the prediction that we may soon not be allowed to water our gardens AT ALL thanks to the drought. I'm thinking of trying to wrap my bales in plastic overcoats for the initial "seasoning" stage so they stay wet enough to get composting, without having to pour so much water on them. I'm also wondering if I could sleeve the base and the bottom few inches of each bale in plastic to create a "reservoir" effect and keep up the humidity around the plants. Time will tell. TTFN, Kaelkitty.

Edited to add: In the meantime, I've got plenty of reading to catch up on, I have just finished Thread Six, so I've got ten more monster threads to go to catch up to the rest of you!

This message was edited Sep 9, 2007 1:16 AM
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 8, 2007
8:40 PM

Post #3951999

Hi KK,!! What are your temperatures running? Other people have talked about wrapping the bales but don't know if they actually tried it. You might as well be a first. You might be inventing a new way to garden!!

Margo, you will need to direct the ends of your squash as they grow. And then use some netting to support the fruit. Or some panty hose. Now wouldn't that look funny!

Jeanette

Kaelkitty
Adelaide
Australia
(Zone 10a)

September 9, 2007
12:56 PM

Post #3953809

Hi Jeanette,
It's not the temperatures, it's the lack of water that worries us here in Adelaide. Here is a link to last month's weather summary from the Bureau of Meteorology - small wonder we are approaching paranoia on the subject of water usage. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/sa/summary.shtml#records112

My ideas are mainly about how to do the whole thing using an absolute minimum of water, we are currently restricted to bucket only watering, and now they are talking about a complete ban on outdoor watering except from grey water or home rainwater tanks, unless we get some kind of weather break (real soon now, please, LOL).

Do you have anyone in the group trying this in Arizona, that would probably be as close to our current climate as I can think of in the USA? Bye for now, KK.
inanda
Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 2b)

September 9, 2007
1:49 PM

Post #3954028

When we farmed, I used to redirect tub and sink water into an outside bathtub during the summer. Used that water for watering around the house. With toddlers around, quite often had to pull the plug and waste it though.

inanda aka Ginny
rutholive
Tonasket, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 9, 2007
2:36 PM

Post #3954198

kk, is this supposed to be your wet season, or possibly you don't have a wet season. Anyway we don't have a wet season per se, As near as I can find out we have had only one barely measurable rain since middle of June. I know we had no rainfall in Aug. and none so far in Sept. I irrigate from a community well, which I am furtherest from source and nearly highest so don't receive enough water for my large garden. I have a personal well which delivers very small amount of supplemental water. i have been irrigating since end of Feb.

Hottest and driest summer I think on record. Days are of course shorter here now and nights are cooling. Was 41 degrees this morning. I am trying to get my small greenhouse clean so I can move plants back inside. i know it is going to frost very soon. Best wishes for you to receive some rain soon. And of course I hope we do here also.

Donna
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 9, 2007
4:57 PM

Post #3954674

Hey you guys, It just dawned on me that we are straying a long way from Terry's topic of should we open the forum to non-subscribers?

Guess we had better get this one back on track and move our conversations to a different thread?? Glad to see you KK and Ginny, maybe on a different thread?

Jeanette
chris_lcf530
Peachtree City, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 15, 2007
7:51 PM

Post #3978690

I am usually for closed forums, except the ones that will draw in new subscribers. I believe you get what you pay for, but in this case I think an open forum will bring in new members from searches for strawbale gardening.

chris

PS. I would love to have a star or something next to subscribers name, maybe even that only subscribers can see. I love to be a giving person but sometimes I get wrapped up in conversation and find myself giving things to non-subscribers for postage, that never arrives. To find out later that was there first week on our site. No great loss, but I would love to be able to convince them to subscribe just for the perks. I know i can find out by clicking on their name, but a star would be instantly visible.

june_nmexico

june_nmexico
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7a)

September 15, 2007
8:05 PM

Post #3978710

If you put your cursor over any poster's name, a pop-up shows whether they are a subscriber and when they joined.
chris_lcf530
Peachtree City, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 15, 2007
8:56 PM

Post #3978851

I thought I saw that a few months back but then it wasnt happening for a while and I forgot about it.
Maybe it was something on my end or maybe thats when it was first created.
Thanks for making me remember. LOL
I still think a symbol by the name would be very useful.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

September 15, 2007
9:33 PM

Post #3978938

I voted for closed... any member can read the first post of any thread and hopefully that will encourage subscribing to learn more.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

September 15, 2007
11:26 PM

Post #3979309

I agree with icf530. I remember well taking a week-end to decide if this was a place I could learn from and where I would want to spend my time (and money--which is scarce). It was lasagna gardening that got me.

