Essential tips for starting your own farm

The new millennium has seen a resurgence in the homesteading movement, and whether you are a full-time farmer or an interested hobbyist, running your own small farm is a great way to provide food and do your part in taking care of the environment, among other things.

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The first step is to test the soil. Before you can even start plowing, study first the kind of soil the farm has and check it for things like texture and fertility. Being familiar with the soil type will allow for better improvement plans and future amendments to ensure that the farm grows healthy crops and good grass for the livestock.

Now that you’re ready for planting, get a good PTO-driven tiller for your tractor. This tiller is great for a small to moderate acreage of about two to three acres. If this sounds too daunting, then consider getting an experienced person or farm staff to do the plowing, disking, and harrowing.

Finally, if your planned farm will likewise have animals, installing fences is important. Fences will protect your plants from the animals as well as keep them safe from predators. While there are many fence types, both electric and non-electric, your choice depends upon what animals you are raising. If they are, say, cows, then electric wires might be good to keep them within the pasture area. Goats, on the other hand, require higher fences to prevent them from jumping over.

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Geoffrey Morell, through his farm P.A. Bowen Farmstead, provides consumers with high-quality farm products such as livestock and artisan cheese. He also offers tours and classes of his farm. For more information, visit this website .

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Sustainable agriculture: An interesting trend

The concept of being sustainable isn’t new-age. In fact, the belief that certain processes and structures have a quality of sustainability, meaning that they can sustain themselves with minimal outside help, has been around for quite some time. However, it is only recently that researchers have found that sustainability may also have huge benefits for the environment.

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In agriculture, sustainability is an intriguing trend since it not only affects the environment, but it also has a say in the economics of farming businesses. It should be noted though, that a sustainable farm still shares the same responsibilities of a normal farm, to both the community it serves and the hands that it employs.

Sustainable agriculture involves keeping the soil in tip-top shape and managing the water more efficiently while minimizing pollution in the air and water. Farmers practicing sustainable agriculture are also urged to promote biodiversity in their farms, which is key to developing its very own ecosystem.

The development of sustainable agriculture can be witnessed through ever-improving practices of crop rotation, intercropping, minimization of tillage and plowing, minimization of the use of pesticides and antibiotics, and introducing agroforestry.

All these contribute to the improvement not just of the farming industry, but nationwide agriculture and environmental protection as well. Who knows what new sustainable agriculture practices will be developed in the future. And who knows the heights it can achieve.

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Geoffrey Morell is the owner of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a 95-acre property that is dedicated to raising pasture-fed livestock and organically-grown species. For more farming, visit this blog.

Sustaining Managed Grazing In Small Farms

Farms should thrive in the natural mutualism offered by the existing ecosystem. Even if owners exercise relative control in some management aspects of the farm, and technologies are employed up to a certain point, the interventions and disruptions must seamlessly coincide with the elemental patterns of biomass in any given area. Allowing this organic interconnectedness to prosper will bring about benefits to farmers and their customers.

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One crucial facet of farming is raising livestock, and a major concern that comes with it is pasturage. An efficient way of getting the most out of one’s acreage is through managed grazing. Pasture management can dramatically increase livestock productivity and health. There might not necessarily be a big difference between rotational grazing in big farms and small ones. Since this type of management requires infrastructure like water lines and whatnot, larger farms would probably invest more money on these facilities per acre.

For smaller farms, more portable and movable structures can be used because those can be more economical in the end. One must simply determine what type or kind is needed for particular animals. Pastured poultry can benefit from portable coops and tractors that should be moved to various areas of the land to evenly distribute their fertile manure throughout the area. An electric fence can be used to oversee the movement of larger animals like cows.

Small-scale rotational grazing will also present a number of considerations like the size of paddocks, which naturally depends on the size of one’s herd or the frequency of animal movement. Daily would certainly be the ideal frequency. Nutrition can be maintained at this rate, and the distribution of the manure for the consistent supply of fertilizer to the land would be sustained.

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Geoffrey Morell offers raw milk cheeses, beef and veal, chicken and eggs, seasonal turkey, and more through his farm, P.A. Bowen Farmstead. All of the farm animals are fed through rotational grazing because healthier animals promote better nutrition for the community. For more updates on better farming methods, visit this website.

More Dangers Of Slash-And-Burn Agriculture

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The farming method known as slash-and-burn involves the cutting of trees and other plants and leaving them on the ground until they’ve dried up. The area is then set on fire, and farmers plant crops on the left-behind soil.

Environmental conservationists understand that this traditional agricultural technique destroys the land and its ecosystem, depleting the soil of nutrients and making the area useless for a period of up to 20 years. And farmers just leave to pursue the same method in unburned places, replicating the same unhealthy practice and ruining the environment even further.

