I'm not even in my first harvest. cold nights delayed field plantings and 17 inches of downpours in June did not help, as field seeds would have been washed out in Delaware. I have even had fruit trees killed by rain. Now I'm facing a week of heat wave and maybe you do not know this, but high heat accelerates seed's germination, flowering and fruit, but you have to keep plants well watered, as evaporation also accelerates. However, we farmers have to deal with what nature brings and I'm happy to have a late harvest.
Outside of the greenhouse and the home, where we use fish and kelp emulsions as fertilizers, all we use in our field and outside pots gardening of vegetables, fruit trees and ornamentals is composted horse manure,
with the cooperation of our two mares which spill hay, covering it with manure and urine, which we gather with our York rake, pile up and turn over, with the front loader of our tractor until they reach about a 6 foot continuous mound of about 150 feet in length, after which we allow nature to take over, allowing it to rot for about a year.
We actually grow stuff in compost with a 2 inch top dressing of potting soil mixed with sand and top dress and lightly till it into our paddocks and riding ring for luscious pastures for the mares before winter kill sets in.
When we plant trees we dig a big hole and dump in a good load of compost that sets the tree about 2 inches above soil level, fill the hole with water, then add the soil we removed so that there are no air spaces and thereafter just keep the area moist with soaker hoses and don't worry about fertilizers. So far, we've had minimal, if any, transplant shock and none have ever died.
For most gardeners in the US there are free sources of manure available free, or at a very low cost, to use for composting and ageing before used in gardening. Just be careful not to use fresh manure in the field, as it will burn and it will even glow at night if piled, so place it in an area free of vegetation until it has aged and allowed the phosphorus content to become safe. You know, the stuff they use in matches that turns to flames and combined with nitrogen in fertilizers is used by terrorists to make explosives.
Check with your area riding stables as they are likely to be glad and load your truck with the stuff that comes out of their stalls, which is ready mixed and just needs aging.
Master Gardener Miguel
Great Articles from Rodale - "Where Health Meets Life"
In certain areas, where the winter is erratic and spring nights have not settled above 50 F, you might want to roll over some of these to do for next month. Even here in Ag zone 7, nights can't be trusted.
About 1/4 mile from me, on the other side of the street, this gorgeous 40's lady, dressed in farmer's overalls. that can't hide her superb physique, runs her certified organic farm, with hundreds of really unfenced, free range chickens, a few pigs, a few geese and a pair of foundered rescue horses. She sells eggs and chickens, live or dressed, plus meat from her pigs and from other certified organic farmers.
Those chickens and geese are my beagle's absolute love, for he admires all the running around they do and the geese honking and pecking at the truck, right under his window. The hen houses are mounted on wheels and she moves them about every 2 weeks, for they eat and turn over their surrounding patches thoroughly and would not allow grass to regrow if she left the houses unmoved any longer.
The chickens and geese are rarely seen wondering outside of the property. The owner breeds in the winter, bringing roosters to fertilize the eggs of selected hens and then incubates the eggs in batches which she integrates into the different flocks, where they acquire the instinct to stay close to the flock and will rarely move beyond a certain distance from their flock.
I can never speak enough about the research work done at the Rodale Institute farm in PA. If you have a chance to visit there, they'll give you a tour and insights that will amaze you. The visit will influence your perspective on the virtues and commercial viability of organic farming forever, not to mention the effect it can have on the personal management of your own heath practices.
Archangel Miguel, Master Gardener
So God Made an Organic Farmer
February 11, 2013
And on the Eighth day, after she had rested, God remembered to make someone To truly care for her creation.
So God made an organic farmer.
She shaped the living soil, and sculpted it with love Then blew spirit and life into her body To give her strength and perseverance And love for the land. And she was fertile and productive. From her hands she created more Organic farmers in many colors and of all sexes And in every country of the world. She breathed life Into each of their souls to give them Strength and perseverance and Love for the land Because she knew that Not only will they have to Wake up early And go to bed late and bone tired every night, But they would have to welcome fragile new life And bury the dead with the same tenderness. They would have to deal with whatever weather May come or not come Plant the seeds, manage the weeds, Harvest the crops, Care for the trees, And feed the children and the hungry Before they take care of their own needs.
And they will have to do it all While people laugh and politicians abandon them While others enslave them and rape them and steal Their labor and food for their own riches and glory.
And God spoke:
Beware There are those who call themselves farmers Who destroy my precious living soil Who pollute my waters And fall prey to the false words Of those promising to make their lives easier And richer For less work. And in the bottomless pit of their craving for more Will cause animals to suffer greatly, and destroy my fertility And make children sick and sad Out of ignorance and greed. Forgive them anyway For they know not what they do. They are part of my flock Who have gone astray. But you, organic farmer, Must not give up. You will find them And bring them home safely, Because to you I have given The wisdom of my secrets That I am alive And fragile And desiring of your love And protection.
You will see my happiness and joy In each butterfly and bee, Each blossom and autumn bounty, Each clear and beautiful sky, Each healthy laughing child who runs barefoot in my garden And eats straight from my hands. Organic farmer, With your care I am healed and happy And in return Will protect you and provide for you Till the end of my days…”
So in the lonely dawn light Organic farmers wake up each day And begin again To grow, to protect, to nurture, to heal, To love the animals and respect the soil, To feed the birds and the children and the hungry with Safe and healthy food And to help other organic farmers And share their bounty with family and friends So that the number of organic farmers Can be fruitful And multiply With the knowledge that God is everywhere And in everything, not to be dominated And controlled And destroyed But to be loved And only loved.
Which is why God made an organic farmer In the first place.
If you want to really know the damage and danger of Round Up, weed killers and all the GMO's, you have to go to international sources via Google, most studies (and judgements against them) having been done in France and Italy. In the US, the Agricultural Chemical Complex & The Commercial Food Producers/Marketers Complex have a way to make sure you don't know, or even suspect, "Powerful Gentleman is Mr. Money" (Benavente) .
Remember that you have to water this stuff, sprinklers are easy, however, water is only needed on the roots and sprinklers promote funguses, particularly when plants grow and there is little or no space between them to allow for airation. Soaker hoses are far better for your plants and drip irrigation is ideal, but a hard upkeep.
This is an excerpt from a Rodale publication. I've yet to read any BS from Rodale and I've visited their farm in Pennsylvania where you can get a real education of true comparative research of organic production as compared with standard farming and mixed production fields, plus some very innovative means of field preparation. If you are ever around they do have tours and you'll never regret it. They don't preach, they show.
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"Kapieren und Kopieron", or "First understand Nature, and then copy it."--Viktor Schauberger