Your Monthly Cultivation – March 19, 2018

Latest on Vesterbrook Farm and the issues that those around them using herbicides caused for their organic farm.

If you would like to help Mike Brabo and Vesterbrook farm you can do so here:  Help Vesterbrook Farm Recover - see video below or at link

If you want copies of Joel Salatin’s books on Kindle now is a good time as the prices are really good but not sure how long these prices are for but as of March 19th, 2018 the prices are still good.

Some hard words but when it comes down to it so often very true: Hard Men in a World of Softness

Good article on climate change from the UrbanFarmer: The Three Most Terrifying Parts About Climate Change Have Nothing to Do With Climate

A danger with many that farm or homestead is to do so at the expense of their marriage but this does not need to be so: Want to be a Good Farmer? Invest in Your Marriage

A look at technology and staying human

Scott Terry of North Country Farmer looks at Beginner Gardening Mistakes

Good resource from Stark Bro’s on Fruit Tree Pruning

How much hay do you need for your milk cow? Scott shares his thoughts on this.  Also, if you have a cow you might want to utilize Scott’s wealth of knowledge on the subject and use his new Family Cow Consulting Services.  Considering the investment you have in your caw his fees are very small.

Looks like an interesting idea: Steward – A CrowdFarming Platform.  Need to look into it more to see who is behind this.

Not sure this should be a surprise – if there is money to be had Big Business will be there. Either to profit directly or to help the endeavor to go under and profit from the fall out

Noah Sanders at Redeeming the Dirt looks at Cultivating Wisdom - Speaking of Noah, if you have not gotten a copy or read his book Born Again Dirt you should.  You can get a free chapter to read.  Also, check out the Redeeming the Dirt YouTube Channel

A look at Seven Sons Farm in Roanoke, IN – they also have a YouTube Channel

As this was shared in the last month I figured I would link to it here as well.  Some time ago I did a sermon on Christian Agrarianism and Scott Terry hosted it on his site here:  God’s Call to the Land

Vesterbrook Farm Fundraiser

Edwardian Farm Episode 12

Balancing Money and Ministry at the Farmer’s Market

Using Pigs to Improve your Pasture

Your Monthly Cultivation #48

Looks like I am changing the name again as time and finding good stuff to share is not always easy to find.  Thus I will be posting an update monthly, or thereabouts, for now.

If you have not read Born Again Dirt it is a must read and here is your opportunity to win a copy form Redeeming the Dirt

How many people realize that the farmer suicide rate is twice that of veterans?  The problem is the whole system needs to be looked at and not just throw money at it, even if that could happen.  We have become so used to food becoming a smaller part of our over all budgets many do not realize that decrease does come at a cost to the producer, the farmer.

Good to see how God is using Foundations for Farming in Zimbabwe

More on the Monsanto/Dicamba issues.   The excuse from Monsanto – that “The EPA process was lengthier than usual,” – might be interpreted actually mean - Our usual pushing through of untested poisons did not go as we had liked thus lets blame the farmers.

This will not stop with Dicamba as weeds will grow resistant to it as well and they will come up with something else.  The issue goes farther than Dicamba as other herbicides are used that may benefit one person and harm another.  The harm here is not simply about inconvenience but also ends up being so much more.  Sadly the companies that make this stuff still rake in the bucks while farmers then become embroiled in such issues as shown in the article.  The days of asking how what we do will affect others seem to be gone.

Ever try making Maple Pie well here is how to do it from North Country Farmer

I can attest to this – Do not make your garden too big

This article is about my good friend Mike Brabo and his farm – Vesterbook : Missouri organic family farm faces ruin after herbicide drift.

Interesting look at organics and the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).  And more on the subject here with the following statement being very telling about an agenda: “Inclusiveness is important in our food system.”

A look at how our ancestors lived while eating bacon, lard and whole milk.  One comment in the article relates to infant mortality and if it was removed the average is much higher.  Interesting because if you went the other way today and factored in infant mortality with abortion and thus used Zero as the age the average life expectancy today would, in all likelihood, today be much lower than it was then.

I do not want to day there is never a time you should plow but it is best to know the full affect plowing has on the soil and not simply plow because that is what has always been done: The No-Till Gardening Revolution: Why Farmers are Putting Down Their Plows

Need some ideas for gifts for your homesteading, farming and all around country folk

Noah Sanders writes on making plans – even if they do not work out

Scott Terry of North Country Farmer writes on How to Make a Living on a Farm, but I warn you this article is probably not what you expect:)

Edwardian Farm Episode 11

A look at the Foundations for Farming tour of the Training Center in Zimbabwe

Cheese Making, Farming & Sawmilling in the Slovenian Alps


Your Bi-Weekly Cultivation #47

List of 40 Natural Herbs and Spices that are used for pain

What can we learn from a pig farmer in South Africa

In the west we have organic but in the east such as in Korea they have Natural Farming.  All basically a response to the strangely named, ay least to me, “Green Revolution” and its largely chemical based agriculture.  The only thing green was the money that lined the pockets of the pesticide companies.

