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Armyrick's Land Healing Farm...

kratz

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;D  :rofl:  :rofl:

Thank you for the morning smile Rick,

Happy Halloween.
 

ArmyRick

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A few months ago, my third podcast with Carlo Volpe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50f6sjC-vgI&t=2700s
 

ArmyRick

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Hey cool. I finally was able to figure out how to find my post. I am a computer idiot and still figuring out the new site layout.

We have are having yet another kick ass grazing season with our ruminants. In fact 5 years of decent to excellent management on this land resulted in a new problem. My hay pastures grew so fast I had to start cutting hay at the end of May. And I had to balance this with late snow fall, heavy rains and looking after the animals.

My pastures grew so damn fast that some of my fields are now way over due for hay making. Most of the other farmers around here just started cutting hay in the last week. I will be possibly ready for second cut (which I hate doing, would rather graze) in a week or two. No one else I know does second cut in early July.

However, its not just me. I really have no new ideas of my own. I am a pirate and a thief. I steal ideas, concepts, info, trials from others and try them with tweaking on my own farm. I am careful to monitor closely. Believe me, I screw up lots too. Like in the infantry, we learn more from our mistakes than our successes.

Now, I hope to let you guys know of my trials with reed canary grass on highlands and tillage radish in my compacted areas. next time.
 

Weinie

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Hey cool. I finally was able to figure out how to find my post. I am a computer idiot and still figuring out the new site layout.

We have are having yet another kick ass grazing season with our ruminants. In fact 5 years of decent to excellent management on this land resulted in a new problem. My hay pastures grew so fast I had to start cutting hay at the end of May. And I had to balance this with late snow fall, heavy rains and looking after the animals.

My pastures grew so damn fast that some of my fields are now way over due for hay making. Most of the other farmers around here just started cutting hay in the last week. I will be possibly ready for second cut (which I hate doing, would rather graze) in a week or two. No one else I know does second cut in early July.

However, its not just me. I really have no new ideas of my own. I am a pirate and a thief. I steal ideas, concepts, info, trials from others and try them with tweaking on my own farm. I am careful to monitor closely. Believe me, I screw up lots too. Like in the infantry, we learn more from our mistakes than our successes.

Now, I hope to let you guys know of my trials with reed canary grass on highlands and tillage radish in my compacted areas. next time.
Some problems are good to have. My Grandfather always had to buy some hay to supplement over the winter. Sounds like you won't have to.
 

FJAG

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While I'm all for reviving heirloom tomatoes and ancient wheat strains, I'm also somewhat cognizant of the fact that our modern strains, and those yet to come, are all there because they have been selected to be resistant to major insect or disease attacks and because of their higher yields (it would be nice if producers would throw in more nutritional as a goal but that doesn't affect their bottom line as much)

I think bread production hit it's zenith with the French baguette. German Brötchen are a distant second and then comes everything else.

:giggle:
 

dapaterson

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Monoculture agriculture carries significant risk of novel disease wiping out the crop (anyone Irish out there)?

As well, certain varieties have been chosen not based on taste or texture, but on their ability to survive long transportation.

I get a wide array of heirloom tomatoes from a local farm. When I'm forced to resort to the grocery store's California or Mexico tomatoes it's always a huge disappointment.
 

FJAG

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Monoculture agriculture carries significant risk of novel disease wiping out the crop (anyone Irish out there)?

As well, certain varieties have been chosen not based on taste or texture, but on their ability to survive long transportation.

I get a wide array of heirloom tomatoes from a local farm. When I'm forced to resort to the grocery store's California or Mexico tomatoes it's always a huge disappointment.
Wish we had that here. Most "local" farms and farmers' markets get their tomatoes from the same hothouses in SW Ontario as the supermarkets (albeit US and Mexican ones make it there as well)

There is one roadside stand here, which is principally know for their absolutely splendid sweet corn, that also provides their own beefsteak tomatoes which are great but unfortunately only available for a month or two at best in the summer.

When it comes to cherry or grape type tomatoes I grow my own (Sweet Millions) but again limited to a couple of months in the summer. The rest of the time its the US stuff.

🍻
 

dapaterson

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I'm fortunate that there's a local organic farm with greenhouses for year round greens which delivers; my wife and I get a four person basket delivered every two weeks.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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While I'm all for reviving heirloom tomatoes and ancient wheat strains, I'm also somewhat cognizant of the fact that our modern strains, and those yet to come, are all there because they have been selected to be resistant to major insect or disease attacks and because of their higher yields (it would be nice if producers would throw in more nutritional as a goal but that doesn't affect their bottom line as much)

I think bread production hit it's zenith with the French baguette. German Brötchen are a distant second and then comes everything else.

:giggle:

Actually, Wolf, you may remember that my wife and I operate a small heirloom tomatoes farm. We plant about 125-30 different varieties every year for about 600 plants in total.

So let me disabuse you: Large commercial producers of tomatoes do not "select" their strains to be insect/disease resistant as their primary goals. Those two effects are achieved mostly by genetic modification. And I can tell you that a good deal, if not most of my heirloom varieties yield a lot more per acre than the commercial varieties.

