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Armyrick's Land Healing Farm...

garb811

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Welcome back, I missed the updates as well. Keep them coming!
 

Colin Parkinson

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Welcome back farming is hard work. Luckily it was only the chickens that got lost, my cousin raises Bison and lost half the herd because they broke through a fence and ate water hemlock.

Interesting that a shortage of certified abattoirs is a big issue for small scale farms to get their product to market.
 

JesseWZ

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I've got tons of respect for farmers (and I'm not just saying that because my father in law is one). Long hours, constant crisis management, so dependent on weather, I couldn't do it.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Welcome back, Rick.

I, too, enjoy your farm tales. Please keep us updated!
 

ArmyRick

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Thanks gang.

I also worked part time at a dairy last year (milking 90 head of cattle) and still working at an abattoir (part time).

I have seen where their are many economic "holes" and possible opportunities within the meat processing.

I have engaged the Ontario Ag minister, Ernie Hardeman on this.

I strongly believe in nose-to-tail use of the animals when killing them for food.
-Hides (typically thrown out or buried in deadstock piles) I actually bring back our own cattle and sheep hides, salt the hell out of them to preserve them and will be looking for future uses. THIS is the biggest missed economic opportunity. We should not waste the hides. Why should we not wear animal skins or use them? Animal already dead. Makes no sense to wear BS "kind" clothing made out of synthetics (save the fossil fuel for machines) and cotton (very destructive crop)

Rumen Contents
All ruminants (cattle, goat, sheep, bison, musk ox, deer, etc) have four chambered stomachs. I bring pails to the abattoir, cut open the rumens and save the contents. EXCELLENT fertilizer and compost "kickstarter" because of all the live microbes.

Horns and Bones
Cattle horns are just plain cool, who doesn't want a set? The bones? Let dogs chew on them raw. Bones can also be ground up for mineral for acidic soils.

Blood
By law, not allowed to harvest the blood at our plant because of the lack of proper blood collection hygenic tools required.  But the old timers have told me a dozen nutritional things that blood was used in. Again, missed opportunities.

Trim
When cutting up animals, there is loads of fat and human inedible meat (but dogs and cats no problem), more pet food.

As part of my holistic vision, I am pushing to eventually see very little of the carcass wasted.
We have a world to feed and look after, lets do it. Biggest hurdle? Government "safety" regulations are a little too overbearing (and too paranoid IMO). 
 

Good2Golf

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Rick, glad you’re back online!  I too appreciate your experiences and updates.  You touch in an element of hypocrisy that some of the vegan/other types put out about not using leather, etc. which as you rightly point out, the requires use of hydrocarbons or destructive crops like cotton.  Talking out of both side of their mouths.

Good on you and others similarly trying to maximize the respective use of animals supporting our own existence. Too many people, particularly in large urban centres, have little to no appreciation of the fragility of their great lives, particularly as supported by farms.  Perhaps a ‘life-experience’ butchering training/PD session in an abattoir would give them a greater appreciation of how things ‘magically’ appear in their corner market.
 

Old Sweat

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Echoing the above, Rick. One of my earliest memories was watching pig rendering, and many times I saw our Sunday dinner begin as a chicken running around with its head chopped off.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Good2Golf said:
Rick, glad you’re back online!  I too appreciate your experiences and updates.  You touch in an element of hypocrisy that some of the vegan/other types put out about not using leather, etc. which as you rightly point out, the requires use of hydrocarbons or destructive crops like cotton.  Talking out of both side of their mouths.

Good on you and others similarly trying to maximize the respective use of animals supporting our own existence. Too many people, particularly in large urban centres, have little to no appreciation of the fragility of their great lives, particularly as supported by farms.  Perhaps a ‘life-experience’ butchering training/PD session in an an at our would give them a greater appreciation of how things ‘magically’ appear in their corner market.

Good point, G2G. I have been lectured a few times by Vegans on the "errors" of my meat-eating ways. When I begin to quiz them on soybean or pulse crop (peas, lentils) production methods, it quickly becomes clear that most them have no clue how things are farmed and what the inputs (diesel fuel for machinery, fertilizer and chemicals) are to make those crops successful. I have read a few proposals to make all of North American farms vegan (ie no animals raised for food) in order to "save the planet" from climate change. If farmers cannot use the manure from (now non-existent) food animals to fertilize crops or artifical fertilizer (largely derived from natural gas), it is not clear to me how we avoid mass starvation. Animals play an important part in the entire food web for humans. To suddenly remove them would have dire and immediate consequences.

In short- I too think there is a massive and growing disconnect between those who produce food and those who consume it. Most Canadians have never been to a farm. Fewer still actually farm.

Rick- you are doing an important service. Keep up the good work!
 

mariomike

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Good2Golf said:
Perhaps a ‘life-experience’ butchering training/PD session in an an at our would give them a greater appreciation of how things ‘magically’ appear in their corner market.

I doubt most could handle it.