Speaking of Korean Natural Farming – Natural Farming Hawai’i is working to transmit the principles form Korea to Hawaii

As always good stuff from North Country Farmer: The Spindle. Simple, Beautiful, Agrarian Tool

Hemp news: In New York, In Kentucky, In Wisconsin, In Minnesota and elsewhere

Check out the “Steader” Kickstarter site as they reached their goal but with about 50 hours left there is still to get in

Growing Rosemary, its one of the easiest herbs to grow

Seems the author bases his conclusion on reality TV which is far, from what i can tell, from real.  That said there is truth in his statement that “Self-reliance is for the most part a myth” since God did not create us to live being independent but interdependent so that seeking to live apart from others is not how were created.  Thus when looking to homestead you can look to separate form the masses of humanity in cities but seek to congregate with others of like minds so you can share the gifts God has created you with.  Yet to find anyone with all the gifts, except the one that calls us and equips us -  The Lord Himself.

I think I have linked to this before: Agrarianism Reborn: On the Curious Return of the Small Family Farm

I am sure these issues face more than farmers just in the Northeastern portion of the US.  May have shared this before but the minimum wage bent will truly affect the small farm as most who talk about some mythical number never truly work out the full repercussions.  The comment at the end of the minimum wage post, “Some farmers feel that the Living Wage movement can be an opportunity for farms to achieve higher prices.” is an example of one such error in thinking.  Since higher prices will move people to ask for further hikes in minimum wages and so it goes with the only option for those forcing the issue to be to ask for price controls and then no one wins in the end.
Edwardian Farm Episode 10

Chris Trump explains Korean Natural Farming

Bottom line is think ahead even if it delays things some

Jerry apps on Barns of Wisconsin

Your Bi-Weekly Cultivation #46

While precedent has been set to sue when conventional farming pesticides invade organic farms we will need to see how this plays out.  Conventional farming backed by Big Ag has a lot of money behind it.

If you are interested in Back to Eden gardening here is how to figure out how much you need in the way of woodchips

 A look at grazing in the forrest also known as silvopasturing

Can purple potatoes be useful in cutting risk of colon cancer

Have you been thinking about raising rabbits, well here are 5 Reasons to Raise Meat Rabbits

While not necessarily directly agrarian related it does relate to all of life for the child of God – Christ is Enough For Me – by Antoinette Konvalin

Organic coffee farming Laos

A Kickstarter program by a friend of mine, John Moody – STEADER: Skills For Abundant Living – Steader is an online, video-based learning platform with courses taught by leading homesteading and sustainability experts.

Egg labeling and a look at a Vital Farms Ad that calls out the competition

Is vinegar the answer to help plants resist drought

Want homesteading to be easier one of these 7 suggestions may help.  Number 1 is where many fail as in homesteading people often seek to distance themselves from others but God did not make us to be be independent but interdependent so when we purposefully seclude ourselves things often fail

From Bartlett Farms5 More Money-SavingTips for Living the Real Food Life. – For more info form Bartlett Farms here is their Blog page

Speaking of Bartlett Farms, here is there 2017 farm tour video

Edwardian Farm Episode 9

How to “Grow” From Farming Failures

Rora Valley Farms Story

Kevin Fulton: Holistic Ranching

You Bi-Weekly Cultivation #45

A couple recent posts by Scott Terry from North Country Farmer:   Hurricane Preparedness  for the Homesteader (Podcast) and also an Agrarian Family Reading List

Not sure of all of the issues that led to this  at Versaland Farm as you would think that the plans shared in the video would benefit everyone but one thing I have found is many small towns may say they want to grow but often do not and even if they do it is in a particular way.  One thing I take from this is that if you ave big plans for your land whether it seems right or not you might want to consider revealing those plans with the local authorities.  I realize the Gov’t should not stick it’s nose in to most of the things it does but that is the world we live in and if one wants to avoid issues touch base with someone to at least see if you may have road blocks in the future.  You may still get them if they say everyighn is OK but at least you can point back to previous conversations.  I will be keepign an eyo on this to see how it progress and you might want to as well.

