Thursday, July 28, 2011

Desertification

Some are alarmist and some are conspiracy theorist and others like me are just farmers that are looking around and taking notice.  This blog reports on the status of American farmers quite frequently with the intent on securing better food for the citizens we are responsible to.  I am among the crowd that see our archaic methods of agriculture costing loss of soil by monumental levels, destruction of ground water through abusive pesticide use, and the massive desertification of our farm land from one end of this nation to the other.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/severe-drought-in-texas-could-result-in-record-losses-in-nations-no-2-agriculture-state/2011/07/27/gIQAiNjHcI_story.html

This shortage of water and loss of top soil being one in the same problem.  Bare soil, as in between rows of corn, causes massive soil erosion and reduces perculation of rain water downward by astronomical proportions now showing in every state in the union.  Grass covered soil is critical for the sustenance of man. "Grass is the forgiveness of nature."  Bare soil causes crop land to become deserts.  Shortages of drinking water are a direct result of poor farming practices.  Sequestering of atmospheric carbon by way of grass lands is an absolute necessity for man to balance the resources needed to perpetuate our existence.  A society dependant upon annuals will go by the way side no matter high tech that society thinks they are.  In fact, we have proven in the United States that our technological advancements have primarily increased the rate of desertification at alarming rates.  But then I'm only a farmer looking out my windows.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How We Farm

After farming in this country now for over 200 modern years you would think we would have it down pretty good.  But in fact, we are probably the worst examples of farmers since the dawn of time.  Our mono-culture slash and burn system has eroded our soils, depleted our ground water, and contaminated most of what is left.  Those still stuck on this old warn out paradigm have the misguided belief that this type of agriculture is high tech, high production and efficient, and necessary to feed the masses.  When in fact our per acre production is less even with all our high tech, killer pesticides, and government hand outs known as subsidies, than the much more simple organic farming used today in China.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_People's_Republic_of_China
Their high level of production isn't based on large quantities of oil consumption and unsustainable practices.

Our form of food production is based on putting dollars in as many people's pockets as possible before it gets to the consumer, that is, all except for the farmer.  And because our production is so low, and because so many folks selling and providing services and stuff along this food production line, the prices paid for FOOD must reflect it's true value.  Our food is extremely cheap both in real dollars and nutritional content.  Our farmers have the ability to produce nutrient dense, affordable protein, fiber, minerals, and other quality food that can be affordable and can provide a good payment to those actually responsible for growing it, the farmer, but not if it must pass through the hands of an entire army of non agricultural types adding on their withdrawals.  So the agr. industry redesigns food like genetically modified corn and the production model all the way to the consumer.  Some peoples in far away places are not buying off on this trash.  And are sending a message to the agr. industries responsible for this destructive process. http://organicfood.einnews.com/article.php?oid=l0Lh+swda3vQgA

Small farms and farmers living on the farm from which they are responsible for is the only solution to this massive food and humanity problem.  Most problems in agriculture simply can not be solved in the cab of a 300 horse power tractor or a bottle of pesticide.

We farm 1000 acres, which is not considered a small farm, producing beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, cow milk, goat milk, eggs, cheeses, garden fruit, garden vegetables, under a holistic system of farming.  Our production quantities are above average and are not achieving capacity.  In fact under this multi-species system we have forage production not yet utilized even when neighboring farms are feeding hay in the heat of the summer due to their lack of forage.  We not only employ our family on this farm but provide income to several others and have capacity to supply income to even more families. 

We have begun sharing our farm with others to better utilize our over capacity.  At this time we have space and the need for a family to bring  their goat herd of at least two hundred to three hundred meat goats to utilize what forage we have not yet been able to utilize.  This type of system can allow families that may not currently have the resources to farm entirely on their own but do have initiative and desire to have independence on our farm.  In the case of these meat goats you would share in the harvest of the annual production for your rent. 