Strawbale gardening is one of the best to attract new subscribers, and also to appeal to the kind of dirt gardener that is likely to make a real contribution to the site as a whole.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 16, 2007
12:24 AM

Post #3979543

I was just re-reading some of this thread and Ginny and KK I hope you didn't take me wrong when I said I wanted to see you on a different thread. I just meant that I tend to lead the topic astray sometimes and a lot of people don't like that.

Jeanette
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 16, 2007
12:26 AM

Post #3979553

Terry, what does it take to come to a consencus? Can't spell that. How do you guys decide whether we are open or closed on this forum?

Jeanette

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


September 16, 2007
9:50 PM

Post #3982481

Well, like I said, this one is a bit of an oddity. It looks like more people are leaning toward opening it. But...

Since there are some current participants who have spoken up and asked to keep it closed, we will probably acquiesce to their wishes and keep it closed.

It's only fair to them, since they posted to threads when they were in other subscribers-only forums.

If those individuals change their minds at some point, then we can easily (with a few mouse clicks, actually) make this an open forum.
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

September 17, 2007
2:19 AM

Post #3983394

Terry: Let me make sure I'm hearing you correctly.

A majority of the members voted for an OPEN forum and you're going to CLOSE it "since there are some current participants who have spoken up" against keeping it OPEN?

Kent
wannadanc
Olympia, WA

September 17, 2007
3:17 AM

Post #3983633

I, too, express surprise at the decision - determined by the minority. Hmmmmm.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

September 17, 2007
4:55 AM

Post #3983826

I think what Terry is saying is that the people who spend their money, no matter majority, should have the decision to keep the freebies out.

Normally majority rules, but in this case I kind of think like Admin does. ON THE OTHER HAND, I can see both sides. i.e. The more people involved, the more ideas we get and the more apt we are to be able to keep the forum going.

Last winter, the people like myself in the north, don't have much going on but snow so there is not a whole lot of interest, so the thread almost died.

Jeanette, (who always has 2 cents to add, lol)

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


September 17, 2007
11:56 AM

Post #3984226

As I said, this is a rather unique set of circumstances.

The threads in this forum came from subscribers-only forums. This forum is currently a subscribers-only forum. The 16 strawbale gardening threads have never been accessible to non-subscribers.

The majority have voted in favor of opening this forum (and under ordinary circumstances we'd go with the majority), but some of the subscribers who have followed their posts to the new forum have voted to keep it closed. Unless they're willing to change their position (and I'm not trying to put any pressure on them to do that), I think we have to respect their wishes, even if they're in the minority.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

September 17, 2007
12:13 PM

Post #3984282

Jeanette, in my several years' experience on DG, I have found many threads/forums that go dormant seasonally. Using myself as an example, I seldom go to Tomatoes over the winter (except to search out new heirlooms to consider in Spring) and I go to Recipes much more often since I cook more when I cannot be outside in the dirt (or bales in this case).

Hmmmm, I wonder how many folks have paid their dues just to follow these threads? I know Admin has no way of tracking that data but it would be interesting to know.



critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

September 17, 2007
12:32 PM

Post #3984326

I've only been a lurker on this forum, as I've not yet taken the plunge into strawbale gardening. But I'd prefer that it remain a closed forum. As Darius noted earlier, information that you'd like to make visible to members can be included in the first post of a thread (nonsubscribers can view the first posts).

Also, I appreciate the position admin is taking here. If I had posted in the previous threads (in forums that were closed to nonsubscribers) and then found my words and photos moved to an "open" forum, I'd be disturbed. Yes, I realize it's just an "illusion" of privacy when you're talking about 7000 subscribers, but that's still more limited access than an open forum post that can be found by any search engine.
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

September 17, 2007
1:38 PM

Post #3984525

Terry: since this is DG's site, then they have the final decision.

However, since the chances of getting a unanimous consent on anything is usually remote, then it appears this whole open/closed discussion was destined to be closed from the very beginning.

I love the irony.

Back in the winter of 2004 I stumbled onto an article about a little old lady in Alabama who started a strawbale garden. If the newspaper had a "closed" site that required a fee to view the article, I never would have bothered and we wouldn't even be having this open/closed discussion at all.

