Why should you learn to farm? First let’s define farming. When most people think of a farm, they envision thousands of acres of corn or wheat. Even a small farmer with 50 acres is big in the typical people’s minds. But there are also micro farmers which basically means tiny farmer.
We believe that anyone who raises their own food is a farmer. If you are growing a Basil on your kitchen counter or if you have a couple hens in your backyard, you are micro farming. You are becoming self-sufficient. Our definition of a farmer also includes a homesteader. Homesteaders are people who live a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. They Read More
People tend to romanticize farming.
But there is as much romance as there is pain in farming.
You are a slave to the land and its needs. Most of the time you’re happy about this, but the days when you want to go to the beach or catch a movie or sleep in you suddenly realize that you are not self-employed. The self-employed can make their own schedule. Your schedule is dictated by the farm. There is also no pretending when you’re farming. You have to deal with the realities in life that other people can pretend aren’t there. You are full of joy at the hatching of an adorable chick…until Read More
Today began with a farm tour to a nice fellow who was interested in starting a garden to feed his family. I like hearing about new people wanting to get into farming. I’m like a cult leader loving each time a new member joins.
And farming really is like a cult. All your family and friends are concerned for you. They don’t understand this new obsession you have or why you’re suddenly spending so many hours surfing the net looking at things like the most effective way to manage excessive animal poo or how to stab a cow properly if they get bloat. They’re totally freaked out when you go Read More
Tonight we went to the movies with a good friend of the family. We also took Joachim, our newest intern who is from France. Poor Joachim. He hadn’t even gotten to the ranch before he got a full dose of Flip Flop humor and hospitality. We picked him up from the bus stop and took him straight to movies and dinner and got home at one in the morning lol. Ah but life is so much better with laughter. Laughter and friends.
This is a guest post by our recent Wwoofer (World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms-an organization that connects volunteers to farms throughout the world). Herma is from Holland and we really loved having her here.
A few days ago I posted a picture on my Facebook of a beautiful orange-pink sunset with the caption: “I don’t think anyone can appreciate a good country-song until they’ve visited Lucerne Valley”. That’s how I would describe my experience here on the Flip Flop Ranch; living the life that Johnny, Willie, and Hank sang about.
On a searing hot Friday morning I got off the Read More
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 animals in this massive heat wave, but it’s something we Read More
Like many farmers, I sit on the fence between the farm lifestyle and the modern one. More than half of America’s farmers work a job off the farm to make ends meet, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In 1929, 6% of farmers worked off the farm. By 1947, it rose to 16.5%. In 1997, it was 33%. In 2002, it was 55% and grew to 65% by 2007. Today, it’s much harder to support yourself just with a farm. Regulations make farming expensive and the use of modern technology that is supposed to make farming so much more efficient and productive now Read More
It’s 7:30 and I’ve been up for an hour. Some farmers get up way earlier than this-it really just depends on what you’re farming. When we grow alfalfa, we have to be up at 2am to bale it when there is at least a teeny tiny bit of moisture in the dry desert air.
I hate getting up early.
I don’t mean just a little. I really really really really really REALLY hate getting up early. Back in my pre-farming days, I could easily sleep in until noon and anything earlier than 10am was just a killer. To give me credit, I had an undiagnosed autoimmune disease, hypothyroiditis, which the primary Read More