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in Blog, Farming

Why are some farmers busy and others are lazy?

Depending on when you visit a farm, a farmer may look lazy or she may look like a chicken with her head cut off because she’s so busy.  How busy a farmer is depends on a lot of factors.  First off, what is the farmer farming?  A farmer with a market garden is going to be as busy as a cross-eyed boy at a three-ring circus-at least between spring and fall.  Winter usually slows down and even market gardeners may take a break during the winter, although some crazy market gardeners continue to produce during this time in greenhouses and such….

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in Blog, Natural Health

How to make your neighborhood a better place

Here’s a list of ideas that I stole from sunset magazine.  Maybe we should all take an early new year’s resolution to make our neighborhoods better and prevent these crazy tragedies like the connecticut shooting: Organize community events 1. Host an annual Southwest-style luminaria display (one neighborhood has more than 50,000 candles in bags lining its streets). 2. Combine cause and community by presenting an annual home tour to raise money for charities. 3. Organize regular wine-tasting parties. You’ll be surprised at all the local sommeliers. 4. Hold small music concerts on a common green. Encourage karaoke (responsibly). 5. Sponsor…

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in Blog, Horse riding

Problems Under Saddle

If your horse is misbehaving with the saddle on-GET OFF.  Why put your life at risk for something that can be taken care of safely?  A bucking, rearing, shying, bolting psycho is a horse that hasn’t learned all of the lessons it should have learned on the ground.  My horse Tarik is bucking slightly under saddle.  Instead of riding-it-out-of-him, I am going back to the basics.  Obviously I missed something.  Now of course there’s times when it’s just a minor issue and you can continue riding.  But if the behavior doesn’t stop, then go back to the ground.    …

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in Blog, Chickens, Farming, Livestock, Poultry

The Deep Litter Method

I’ve found some good material from the first people to research and promote deep litter, Kennard and Chamberlin at the Ohio Experiment Station. The following is an article of theirs from the Golden Age of deep litter, published in 1949. For the impatient, here’s a deep-litter quickstart: Deep litter is not about compost. It’s about healthier chickens. Do your serious composting on a compost pile. More is better. It’s not deep litter unless it’s at least six inches deep. If the top of the litter gets caked over with manure, skim off the caked part and toss it into a…

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in Blog, Farming, Livestock

Rain, rain don’t go away

I woke up this morning, put the dogs out and thought a water pipe was broken.  That is until I noticed that everything was wet.  Wow, it’s raining!  We don’t get that very often here.  The high desert gets about 6 inches of rain a year, although there’s a huge range of amounts to reach that average.  Most years it seems that we only get 3 inches.  It would be nice if things were greener, but at the same time it’s wonderful to not have to worry about slogging through the mud all winter long.  We don’t have to be…

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in Blog, Farming, Livestock

Rain, rain don't go away

I woke up this morning, put the dogs out and thought a water pipe was broken.  That is until I noticed that everything was wet.  Wow, it’s raining!  We don’t get that very often here.  The high desert gets about 6 inches of rain a year, although there’s a huge range of amounts to reach that average.  Most years it seems that we only get 3 inches.  It would be nice if things were greener, but at the same time it’s wonderful to not have to worry about slogging through the mud all winter long.  We don’t have to be…

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in Blog, Natural Health

Connecticut, Columbine, Victor Valley College: Should we take guns away?

Ironically, right after I posted a blog about guns being good and necessary for farmers, we have one of the worst school shootings in our history. And a student shooter at the college I teach at, Victor Valley College, just recently killed himself after looking for and not finding a particular victim.  So how do I feel now about guns? You know, I really feel like this isn’t a gun issue.  Follow my logic and you’ll see what I mean.  It’s sort of like a horse training problem.  Take a horse that bucks for instance.  Bucking horses have probably killed…

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in Blog, Horse riding

Starting a horse rescue

Our family has really been thinking hard about starting a horse rescue at the ranch.  The current economic climate has been very harsh for horses.  When the real estate bubble busted back in 2008, people were so desperate they would take their horses out into the desert, tie them to a Joshua Tree and leave them to die. Things don’t seem quite that desperate now, but there are still many many horses being abandoned.  A friend of mine with a horse stable regularly wakes up with horses tied to her fence in the morning.  And the price of horse feed…

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in Blog, Farming

Was Tecumseh a Christian?: Of Guns and Farming

They say to get a lot of comments on a blog, you should write about something controversial.  I think I got most of the main controversies just in the title so I guess we’ll see lol.  Anyhow, someone asked me an interesting question the other day: Was Tecumseh a Christian?  Tecumseh was one of the War Chiefs of the Shawnee indian tribe and arguably the most famous.  He pulled together many of the tribes into a confederacy to try to stand up against the americans invading indian territory.  I’m certainly no expert on this subject, but I am half Shawnee…

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in Blog, Farming and the law

Proposition 37 fails

I am so disappointed. I don’t think there’s anything else to say, but I will tell you why I’m disappointed.  Not only is the research showing GMOs being super dangerous, but I was looking forward to being healthier.  When I lived in Europe for a time, I ate all grass fed meats and no GMOs.  This was easy to do because that’s just how everything is raised in Ireland.  You don’t have to carry around a Non-GMO shopping guide or pay exorbitant prices for grass fed meat.  It’s just the way it is. When I was living in Ireland, all…

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