The primary characteristics sought by commercial producers in their pick of varieties are: (1) ease of mechanical/mass picking; (2) resistant to heavy handed handling (i.e. hard to bruise); and, (3) capacity to ripen at known rate after picking.

If you wonder about that last one it is because you probably don't know that most tomatoes for the grocery market are picked before they are ripe (some variety are green at picking) and are left to ripen in the truck used for delivery while in transit. That's why most of them taste like cardboard, as far as I am concerned. A nice ripe tomato would bruise fairly easily but it is not "pulpy" like the ones in stores.
 

Weinie

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If you wonder about that last one it is because you probably don't know that most tomatoes for the grocery market are picked before they are ripe (some variety are green at picking) and are left to ripen in the truck used for delivery while in transit. That's why most of them taste like cardboard, as far as I am concerned. A nice ripe tomato would bruise fairly easily but it is not "pulpy" like the ones in stores.
Most vegetables that we buy in Canada taste like cardboard, compared to fresh. I grew up on a farm, where we had either fresh or canned/pickled veggies almost year round. The difference in taste is substantial.
 

FJAG

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Actually, Wolf, you may remember that my wife and I operate a small heirloom tomatoes farm. We plant about 125-30 different varieties every year for about 600 plants in total.

So let me disabuse you: Large commercial producers of tomatoes do not "select" their strains to be insect/disease resistant as their primary goals. Those two effects are achieved mostly by genetic modification. And I can tell you that a good deal, if not most of my heirloom varieties yield a lot more per acre than the commercial varieties.

The primary characteristics sought by commercial producers in their pick of varieties are: (1) ease of mechanical/mass picking; (2) resistant to heavy handed handling (i.e. hard to bruise); and, (3) capacity to ripen at known rate after picking.

If you wonder about that last one it is because you probably don't know that most tomatoes for the grocery market are picked before they are ripe (some variety are green at picking) and are left to ripen in the truck used for delivery while in transit. That's why most of them taste like cardboard, as far as I am concerned. A nice ripe tomato would bruise fairly easily but it is not "pulpy" like the ones in stores.
I'd forgotten that you were in the biz but, of course, you're quite right about the processing. When we lived closer to the lake their were thousands of acres of Roma's growing all around us but they were all bound for processing into sauces etc. at Heinz when it operated in Leamington.

I always dislike the tomatoes in the supermarkets because they had (and still have for the most part) these coarse, hard tendrils snaking in from the stem which I always assumed was part of being robust during shipping. And yeah - pretty much flavourless.

This little thread today actually got me to cook up a few of the heirloom carrots Kath had picked up at the Farm Boy on Friday. That and my world famous pork tenderloin medallions in a port, mushroom, cranberry sauce. Them's good eatin'.

:giggle:
 

ArmyRick

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Wish we had that here. Most "local" farms and farmers' markets get their tomatoes from the same hothouses in SW Ontario as the supermarkets (albeit US and Mexican ones make it there as well)

There is one roadside stand here, which is principally know for their absolutely splendid sweet corn, that also provides their own beefsteak tomatoes which are great but unfortunately only available for a month or two at best in the summer.

When it comes to cherry or grape type tomatoes I grow my own (Sweet Millions) but again limited to a couple of months in the summer. The rest of the time its the US stuff.

🍻
In the "chem ag" market most vegetables are small fry not a big deal. The real money makers are the cash crops such as Corn, soy, canola, canola, canola, canola, wheat.
Most GMO varieties are the corn, soy and canola. GMO Wheat isn't as popular in Ontario. Not necessary really. Most cereal grains grow easily in Ontario.
Growing your own heirloom varities of veg crops is best. Save some of your seed and that genetic line may start to micro adapt to your land.
 

ArmyRick

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I'd forgotten that you were in the biz but, of course, you're quite right about the processing. When we lived closer to the lake their were thousands of acres of Roma's growing all around us but they were all bound for processing into sauces etc. at Heinz when it operated in Leamington.

I always dislike the tomatoes in the supermarkets because they had (and still have for the most part) these coarse, hard tendrils snaking in from the stem which I always assumed was part of being robust during shipping. And yeah - pretty much flavourless.

This little thread today actually got me to cook up a few of the heirloom carrots Kath had picked up at the Farm Boy on Friday. That and my world famous pork tenderloin medallions in a port, mushroom, cranberry sauce. Them's good eatin'.

:giggle:
Our Berkshire pork kicks ass! However we are selling off the last of our pork meat for awhile. We focus mostly on beef and lamb.
 

FJAG

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Our Berkshire pork kicks ass! However we are selling off the last of our pork meat for awhile. We focus mostly on beef and lamb.
This chat has actually reminded me of the daughter of our next door neighbour in Brandon. Their kids and ours were fast friends and constantly playing together and exploring the woods all around our houses. Long story short, they moved away shortly after the kids graduated high school and spread all over the world. Sara ended up going to the UK, got married, moved to Texas for four or five years and then a few years ago ... decided to move to Prince Edward County where they set up a cidery. Their specialty is taking heirloom apples from trees that have survived the last century or two or more by hiding out in ditches and hedgerows and on property lines and growing wild and cultivating from them and turning out unique ciders.

