in Blog, Farming, Farmlife

Why I’ve quit farming

I have been struggling the past few years to have a farm and I and my family recently came to the conclusion that we don’t want a farm.  We want a homestead. What’s wrong with farming? A farm is centered around production.  You are trying to build an agricultural empire (of whatever size) where you are selling. Push push push.  You have a product and it needs to go out, whether that product is beef, cheese, jelly or asparagus.  Because it’s a business, you focus on what is the most profitable and you slash what isn’t.  You try to get…

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in Blog, Farming, Livestock, Published in Daily Press

Handling the Summer Heat

Heat Coping Strategies For You and Your Animals Yikes!  It’s 85 degrees at 7:00am and it’s not even officially summer yet. There are many things I like about living in the desert, but summer is not on the list.  It wasn’t so bad back when I spent my days inside an air conditioned home, but now I am outside most of the day working with animals, mucking pens, pulling weeds or, if I am inside, I am hovering over a hot stove cooking caramel or jam to sell (which is delicious by the way). Heat Coping Strategies For Your Animals…

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in Blog, Chickens, Livestock, Poultry

Why Did My Chickens Stop Laying?

By Dr. J. C. Hermes  Extension Poultry Specialist, Oregon State University  Egg production is a remarkable thing. A pullet (young female chicken) begins laying eggs at 18 to 20 weeks of age. She reaches peak production at about 35 weeks, with a production rate greater than 90 percent (that’s 9 eggs in 10 days for a single hen or 9 eggs from 10 birds daily). This period of peak production lasts about 10 weeks, after which her egg production slowly begins to decline. A high-producing hen’s annual egg production is more than 10 times her body weight. The average commercial…

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in Blog, Farmlife

Why should I learn to farm?

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….

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in Farmlife

The bad side of Farming

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…

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in Farmlife

Farming is like a cult

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…

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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, Farmlife

Choose your lifestyle

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…

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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, Bloodhounds, Farming

Existential Farming

Farming is very existential. Today, we put down one of our bloodhounds and we welcomed 60 new baby chickens into the world.  Yes farming is very existential. Existentialism is the idea that there are inescapable elements of human existence such as isolation, powerlessness, responsibility and death.  These realities are things that we don’t want to face.  We ignore the realities, lose ourselves in activities that make us forget reality and do whatever it takes to defend ourselves from acknowledging the truths of existence.  Many of the issues people face are due to existential truths rather than what we therapists call…

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