My employment used to take us into the slaughterhouse at Keele and St. Clair. It was second only to Chicago. It was also Canada’s largest kosher slaughterhouse. The animals came in by rail.

There was another down on Tecumseth St. Slaughtered about 6,000 pigs each day. They came in by truck.

It has all migrated to 905 and beyond, where property taxes and real estate are cheaper.







 

Jarnhamar

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Really interesting stuff. I never considered how wasteful we were with animals.

Never knew about destructive crops either something to read up on.
 

YZT580

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Tanneries went out of vogue long before the vegans got their two cents in.  Places like Acton were shut down more because the towns grew up around them and the smell and the noise made them bad neighbours.  Particularly the smell.  With the cost of real estate and of course the minimum wage increases being what they were there wasn't the profit in re-locating.  Cheaper to build off-shore, use their hides as well so profit margins went up at least for a while.  Once it was gone, it was gone can you imagine the stink if a tannery were to locate in your neighbourhood?

But, back on topic, keep these adventures coming.  It makes for a great read.  Thanks
 

ArmyRick

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I will talk a little about typical crop production.

For this will discuss Corn, Soy, Cereals (oats, wheat, rye, triticale, barley, etc), Canola, sugar beets, (Cash crops)

No till (means using a disc drill to slice ground a thin trench and deposit seeds)
-Mostly better for carbon soil retention
-Usually field gets blasted with Round up or liberty to kill anything growing
-No till plant in your crop seeds (sometimes even these guys will still disc a field prior to planting)
-Hit it with chemical fertilizers (to make it grow)
-Hit again with round up (usually a Round Up Ready or Liberty link GMO crop)
-Harvest

Old school, ploughing, tilling, disc, etc
-Rip up the fields (Lose a boat load of soil carbon to atmosphere evaporation, bad for hippy protest and bad for plant growth)
-May or may not use chemical fertilizers or X-cides (herb-, insect-, Fung-)
-Again harvest when done
-May or may not be a plough under

Both of these standard methods tend to use lots of fossil fuels, chemical inputs, time, time, time, very weather dependent. COMPLETELY not sustainable.

Ask any hunter, when can you harvest an animal (if laws allowed)? Jan 1-Dec 31. Anytime you can slaughter it, you can eat it. We humans evolved on high meats and animal fat diets. Think we got through the ice ages on berries and grass seed? Lol, not a chance.

Gabe Brown has a brilliant Crop (no till), Mixed Cover Crop, Livestock grazing rotation. Look him up on youtube, he has tons of stuff and its very detailed. He is the model for future crop farming (The triple win-Nutrient dense crops, healthy animals, healthy land).

I only do some annual forage cropping mixed with perennials. I typically use oats, peas, sunflowers, fall rye, winter barley, winter wheat, Balansa Clover (Frigging dynamite). I will interseed via broadcasting late grazing season on paddocks in August and early September so the animals can graze these annuals in late October to early November.

Hilarious watching cattle beet up 6 foot tall sunflower plants pretending they are tough.
 

BeyondTheNow

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Glad you’ve made it back. Informative as always!
 

ArmyRick

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Its good to be back. I have been very involved with Lana Salant's Ethical Omnivore Movement on facebook (I am an admin).

Food production done with holistic planned regenerative agriculture is both a solution to feeding the world and generating a healthy environment. On a side note, Allan Savory used his British military training to plan in depth for holistic management of ranches and farms. As he puts it, mankind has centuries of expertise at warfare planning and he wanted to use the process.

On another note, how about three cheers for Newfie Bren Smith and his Green Wave Sea ag which does for the oceans what we are doing for the land.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8ViaskDSeI

cheers
 

ArmyRick

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Latest pet peeve..... Trees are somehow magic. ARRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!

Time to unload some nasty truth bombs.

First backgrounder. I am very involved with holistic managed regenerative farming. It is not a one piece fits all solution. HMRF (Holistic Managed Regenerative Farming) involves a complex planning process, an execution followed by a monitoring period.

In short it is very similar to the Combat estimate. The combat estimate is created by the commander and his/her/its team based on mission assigned and the context to which they must plan then execute said mission. HMRF is very similar. Some examples of context.
-If you live in Nunavut, you would not plant banana trees as part of your farm
-If your customers are 99% muslim, raising pork would be self defeating
-If the law forbids you to sell raw milk without quota, it would be foolish to do so
-If your farming in the tropics, don't raise something like highland cattle

You get the drift, right? Its important to understand this portion before we move forward. My hero and mentor, Allan Savory (himself long ago an infantry officer), makes sure people understand context and language as part of your Holistic framework or context (similar to a concept of operations).