Here's their webpage:


We were hoping to travel out to see them last summer but ... Covid.

Anyway if you're into that sort of thing, and I'd bet you are, they sell online as well.

🍻
 

TCM621

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So I just spent the last week driving through hours and hours of fields. I was surprised how empty the cattle fields were. It was odd to see cattle within a hundred feet of each other unless it was near shade or water. All I kept thinking was just how badly the land was being used.
 

ArmyRick

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So I just spent the last week driving through hours and hours of fields. I was surprised how empty the cattle fields were. It was odd to see cattle within a hundred feet of each other unless it was near shade or water. All I kept thinking was just how badly the land was being used.
Your observation is keen.

Many, many negative factors cause this effect from economic to over dependence on machinery and chemicals to BS anti-livestock campaigns. Remind me to tackle this much deeper in the future. I can go into the long spiral of social mishaps that have resulted in this.
 

Weinie

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Your observation is keen.

Many, many negative factors cause this effect from economic to over dependence on machinery and chemicals to BS anti-livestock campaigns. Remind me to tackle this much deeper in the future. I can go into the long spiral of social mishaps that have resulted in this.
So, my observation is that you see a significant degradation in agriculture.

That is horrifying to me. Agriculture is the impetus/backbone of our nations wellness.
 

ArmyRick

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The destruction of agriculture or the minimum sustainable ag, was a series of "bright ideas" that were never properly tested and failed epically.

First, The commodity market. The commodity market controls almost every aspect of food processing and distribution (In Canada looked to the ultra wealthy buddy of Trudeau, Galen Weston). One of the biggest issues with this is farmers getting lower and lower prices for their raw products (live animals and/or crop). You can't afford to earn $2.50 per pound of cattle if your expenses cost you $4 per pound of cattle. The farmer doesn't even cover operating expenses, let alone make a profit.

Next, the "get bigger or get out" mentality is another uber failure. Earl Butts (from the Nixon administration) said one of the dumbest things to farmers in the 1970s when he told them to "plant fence row to fence row". Along with this, farmers have been buying larger and more sophisticated machinery for haying, plowing, tillage, planting, packing, hauling, combining, etc. I personally know several cash croppers who are borderline being bankrupted or have been who purchased $1 million plus heavy machinery and try to farm thousands of acres. They hope the price of whatever crop they grow stays reasonable. Add to this the extreme time consumption and you easily see why cash croppers will tend to ditch cattle and other livestock. Also factor in the enormous fuel and maintenance bills. Going bigger for the hope of making a few more dollars doesn't work without a plan.

Chemical farming vs Biological farming. Around the time of WW2, with surplus of chemicals for available in industries for blowing people up, scientist with little scope for full impact encouraged farmers to use plenty of N, P and K fertilizer. Yes, it fools us into thinking its progress because plants grow huge, dark green and tall. Their are many problems with this. The plant needs to take nutrients up into a balanced and slow manner to avoid things like nitrate poisoning (among many other issues). Add to that poor practices like plowing and all that expensive fertilizer ends up getting washed away into forest, swamps and waterways (BAD bad bad). Biological farming using the six soil health principles that Gabe Brown promotes (Minimal soil disturbance, keep a living root in the soil at all times, Animal impact, cover the soils at all times, natural biodiversity and farm within your context) is biology based farming. Many, many farmers are seeing huge success transitioning to some or all of these principles. Chemical farming is just giving away more of your money for an illusionary gains.

Plowing, tilling, disc ripping, etc. are all heavy forms of soil disturbance. They create an illusion of relieving compaction and bringing up lower minerals. Both of these paradigms are false and very outdated. The soil is a living ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, insects, worms, nematodes, plants, animals, spiders, etc, etc. Its the many bacteria and fungi in the soil that makes nutrients available. Its things like glomalin (liquid plant carbon exudates) that help form a natural nutrient dense binding agent in the soil. It is plants with powerful tap roots like daikon radish, turnips, dandelion, burdock, etc that aleviate soil compaction. Mechanical disturbance destroys soil structure and rapidly oxidizes the soil nutrients. Forcing farmers to use more chemical fertilizers. Putting more cash into someone else's pocket. Its a terrible treadmill.

Next, we move more and more of the human population into urban environments and create that distance from farming. Next thing you have is hatred and at the very least unsympathetic feelings towards farmers for many, many issues.

In our so called civilized western societies, Farmers are down right crazy to keep going. I am, so good to go (most soldiers are a little or a whole lot cray). In all seriousness, I will not play the commodity market game and I design my farm ecosystem on the six soil health principles. We minimize fossil fuel use. and encourage our customers to eat lots of meat, especially ruminants. Personally, my wife and I are 90-95% carnivore November to May and then more plaeo based rest of the year (my mother cooks many of our meals in the summer, so veggies are added back in).
 
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