If you grew garlic and have harvested it that is just the start of the process: How to Manage Your Garlic Harvest

The goal to move people to the city is largely taken care of itself as more people move to them on their own accord but there are also in the works ways to move this that resist: Rural Cleansing in Idaho and Montana.  I do not share this to alarm but so the general plan the Gov’t at large has can be seen.  People in cities are easier to control – just look at what China has been doing and see how often homesteading is made more difficult.

Speaking of control it reminded me of this Christian Farm and Homestead Radio interview with Sally Oh and their talk on the Gov’ts war on the Small Farm

Many who claim to be environmentalists often blame big business and money for the problems they want to solve with more control but as with most things the foundation and monetary support for the environmental movement is from those that seek to profit from it.  Sad part is those that I believe have good intentions get duped as do those fighting the issue and neither fight the true movers and shakers as they are happy with us underlings fighting each other.

Hmm, lots of stuff linked to Scott Terry this week but when there is good stuff I need to share it.  Scott writes on how A Healthy Economy Begins with a Healthy Economy

Good to see this: Red Lake Leaders Hope Organic Farm Can Feed Tribe Members

Not a new article but one that needs to be read if you are thinking about buying storable food: Storable food companies achieve high calorie counts with cheap GMO corn, soy and sugars

Some reasons organic “can” be better for you.  I say “can” because often organic is not what you think it is because now that there is money to made in organic those that want to prosper are finding ways to push the boundaries of what is “organic.”  Bottom line is know where your food is from and how it is grown if at all possible.

The Edwardian Farm Episode 8

Compost and Growing Squash

A Winter Farm Story

Some ideas about winter farming

Your Bi-Weekly Cultivation #44

How often do we see this and we never learn: This miracle weed killer was supposed to save farms. Instead, it’s devastating them.  This is not just a news story as it affects real people.

This is one way to control things: 29 States Just Banned Laws Banning Seed Laws

Gov’t Food Guidelines are more often than not driven by other than nutrition and science.  It is interesting how the USDA was instrumental in early food guidelines and thus you have to ask how much was driven by the science of health and the need to keep one crop or food source propped up over another: Food Science Meets Food Politics: A History of USDA’s Nutritional Guidelines.    You see this when you research the rise of vegetable oils such as Crisco and the vilifying of saturated fats

It is a small world, we are visiting friends and found that Sean and Monica Mitzel live nearby but not sure we will get out that way to see the work they have done. – Sean and Monica Mitzel, Permaculture Designers and Hosts of ‘The Prepared Homestead’ Podcast - The Prepared Homestead Podcast

Being out of town for work so much lately I know I am missing the time to plant for winter: Sowing mid-August for Winter Harvest

An older post from Scott Terry, and one I have linked to before, but still one to re-read or read for the first time if you have not read it before: A Strong Agriculture, the Foundation of a Free and Independent Nation

Is it just me or do people just not get it that minimum wages solve nothing long term.  Sure people initially may benefit but once prices adjust then we are back to square one or probably -1.   Minimum wages for farm workers will just raise costs and thus food prices and in the end the winner, at least initially, will be big Ag as they move to automation to displace workers to keep prices down since the small guy cannot afford to automate but then that will fail as no one will have jobs to buy things no matter how cheap they are.

Anyone grow any of these 7 Fall Harvested Gourmet Veggies

While much of the focus on Hurricane Harvey has been on displaced families and damage to numerous cites it will have an impact on Texas Farmers

A look at poultry and our Great-Great Grandparents 

A Farm Story

2016 Bartlett Farm Tour – If you are up near Bottineau North Dakota you need to check out Bartlett Farms

Episode 7 of the Edwardian Farm

Redeeming the Dirt: Homemade Tomato Cages

Your Bi-Weekly Cultivation #43

Need info on Rocket Mass heaters check out Scott Terry’s interview of Paul Wheaton

This is indeed a problem that many will not hear about: Scant Oversight, Corporate Secrecy Precedes US Weedkiller Crisis

A new documentary series is coming out on GMO’s:  GMO’s Revealed.  You can sign up to see the 9 part series at the link

Want to try growing your own ginger indoors, here is some advice 

While I would not advise anyone to move to the city there are reason many live there and thus how they deal with trying to grow some portion of their food land be as self-reliant as they can be leads one to look at the idea of Urban Homesteading

Mother Earth News 3 part series on Organic Gardening the Easy Way: Part 1 – Bean Arches, Part 2 – Raised Beds, Part 3 – Perennials and Volunteers

Soil health and Phosphorus: A Limited Resource - Update 8/24/17: This was one of those articles I did not fully read or maybe just glossed over as I thought it was good to take a look at phosphorus in our soil.  However as Nancy pointed out in the comments Acres took the opportunity to put forth an agenda of population control.  Instead of just sticking to the topic they tweaked the direction to speak to other issues it supports.  The main point I took form it is that we need to be wise in use of amendments so we do not just flush them down the stream un-naturally.  I say un-naturally since there is a natural way nutrients move from place to place as God designed so we also do not want to inhibit that.  Thanks again to Nancy for pointing this out.  I intended to delete the link but I left it as it is a good example how we have to read carefully as often the main point gets lost and agendas get forced to the front – such is the case here I think.  Hey we all have agendas but lets be up front about them – Maybe titling it “Phosphorous an Population Control” may have been better.