While soil quality is improved by ash and fire in the immediate aftermath of slash-and-burn, this is but a temporary boost. The soil is deprived of essential moisture, and the natural interaction between flora and fauna is halted. In fact, one other crucial repercussion of the method is that it leads directly to the destruction of plant and wildlife species. Many animals in tropical rainforests have lost their habitat and sources of food due to massive slash-and-burn practices. Tigers, elephants, and various insects and birds that are native to these rainforests are now critically endangered.

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Lastly, without plant life to provide oxygen and filter the air pollution, local inhabitants are plagued by sicknesses. Villages and communities proximate to areas where slash-and-burn agriculture has been done suffer from respiratory illnesses caused by smoke from the blazing fires, which can travel for miles.

Geoffrey Morell is the owner of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a 95-acre property that is dedicated to raising pasture-fed livestock and organically-grown species. For more farming, visit this blog.

Why We Should Use Soy-Free Animal Feeds

The frank answer as to why soy is very popular as animal feed is that it’s cheap. It’s not about nutrition: soy is just a toasted, fiber by-product of the vegetable industry. Soybeans are processed to extract the oil for inexpensive cooking use.

Most animals now being fed soy-based feeds won’t even touch soy in the wild, because by instinct they know that it’s not meant to eaten. Raw soybeans are toxic, and the plant itself is considered poisonous.

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A lot of essential nutrients vital for our farm animals’ health are lost in processed soy, leading to Vitamin E, zinc, and iron deficiencies. Soy likewise contains harmful, toxic levels of manganese and aluminum. It is also loaded with “anti-nutrients,” natural toxins that interfere with the digestion of protein, as well as isoflavone, a type of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens can lead to breast cancer and cause infertility.

And while eating soy is bad enough both for our animals and us, the sadder thing is that about 90% of soy currently being produced in developed countries like the USA is genetically modified, containing pesticides and other bacteria that are not meant for consumption.

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If we are indeed what we eat, then by extension we should ensure that we give our livestock and poultry only healthy and natural feeds.

Back in 1999, the nonprofit organization Weston A. Price Foundation was co-founded by Geoffrey Morell. The foundation spends its efforts researching the best food source for farm animals. In 2009, Morell acquired a 95-acre property and turned it into present-day P.A. Bowen Farmstead..

The Dangers Of Using Antibiotics In Farms

Livestock are very much like people. The more antibiotics they receive in their system, the more resistant they become to drugs.

A number of disturbing facts have been discovered in farms throughout history. For example, strains that have become resistant to drugs could be passed not just from animal to animal, but also from humans to animals. These same diseases can also be transmitted to humans upon ingesting the meat or the milk of infected livestock. And the waste material excreted by infected livestock can also contaminate the environment.

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There have been studies showing that the antibiotics used in farms, and ultimately in food production, are roughly the same as the amount used in people. Sometimes, even more antibiotics are used in farms. In the United States, over 70 percent of the antibiotics used for people are also given to livestock.

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It has been projected that the use of antibiotics will continue to grow because of two factors: higher profits for Big Pharma and the ever-increasing world population (which translates to more people eating). It has been suggested that farmers switch to the managed intensive rotational grazing system, or the MIRG system, which requires less antibiotics.

Geoffrey Morell founded PA Bowen Farmstead. He shares with people the healthy way of eating, and with other farmers, a safer way of farming. Find out more about farming by checking out the official website.

The Advantages Of Installing An Apiary In The Farm

For centuries, beekeeping has been practiced by apiarists for its many benefits. Most of them do it for the produce, especially honey, which is also called liquid gold.

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Before sugar became today’s primary sweetener, honey held that distinction generations ago. Recently, as the negative effects of refined sugar have been coming to light, consumers have alternatively switched to honey as a sweetener. Even the byproducts of creating honey, such as beeswax, propolis, and royal jelly, have found use in the medicinal field.

But farmers have also used beekeeping because it provides an effective boost for their farms or gardens. Honeybees are one of the best pollinators because not only are they efficient in transferring pollens from one plant to another but they do not cause nuisance like other pollinators, such as carpenter bees or other insects.

Pollination is an essential process in raising vegetables and fruits because they allow the female reproductive organs of a plant to receive pollens from the male counterparts. Through this, fertilization and the whole reproductive process takes place, ensuring a bountiful farm or garden.

There are also plants that can self-pollinate but introducing honeybees to the ecosystem increase their production.

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Furthermore, beekeeping promotes and ensures an organic way of farming because pesticides that are commonly used in traditional farming harm bees, and other insects that pollinate, are eliminated.

Geoffrey Morell is part owner of the P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a farm that specializes in producing high-quality meat and dairy products by raising pasture-fed livestock. The farm also offers tours and classes, including a beginner’s beekeeping workshop. Visit this website for more information.