November 12, 2018 • 0 comment(s)
Start somewhere and then become better. My first batch of pigs, I bucket watered from a river during the winter. I carried the buckets up a little hill, over the driveway, and then had to lift them over a gate that was almost shoulder height and pour the water through a smallish hole at the top of my waterer. When the pigs were bigger, they were drinking almost 80 gallons per day. I will never do that again. BUT, it worked while it had to. I absolutely hate inefficiency and go through my days thinking of all the ways I could be more efficient. But becoming more efficient tends to also cost money so I’m learning to take baby steps and be happy with the small time savings. I will always be learning. This is perhaps my favorite part of being a farmer. The more you know, the less you know. Every year, every day even, I will continue to learn as long as I keep farming. I will learn more about the soil, more about the animals I’m raising, more about business, more about myself. Don’t wait too long to start the grazing season.
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November 12, 2018 • 0 comment(s)
This article isn't meant to convert vegetarians or vegans into paleo fanatics, but merely to help people take off their blinders and take a little more responsibility for the food they eat. And for the record, I bought an avocado AND an artichoke today that were both grown in California so I am by no means eating a perfect diet. I would guestimate that about 75% of my calories are local, but I am human, aka not perfect, after all. A few weeks ago I attended a two-day soil workshop hosted by a pretty brilliant farmer down the road from me. In those two days I was transported back in time to Chemistry class, not my favorite. But this time, I was spellbound. Soil! What a complex and miraculous substance! We talked about physical structure, cation exchange, nutrient cycle, and plant health. As we were talking about nutrients and how to get them into the soil, my mind really began to turn. Boron, for example. We learned about two ways to get Boron into the soil. One is through animal matter; manure, fish meal, feathers, etc. The other is through importing Boron from a mine in China where people haul Boron out of the mine with buckets slung over their weary shoulders. Which one of these is more ethical? Using a locally sourced product from animals that were raised in an ethical manner, or importing from thousands of miles away a product that is extracted by exploiting human beings? Truth is an interesting concept. What is truth to one person is fiction to another. Multiple people can see the same thing happen and all have different perspectives. All those different perspectives are truth to each of those people. Certain truths are part of the truth but if you dig deeper, you find a different truth.
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