Kent
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

September 17, 2007
1:44 PM

Post #3984556

I think it is so irritating when I search for an article and find it on J-Store and it is inaccessable. You can't even get to it without an active university affiliation. Information should be for everybody with an inquiring mind.

Hop off soap box. I realize this is a subscriber web site, and I joined because I wanted information I could not otherwise get.

A Little Old Lady who would like to start a strawbale garden in Alabama

This message was edited Sep 17, 2007 9:32 AM
inanda
Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 2b)

September 18, 2007
2:01 AM

Post #3987250

Re open and closed forums. When I discovered I was posting on an open forum, I went back and removed my messages. I don't want who knows, reading my thoughts and/or activities. It was closed after awhile, so now I post, not too often I admit. This is the busiest time of the year for me, with lilium and iris.

I'm def. going to try a little SB garden next year.

Inanda aka Ginny who thinks we all have to use less water, more xeriscaping.
RuTemple
San Jose, CA
(Zone 9b)

November 16, 2007
3:09 AM

Post #4198353

Is there a list of all the forums one can see when one subscribes, to tempt the newcomers?

Is there an intro strawbale article / Kent's first post or something, that allows newcomers see this has blossomed into a whole huge area of discussion and experimentation around these parts?
This matters to me; I stumbled across Kent's first post, and wanted to try this out - and want others to have the chance to try it out, too. I think it would be a great draw to encourage folks to subscribe to DG.

As long as there's SOME way the new folks can get their nose into then tent, then it's okay if we lower the flap. In general I'm much more excited by a creative commons approach to online community building; in practice I greatly favor those online communities that "weed the trolls" with the annual $20 we pay to DG, and for the kind of careful forum moderation that keeps things on track by communicating with folks and deleting egregiously off-the-mark posts. Terry and Dave don't even wind up having to "diemvowel" anyone! --and that's worth paying for.

If there were a sort of subscription pool of folks with a few extra bucks to offer, could folks on fixed / low incomes have a place to come ask the DG admins for a supported subscription? As a freelancer, my income varies from year to year, but I usually have at least a few leaves on my giving tree. I'd prefer both extra donors and gifted-with-their-subscriptions identities to be anonymous, of course.

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

November 16, 2007
6:18 AM

Post #4198787

Frustration!! I know it well. Even though I pay 75 cents every week for the "once a week" little rag they call a newspaper, put out in the county seat, I have to have a "subscription" to be able to access the archives to read an article that I should have torn out and kept in August when it was printed.

So, the subscription rate is probably more for the shipping than the $3 a month for the paper. Yes, I pick it up with the groceries but I should pay the postage? Guess after this I must tear those articles that I THINK I might want out and file them away for posterity. Maybe I can sell them back to the paper in 10 years to rerun. By then I should make money on the postage.

Jeanette
LenaBeanNZ
Brisbane
Australia
(Zone 10b)

November 17, 2007
4:11 AM

Post #4202272

Im personally not opposed to non-subscribers reading these threads. Information is to be shared, thats something I love about DG. Everyone is so generous in helping each other, sharing information and advice. But if DG needs the subscriber fees to keep it running, then Im all for encouraging people to subscribe!

Not having full access to threads that I found interesting and very much wanted to read... that was the final "push" for me to pay my fee and subscribe.

Im very glad I did subscribe, the information and support here is just fantastic! As a young gardener, learning off older and more experienced gardeners is wonderful for me. Having people to talk to about gardening, who are actually INTERESTED in gardening is also great, and the comfort of knowing Im not the only nut-case in the world obsessed with growing things! At 23, I have very few gardener friends, and none that take it as seriously as I do.

I think it quite probably was the Strawbale Gardening forum I was trying to sneak into!!! After a few weeks preparation, my first bale garden has just been planted with tomatoes these last few days :-)

Thanks for all the info!
Lena
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

November 17, 2007
4:15 AM

Post #4202279

Lena: now you've got me dreaming about tomato sandwiches again!!! It's going to be a loooooonnnnnnnggggggg winter! :-)

Be sure to start a diary here. You'll be glad you did.

Kent
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

November 18, 2007
12:18 AM

Post #4204666

Lena,

Be sure to post pictures and make us all so envious that you are able to start your garden now.

I just went to a Master Gardner's session today and learned how we can have tomatoes by the 4th of July, EVEN in our zone 5a climate. Well, I'm ready to start now!!

Jeanette
LenaBeanNZ
Brisbane
Australia
(Zone 10b)

November 18, 2007
12:41 AM

Post #4204752

Last night I started to update my Diary with pictures of my new plantings. And I discovered my very first little green tomato!!!!! Its very cute. And very green. I have been waithing for tomatoes for soooooooo long...

