Tid Bits From a Grass Farmer

When asked last night by a customer, how we have learned all we know, I replied, “We read nonstop.”  Reading on the topic of sustainable living has been a passion for 15 years.  What began with Countryside magazine in the beginning slowly turned to sustainable agriculture and more recently to health and the environment and distribution of local foods.  I try to read as much as I can in my leisure times, at night before bed and on Sunday afternoons.  These times are right now more precious as the mother of 5 young kids.  But when I am able, I read.  I am always tickled when I come upon a totally new concept that sticks out for me.  As a vegetarian, at one time I remember going through the logic that we would all be better off saving our worlds resources for grain crops which could feed more.  Now, I see the error of that thought.  Life is about balance.  The circle of life and the many connections are so important.  One thing on its own is not the silver bullet.  I came at farming through my desire to grow a good organic garden as a vegetarian but then discovered the need for the outputs from the animals I was condemning was the very thing that could give the land the fertility it needed without chemicals.  We now are moving our farm to a majority grass operation in time.  Moving the animals back to the grass out of confinement makes there wastes a asset not a detriment.  Back to grain crops for a minute.  This was the awakening I experienced about a year ago that stuck with me.  I was shown time lapped images of a corn field.  That field looks almost like a dessert for the majority of the year.  The topsoil is exposed and easily erodes, the suns energy is left to do nothing but hit the ground, and these things can be easily seen when realizing that our number one export in America is not food but is topsoil.  Right into the Mississippi causing hypoxia.  Look it up, read, you will be fascinated.  For now I have a good quick read article forwarded by a fellow customer that might interest you called the “Carnivores Delimma”.