in Farming with horses, Horse riding, Livestock

Journey to farming with horses

I must be really stressed out because, over what should be little stresses, I am getting a cramped shoulder and a stitch in my side. Of course problems getting to your airplane on time aren’t exactly little stresses so maybe I should give myself credit. My flight leaves at 6:15 and here I am in the shuttle at 5:25. Fortunately it’s a domestic flight or I might as well give up. As it is I will probably be running through the airport which is what I got up extra early to avoid. But the shuttle didn’t come for a half…

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in Farming and the law

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination. Reprint from Vanity Fair by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele No thanks: An anti-Monsanto crop circle made by farmers and volunteers in the Philippines. By Melvyn Calderon/Greenpeace HO/A.P. Images. Gary Rinehart clearly remembers the summer day in 2002 when the stranger walked in and issued his threat. Rinehart was behind the counter of the Square Deal, his “old-time country store,” as he calls it, on the fading…

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in Blog, Farmlife, Livestock

Who turned the thermostat to hell?

Yes, the past week has been hellish temperatures.  Sunday hit a high of 115 degrees of drenching, sweaty humidity and it has only slightly come down since then.  Fortunately this misery is very uncommon.  Last summer we only had a handful of days above 100 degrees and only slightly above 100.  While we retreat inside to the inefficient coolness of the swamp cooler, it’s the poor animals that really have to deal with the heat. Heat is really hard on animals and it shows in weight loss, lower milk production, problems breeding and even death.  We happily didn’t lose any…

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in Blog, Farming, Gardening, Prepping

Why you should be gardening now

I was watching Doomsday Prepper re-runs recently and there was a prepper who had thousands and thousands of seeds stored away in case the SHTF, TEOTWAKI or whatever other acronym you can think of for when the world goes down the toilet.  I sat there listening to him proudly extol the virtues of having so many seeds and I thought-you’re going to starve to death before you ever get enough food to grow.  It was just so arrogant of him to think all you have to do is put the seed in the ground and everything will just work out….

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in Blog, Farming and the law

More permit wins

Yea!  We have moved forward a teensy bit in the permitting process! We finally got ahold of Heidi-our new county liaison.  She put in writing, IN WRITING PEOPLE, what she was going to do for us and how much we’d need to pay and how long things would take.  AMAZING.  It’s taken more than a year, but we’ve now been promised that the Site Plan Permit is what we need and that we won’t have to dish out anymore cash.  Halleluia. So a year after starting the permit process and turning in our original site plan permit, we are now…

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in Blog, Farming, Farming and the law

Permitting Woes and Wins

Getting our permit for some of the activities we want to do at the ranch has been slightly frustrating…ok, it’s been a pain in the rear.  HOWEVER, we’ve made some excellent progress with San Bernardino county officials and it looks like we’re finally going to get our permit to go through.  I had the sense of mind to join the Lucerne Valley Economic Development Association-I figured what helped Lucerne helped me and if our business did better it would help Lucerne.  There, I met the formidable Beverly Lowry-our field representative and community liaison.  James Ramos, county supervisor, said about her:…

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in Blog, Farming, Gardening

Propagating sweet potatoes

Growing new sweet potatoes is SOOOOOO easy.  All you do is first get some sweet potatoes.  You can get these from the store or, preferably, from the hundreds of varieties that exist and are available online.  Experiment to find which kind you like best and which do best in your area.  Don’t be limited to the store variety. Also, grab yourself some toothpicks.  These grimy things were in our junk drawer from last spring’s sweet potatoes.  Resist the urge to stick them in your mouth if they’ve been in a similar location.   There are many varieties of toothpicks for…

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in Blog, Farming, Gardening

What we're planting in April

Here’s our list of April plantings April Bean, bush Bean, lima Bean, edible soy beet Cantaloupe Chard Corn, sweet Cucumber Eggplant leaf lettuce Muskmelon Pepper plants Potato, Irish Pumpkin Radish Summer squash Tomato plant Watermelon There is of course always a risk of frost until the last frost date of April 15 in this area.  There is always a risk after that too, but it decreases significantly.  By mid may there’s almost no chance of frost.  So if you plant warm weather plants be ready to protect them on a cold night.  This year I’m betting on no more frosts,…

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