Will keep adding more pictures over the next few days/months as I find time. Almost all of my 114 tomato plants are in the ground or in the bales now. Just waiting on the last 3 small Delicious to get a little bigger.

The weather has heated up quite alot here in the last week. Yesterday I started weeding, but had to escape insde because it was so hot. But it was cold again last night.

Still waiting on my little pepper seedling so grow bigger so I can plant them out too. I purposefully started them late this year, because last spring we had such terrible storms, they took quite a battering. Spring storms SEEM to be over now... heres hoping.

Are you able to grow anything over the winter at all?
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

November 18, 2007
7:00 AM

Post #4205835

LOL, yeah, houseplants. We had a skiff of snow the other day. The weatherman says we are to get an inch of snow this week.

No, we aren't able to grow very much.

Jeanette
LenaBeanNZ
Brisbane
Australia
(Zone 10b)

November 18, 2007
9:11 AM

Post #4205899

Im sorry to hear that Jeanette. I dont think I could happily survive the winter without growing at least some peas, broccoli, cabbage or spinach! Its a cold, wet, miserable time of year, where even the weeds and the lawn grow very slooowly, but at least I can still grow something! Frosts are quite frequent, and waaaay to much rain leading to flooding, but at least we dont get snow!

My sympathetic thoughts are with you. I hope you have alot of lovley house plants!

Lena
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

November 18, 2007
4:56 PM

Post #4206838

Thanks Lena. So you can cheer up the rest of us with pictures of your nice garden.

Jeanette
leaflady
Hughesville, MO
(Zone 5a)

January 14, 2008
2:16 AM

Post #4398396

I may be a subscriber, but I don't like closed forums on such generalized topics. Just my opinion.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 14, 2008
2:38 AM

Post #4398537

Well Leaflady, it doesn't look like you or any of us has too much to say about it. Admin has decided.

Jeanette
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 14, 2008
6:14 AM

Post #4399465

Lena, where are you? I thought we would be seeing pictures of ripe tomatoes by now. What happened? I didn't think you were leaving on your trip this soon. Let us know what you are doing.

Jeanette

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


January 14, 2008
2:32 PM

Post #4400069

Chuckle. This was definitely a "vote" that was going to make us unpopular with at least half the group ;o)

"Admin decided" ... to do what several subscribing members asked us to do: keep their formerly "subscribers-only" threads and posts available to subscribers-only when they were compiled into a forum dedicated to this subject ;o)

Perhaps an article (or a series of articles) on strawbale gardening would be possible? The daily articles are accessible to everyone, so you can pass them along to those who are interested, even if they aren't subscribers (yet.)

With references to this forum, the articles might pique the interest of some readers, and nudge them to subscribe so they can join this forum.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 14, 2008
2:48 PM

Post #4400132

Terry, I plan to write an article or a series of articles on Strawbale Gardening. I need to add that topic to the Pending List. Thanks for the reminder.

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


January 14, 2008
3:00 PM

Post #4400182

Great! I'm sure those articles will benefit the gardening community (outside the subscribership here) and should create more exposure for this forum in the process ;o)
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

January 17, 2008
7:58 PM

Post #4416018

I have referenced the Strawbale threads and forum in a few of my articles including the upcoming No-Dig Gardening.

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


January 17, 2008
8:06 PM

Post #4416045

Excellent! If I were a gambler, I would wager this will be a very active forum as soon as we all wake up from our winter slumber ;o)

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 17, 2008
8:33 PM

Post #4416167

I'm already being asked what I plan to grow in bales this year and what, if anything, I'd do differently.

I've been planning a presentation for local garden clubs and senior centers on straw bale gardening. Happily, that's the same information I will use in my article on straw bale gardening!
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

January 17, 2008
8:59 PM

Post #4416267

Forsythias are blooming today in Alabama. That's supposed to be a sign of Spring!

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Other Strawbale Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Straw bale gardening: no weeding, no hoeing, no tilling KentNC 274 Oct 18, 2009 1:58 AM
Strawbale Gardening (part 7) Jnette 126 Mar 20, 2007 9:51 AM
Straw Bale Gardening LauraK 49 Apr 2, 2008 12:02 AM
Straw Bale Gardening (Part 8) KentNC 114 Apr 2, 2007 5:32 PM
Straw Bale Gardening (Part 9) KentNC 124 Apr 21, 2007 12:39 AM


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