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Makes cents!

18 Nov

“Regenerative agriculture claims that the solution doesn’t lie in new technology or mass machinery. It may be right in front of us: livestock.”

Check out this article from the Huffington Post:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/meat-save-planet-regenerative-farming_l_5d261f7ae4b0583e482b0192?guccounter=1

 

Check out this article from Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group:

https://www.ssawg.org/ssawg-blawg/2019/8/15/the-impossible-pasture

“We have this huge planetary food system enhanced by synthetic fertilizers and chemicals, but there are ways to balance that out now, and that’s through raising animals in balance with the ecosystem’s restoration. Nothing else can do what a cow or sheep or buffalo can do.”

– Jack Algiere, farm director at Stone Barns for Food and Agriculture

 

 

Can You See Me?

11 Nov

Thanksgiving last year, at Nina Bay Farm, the herd of Black Angus cattle sold at auction.  The rest of the herd of burros found a new home.  The surrounding fields are leased for cattle grazing.

These burros are what remain of the herd.  I call the two on the right Jack and Jill.  Jack is two weeks old.  Jill is five months old (born June 1 and is featured in the top photo).

…..around back

Before

Seven trees shading the porch:  Removed.

The make over for the landscape will be honeysuckle free and feature natural “rocky top” ledges and outcrop.  Do you see it?  An artifact:  brick barbecue.  We plan to have wild flowers popping up in spring.  Like these:

Work in Progress!  Low maintenance perennials featuring iris (state flower of TN) and day lilies, plus peonies, hostas and hollies.

For more Nina Bay Farm photos select the tab at the top of the page.

 

Acorns

10 Sep

We removed dozens of trees @ Owl Creek this year…Some had been dead for a long time…  Some were volunteers too close to driveways or barn…Some were contortions of trees…bent, split, broken.  Several logging projects in the past 50 years harvested hard woods…walnut, maple and oak trees.  Our understanding is that oak seedlings are difficult to locate.

Our recent experience:  Squirrels/Ground Squirrels consider fresh sprouting acorns hors d’oeuvres.  Half of what I transplanted to containers were uprooted to eat the meat of the acorn.  (Redbud, tulip and cedar trees were undisturbed.)  I rescued these seedlings by moving them to the screened porch.

 

To get 2020 spring plants off to a bigger start, I gathered acorns from the backyard.  Mostly green, squirrels had not run off with them.

“How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns” Shelly Wigglesworth Oct 16, 2018, published in New England Today, Living

How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns

I like the idea of refrigerating with peat and barley in a sealed container over winter.

Shelly recommended discarding acorns with pin holes.  They are made by “inch” worms exiting the hull.  I believe the worms enter under the cap.  After checking closely and drying  about two weeks, I discarded 20 acorns of the 60+ I had gathered from our backyard.

Here we “grow” again…

 

 

This corner of the yard

15 Aug

has been reserved for compost of tree, shrub and yard debris for years.  The black compost bin in the background hasn’t stayed together even with a “zip tie” fix.  Time to shop!

Found on Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085O6NXQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The cylinder in the foreground has an open bottom.  It was unrolled and secured with three plastic pieces that work like a key and lock inserted in slots.  The size is adjustable.  It is possible to expand the circumference an additional two feet.  Also, I could go smaller.

Last summer between kitchen, garden and yard waste, we yielded about 200 pounds of compost which we used at our remote garden site (future post).  We are on track with another 200 pounds…Eight  repurposed  cat  litter  buckets  filled (20 pounds each).  Two  more  to  go!

Book Review: The History of Bees, A Novel

2 Jul

My interest in bee keeping is shown on the Beehaven@OwlCreek tab above.

I struggled with this book.  I also appreciate the story.  Well over half way thru the book, I felt that I was reading multiple Twitter feeds.  Some characters lived in the 1800s, some in the present and some in the future.  The author does bring it together in the end.  If I had first read the Reading Group Guide on page 340 of my digital version, I would not have been so frustrated.

The contents include valuable information about commercial hives and the highly productive, delicate life cycle of bees.

2019 Garden Expansion: May Update

8 May

 

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https://www.rhshumway.com

  1. Gourds (future crafty bird houses and dippers) started in egg cartons on the kitchen counter…they started sprouting I moved them to larger biodegradable containers.
  2. Hummingbird plant and zinnia seeds have been in an outdoor container for a couple of weeks
  3. Trial for fruit trees started with 1 persimmon, then 2 apples and 2 pears, 1 peach and 1 fig.
  4.  More Annual flowers:  Snapdragon, Bells of Ireland, Cockscomb to be planted

Expect future posts on my garden expansion project.

 

First you hear them, then you see them

14 Mar

Sandhill cranes 2019 spring migration.

Check out this video:

Sandhill cranes fly in a “V” formation at a fairly high altitude.  The image is faint as they move from right to left across the screen.

We have been lucky to be outdoors in the early afternoon frequently this spring.  It appears to be the best time to see them in flight…over a half dozen times (central Indiana).

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Sandhill_Crane/sounds  (There are 3 audio clips.)

View one of Indiana’s greatest wildlife spectacles at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. Each fall, thousands of Sandhill Cranes visit the area’s shallow marshes.

I was introduced to sandhill cranes 20 years ago at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area.  They feed and stay overnight during their migration.  Large groups are VERY loud and not a pleasant chorus.  However, it is VERY impressive and you remember their chatter.  I love spotting them on the move.  You hear them first!