More from Scott as he talks to John Moody, a fellow Kentuckian, about worm farming

Neonicotinoids Reduce Bees Ability to Lay Eggs

Podcast with Joel Salatin: War Stories from the Local Food Front 

Episode 6 of the Edwardian Farm

Gardeners’ World 2017 – Episode 6 – Part 1 (April 14, 2017)

Gardeners’ World 2017 – Episode 6 – Part 2 (April 21, 2017)

Redeeming the Dirt: Tips to Gardeners to Survive the Summer Heat

Your Bi-Weekly Cultivation #42

Suicide and farming – it is real issue

Community gardens in New York – shows you can grow your own food almost anywhere if you are allowed to

Biodiversity: Past and Future in Organic Farming – Organic is only part of the answer because even a good things can be abused.  The truth is that farming needs to get back to looking at producing food as the primary focus and not profit.  Nothing wrong with profit but when it becomes the focus the production of food is often not seen in the light it needs to be seen.

Kansas Organic Producers (KOP) and the National Farmers Organization (NFO) are hosting a training workshop for beginning or transitioning organic farmers.

What impact will the Amazon purchase of Whole Foods have on food- here is one look at the subject.   One needs to remember that to drive prices down someone usually looses out and it is most often the first guy int eh food chain and in this case it is the small farmer

Have you had your soil tested – you might want to do so

Some basics on managing your seal

When western methods have not worked India has turned back to traditional farming methods

This article may be dealing with Dicamba Drift but the same problem no doubt exists with other pesticides migrating/drifting from their intended target for any number of reasons

Hmm, maybe its good I am on a Low Carb – High Fat (LCHF) diet with  drought in the west affecting wheat production

A little humor with regards to the recent attack on Coconut Oil by the AHA

Episode 5 of the Edwardian Farm

Gardeners’ World 2017 – Episode 5 (April 7, 2017)

Redeeming the Dirt: Farmer Lessons In Daily Rhythm and Routine. How Do We Structure Our Time?

Your Bi-Weekly Cultivation #41

So you may have thought there was only one kind of composting: The Many Types of At-Home Composting

Have a good friend involved in this as he was affected by the Dicamba damage

Dan, in his three part series on what he calls the Stewardculture Triad, writes in Part 1 on our Response to God, which in the end is Worship and Trust.  Part 2 and 3 will deal Our Response to God’s Creation and then Our Response to Each Other.

Do you know what is in your emergency food?

An older article but is organic really organic as USDA allowing over 20 synthetic substances in organic foods

Really, organic water – Organic Water Is A Sign That Americans Have No Idea What ‘Organic’ Is

Scott looks at how 1 Timothy 5:8 is about more than just going out and getting a job and buying stuff for ones family

Once again you have to ask if you really own the land you think you own: Farmer Faces a fine for plowing his land

Amish Farmers Square Off Against Big Organic in Milk Battle – Yep you read that correct “Big Organic.”  - Was bound to happen when money is involved.

The Organic Farming Research Foundation has New Educational Guides available

Some good video profiles at this site

Episode 4 of the Edwardian Farm

Gardeners’ World 2017 – Episode 4 (March 31 ,2017)

Redeeming the Dirt and Why Should Christians Farm?

Your Bi-Weekly Cultivation #40

Do you prune your tomato plants, here are 5 reasons you should

Is your milk organic, maybe not

Could your gluten intolerance really be Glyphosate poisoning

So, do you think these are the 10 worst garden weeds

Some ideas and tutorials on raised garden beds

How late in July can you plant Green Beans and still get a harvest

Got some left over pickle juice, here are 6 reasons not to dump it

Sheep breeding and measuring of performance 

Diatomaceous Earth – bug killer you can eat

The AHA may be pushing vegetable oil but “What’s so bad about Lard?” – the short answer nothing

An article on living the sustainable life

Video on Pruning Tomatoes

Latest video from Redeeming the Dirt on: Ditches, Swales, Ponds, and Capturing Water on a Hilly Homestead

Here is Episode 3 of The Edwardian Farm

2017 Gardeners World Episode 3