This type of system is designed for our type of farming operation that is larger in size than what one family can tend to.  There are farms of this and various sizes all over this land.  From very small 40 acre single family farms, to our size farm and larger, production can be increased and ecological conditions will improve.  Quantity and quality of the food produced can be improved because the people living there will have a vested interest.  They are responsible for the nutrient quality and condition of what leaves their farms and which lands directly on the consumers dinner tables.   

Monday, July 18, 2011

All Life Depends Upon The Farmer

Texas is currently in a drought that is devastating that state's agriculture.  Much of the water flowing to irrigated crops in California has been reduced below growing standards or completely stopped.  Not only is drought and dry conditions covering these big ag western and southern states, but lack of water or even to much water is currently a much bigger problem than most anything going on in our country. 

We not only raise livestock here at the Rockin H Ranch we also raise and sell produce.  Last year a box of red tomatoes were selling for about $25 this time of year.  Last week these same kind of tomatoes were bringing $55 a box.  These prices and many more are substantially higher than the Washington reported inflation rate of about 4.5%.

The reality of these poor growing conditions are in many ways caused by man.  Much of our water for growing crops that are later feeding much of this country's human population, is piped from under ground out of the much discussed and cussed massive aqueduct water system.  The big problem is this supply into the aqueduct is not being replenished at a rate as fast as it is being used.  Kind of like our Washington budget.  And as well in this case this is also caused by man.  And the water issue is primarily caused by poor farming methods.  That's right, the very farmers, business men and women, that need good conservation practices are destroying their abilities to produce food.  I am including myself, as a Midwestern farmer, in this category.

This large under ground system of water ways is being depleted in many cases due to the slash and burn and don't give a dang, Washington subsidized, backward farming system used all across this country.  The water table in my county has been lowered each and every year since I was a child.  The manner in which we manage the thin layer of top soil, that all life is dependant upon, will determine porosity or the ability of rain water to perculate down to our life giving supply of good water in its natural water holding storage tank.

 Most of our grain production farmers in this country, again government subsidized grain, have a standard practice of purposely collecting this rain water and taking it to the rivers, primarily the Missouri and Mississippi, eventually, and dumping all the good drinking and growing water all we would ever need into the gulf of Mexico where it pollutes and destroys along with the farming toxins and pesticides carried with the water.  And please don't forget to mention three bushels of top soil, that life giving top soil all life depends upon, for every bushel of corn produced, is also carried away. 

You may ask how is this done.  It's very simple.  Most all dry and some wet farming ground is layed out with miles and miles of underground drain pipe set up on gravity collection to rid each farm of most of what water falls on each field of corn.  This is done for the sake of big production and big subsidies, there is literally no good farming practices followed under this system.  No body seems to give a flying fig that this system is destroying our country and is part of a very big scenario that is desertifying our Nation.

Many civilizations have been destroyed in this very same manner.  We first begin causing droughts and floods from mismanaging our top soils, loose our access to quality water, loose our access to life giving top soil, which causes starvation, which always follows high food prices, like currently happening, and sooner or later someone else is relaxing in your easy chair right there in your front room.  The last decades of most any dying civilization feeds its people on the bare necessities and cheap produced grains, like corn, beans, rice etc.  This is currently happening in the U.S. and very few seem to realize this calamity.  Corn is represented in almost every food we eat.  We are already feeding our citizens on this starvation diet.  This grain has just been disguised with coloring, additives, processing, as we destroy first our health until we blow away with the last spec of lifeless dry teaspoon of soil.

I am working on my farm and ranch to stop this nonsense.  There is plenty all can do even folks who don't farm.  You can start by stop supporting these businesses that are killing our country.  Your spending dollar is the most powerful tool we have.  A great president once said, 'he who controls the food controls the nation or world.'  We the people can control the food if we choose to.  I also challenge all farmers once again to farm more responsibly.  We all know this is not working.   

Sunday, July 17, 2011

GRASS FED BEEF

 We just sorted off 120 grass fed, angus steers and heifers here at the Rockin H Ranch.  These calves are out of Kit Pharo's Emancipate bulls.  These girls can go back to a grass fed herd or right into a grass fattening program.  Call or e-mail if you want to purchase one or all.