Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Success!!! Feeding Home Raised Zucchini in the Winter!

It's always a great feeling when something works! This is one of those days... as we sit inside covered in inches of still falling snow... we are able to feed a mix of feed based on zucchini from our own garden!

How you ask? Zucchini is a decidedly summer plant, thriving only in hot weather, surely not growing underneath all that snow!

My reply... have you read the book?  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1520227116   A chapter in this first book touches on growing feed in the summer, dehydrating and storing it, for feeding in the winter.

And the good news is, it works! Today in January we started opening the storage buckets that were filled mid summer, and the feed looks literally perfect!

Click on the picture for a closer look, you can see whole seeds, stalks, roots, leaves, from the fresh plants. the orange color comes from the mature zucchinis. We allowed some to mature to increase the protein content of the seeds. 

This particular recipe looks like a mix of zucchini, dandelion greens, and kale. We ripped up the fruits and plants, roots and all, added some mineral rich salt, and dried the mixture on our special home built drying trays.  After only 4 days in the hot summer sun, the dried flakes are scraped off easily and stored in air tight buckets for the winter.

This 3 gallon bucket of dried feed represents about a quarter of a full RTV bed load (about 4 x 4 x 2 feet) of fresh vegetables and plants.  the compression ratio is immense, which means the storage space required is minimal compared to what the fresh veggies were.

The nutritional content is very high. Unlike feeds based on some "cheap" source of protein like soy (which is NOT a natural feed for any animal) this feed gets its protein mostly from the mature zucchini seeds, which are about 40% protein, plus the protein in the kale plants which makes up about a quarter of this mix.  But besides the protein, this mix contain all the nutrients of zucchinis themselves, plus kale complete with roots and dandelion greens (a super green) and dandelion green roots (highly medicinal). AND these are all heirloom varieties AND grown organically, fertilized with the very animals it is feeding.

From a financial standpoint, this feed is virtually free. It only requires a few seeds, a little water, and some labor to grow, harvest, and dehydrate. The labor is minimal compared to the cash it would take to buy this much high quality feed on the market. That is, IF you can even find such a feed!

So bottom line, it is better nutrition and much lower price than any commercial feed.

No comments:

Post a Comment