Many of the organizations I deal with, both in person and through the internet, are full of well intended BUT UNREALISTIC wish washy people or at least their thoughts.
"Meat/beef is bad for the planet"
"Permaculture is what we all need"
"Carbon is bad and we must get it out of the atmosphere" Thats a good one, we will all die without carbon. We need to cycle it, not remove it.
"We only have X years left/The cities will flood in X years/The world can not change course if we wait X time"
"Planting more/billions/all trees will save the planet"

Lets take the last one and tear it apart. My fellow soldiers/sailors/airmen...ooops, not very Trudeau, air people? YOU will understand this and get it. Why? Be cause military deals with FACTS. Cold hard straight up mean FACTS. We have to deal in facts or we all die doing our jobs (facts such as incoming fire is bad, gravity with a failing aircraft is bad, blowing up is not fun, thirty foot waves are best avoided, enemy combatants want to kill us, you guys get the gist of what I am saying). Facts allow us to succeed, not wish washy ideals.

Trees. Trees are plants. ALL plants (trees, weeds, legumes, shrubs, grasses, flowers, annual or perennials) have a place in functioning ecosystems. All land based plants do pretty much the same thing. Pull Carbon out of the air through Stemata pores in the leaves (active growing leaves ONLY not dormant), they pull up Hydrogen-2 parts Oxygen (H2O or water, that shit that all infantryman see plenty of on ex) through the roots.

The Carbon is combined with the Hydrogen and some of the Oxygen to make a Carbon Hydrogen Oxygen chain AKA Carbohydrates. Some of the oxygen is split and released to the atmosphere (where anything with lungs is thankful). The carbohydrates usually start off as simple sugars but eventually some are formed into starches, then cellulose, hemicellulose, lignins which are structual, etc.

"Rick, your fooking killing me with this, get to it" OK troops, patience. Getting there.

To sum it up. ALL land based plants take carbon, grow and release oxygen. Got that? Cool.

So trees. Trees are simply plants. In some part of the global ecosystems they are naturally in a large abundance (amazon and BC rain forest for example). In other areas they are very scarce (prairies, steppe or tundra environments). Or they are somewhere in between (Ontario woodlands with meadows, African Savanahs, etc).

So depending on the context and how trees are planted, they can be a real benefit or an environmental detriment.

Here are some of my observations on trees

-Never plant in a monoculture. Natures does not do this, it destroys the soil and eventually kills the trees. I have a 2 acre jack pine forest on my farm planted 35-40 years ago as an "environmental incentive" and the whole damn forest is DEAD. No animals or birds, or anything. Just 2 acres of standing firewood (please lightning, don't strike) with only a few branches in the top 10% of the canopy still green. ish.  Now, go to a walk to the other side of the property and the natural 100+ year old forest has many species of maple, birches, cedars and a whole slew of other trees and bushes. The wildlife is abundance their and the trees are all healthy looking. Monoculture for trees = BAD.

-For the Ontario farm context, meadows and northern savanah seems best. Having grasslands mixed with spaced out trees (we call a silvopasture) provides an excellent base for a fully functioning ecosystem. Grass provides "skin", trees provide the "shade" and the herding ruminants keep the whole system functioning.

-Grasses (for an understanding, a ten foot by ten foot plot of land can easily grow 500-1,000 lbs of grass leaves, thats alot of carbon getting pulled into the plant) start greening up (in my AOR, Grey County) about early April-May. That means they are pulling carbon in. Most of the trees don't start emerging leaves until very late May (in other words, grasses have probably pulled in a few thousand pounds of carbon by the time trees get started). Hows that for a paradigm shifter?

-Spacing. Your section commander was absolutely correct when he kicked your backends for not spacing out enough in your formations. So goes with trees in Ontario. Please for the love of common sense, stop planting trees on top of each other.  I have saved several maple and apple trees by culling off the weak ones and letting the strong persist. I also had my cows have access to my some of my trees. They saved a badly blight infected apple tree. They rubbed off the fungus off the bark and destroyed every branch below six feet. Now that apple tree is booming, providing excellent fruit and with branches so far off the ground, its hard for fungal infections to take hold.

-Grass first, then trees. Nature has a natural plant succession on dead ground (think post fire, volcano, etc). There have been many examples of well intended oxygen thieves trying to "green up" deserts by planting trees and failing miserably (Israel, Saudi Arabia, China, Many places in Africa). You MUST follow plant succession. Weeds and Annual grasses. Perennial grasses. Shrubs and bushes. then forest.

Anywho. I think I will end it for tonight. I may come back to this or I may move onto tear apart the other wish washy male bovine excrement.

Tootles.
 

ArmyRick

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I have two podcast coming up sometime in the near future (as a guest)

More to follow, dates and times will be posted
 

ArmyRick

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Carlo Volpe, host of Fatso podcast (Its ab out eating meat and fat for health) recorded the podcast last night with myself and Lisa (my wife).

Will post dates, times, links soon
 

ArmyRick

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And ta da, without further ado

https://anchor.fm/fatsoradio/episodes/Fatso--Radio---EPISODE-45---Rick--Lisa-Waechter---Double-D-Pastures---e9ci6a
 
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