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Old 10-13-2009, 04:06 PM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
19,556 posts, read 19,540,002 times
Reputation: 2499

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
I think I know what you mean on this, and to a degree I think more people that can provide for themselves should. I think its absolutely a waste of land to see 3 acres of lawn and not a single livestock animal, beehive, or garden on the place. I mean a neighbor can feed 400 people on the 4 acre garden he has. That's amazing.
It is a VERY strange way of thinking I agree...to want all that grass that you then have to cut...I dislike lawns quite a bit,if you plant something it should serve a purpose.

Quote:
But that is just feeding oneself...a noble gesture perhaps, but we need cities as much as we need farms. And its the people in the cities that deserve quality food just as bad as as we do. FBK and I are lucky, we have the highest access to organic food in the country. Yeah for us, but if we are going to curb diabetes and overweight people, we must get inexpensive food to them too.
Well I have decided if people aren't smart enough to figure things out,that is their problem...I have no need for cities.








Quote:
You kind of have that backwards. They are so slow, that by the time they react, the market has corrected itself. The Government wants cheap food and the farmer takes the hit.
Then perhaps there should be no government involvement,let the situation resolve itself.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:03 PM
 
1,340 posts, read 2,516,469 times
Reputation: 760
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
Prejudiced, much? (It doesn't have to be a prejudice against a politically incorrect to be prejudiced against group to still be prejudice, you know.) Funny how it's somehow "okay" to be a raging bigot about Texas these days while still thinking that you have an open mind. It's darned unattractive when someone does that, whether they be Conservative OR Liberal (or neither, for that matter).

In point of fact, the ag exemptions serve the farmers first, and with the wildlife ag, serve the environment.

We still pay taxes on our homestead which is NOT taxed at ag (though we get the same homestead exemption that everyone else who owns the house they live in gets no matter where the house is.

You might want to educate yourself on what actually goes on in "right-wingnut Texas" before speaking about it. You might find yourself quite surprised.
Used to live there, was being charitable.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,146 posts, read 50,304,308 times
Reputation: 19849
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
You are right FBK, but you must realize that at that time, there was little place else to go. After 1849 the west was opened up and people started headed that way in droves.
My kin parents and grandparents were 'Okies', they had been farming in Oklahoma and Missouri since the 1790s, and had finally 'played-out' the soil with the dust-bowl. Before moving West to farm in California.



Quote:
... Its a sad state of affairs. In the very near future (with free health care on the way) people will no longer have access to quality food like you and I still do. But if CT is any indication, where they have driven out farmers and instead grew houses, Maine is in deep poo. We could reverse it now, and we got to, or we will all be eating food from Chile.
And on this forum we have read opinions of folks who want 'progressive' growth and to make all of Maine urban.



Quote:
... In fact My great grandfather had a store where commodities were traded on "bushels of oats" and his grandson, a teacher was paid an annual salary via oats. Oats were a true currency.
That sounds like how how grandmother was paid for teaching in Missouri.

Which is also odd, I have been told here that Federal tax money has been used to pay salaries of school teachers since the formation of our nation. Which is completely in disagreement with what my grandparents told me.

So strong do folks on CD seem to hold that belief that my I have been accused of dishonesty.

Your ancestors were also paid for teaching via produce and not tax money.

Curious, that your ancestors agree with mine.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,146 posts, read 50,304,308 times
Reputation: 19849
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
I think I know what you mean on this, and to a degree I think more people that can provide for themselves should. I think its absolutely a waste of land to see 3 acres of lawn and not a single livestock animal, beehive, or garden on the place. I mean a neighbor can feed 400 people on the 4 acre garden he has. That's amazing.
I agree.



Quote:
... But that is just feeding oneself ... a noble gesture perhaps, but we need cities as much as we need farms. And its the people in the cities that deserve quality food just as bad as as we do. FBK and I are lucky, we have the highest access to organic food in the country. Yeah for us, but if we are going to curb diabetes and overweight people, we must get inexpensive food to them too.

Pay the farmer ... or pay the Dr. That is why I am so adament about Obama's misguided health care plan...it only encourages people to seek more Dr's rather then buying good food.
I disagree about us needing cities.

However I agree with the rest of it.

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Old 10-13-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Jefferson County
380 posts, read 1,013,059 times
Reputation: 103
Yep, the fall of a nation; Big Cities, Big Farms, Big Government.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:40 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,157,766 times
Reputation: 1506
If we didn't have cities, then we would be more crowded then we are now. I really don't want that.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:29 PM
 
Location: tampa, florida
19 posts, read 36,132 times
Reputation: 27
i just read the whole thread, and decided to bump.

i'm part of the second back to the land movement. amateur homesteaders. the reason we experiment and give up after 8 years is that we have no freaking clue what we are doing, honestly. we were born in the cities and suburbs, where all the teachings are counter to the lessons and way of life as a farmer. thats why you see houses in the middle of a field, or a small field with a few sheep or goats as a hobby. it's true that many forces within the real estate industry are trying to push the idealistic vision of life out in the country, and retirees may not be interested at all in the hard work. they sat at a desk for years, they're totally unaccustomed to it.

i read somewhere on the florida forums about a husband and wife that tried picking their citrus after they grew their own orchard. after 1/3 of an acre they gave up and hired illegals.

there are differences in cultures yes, but not irreconcilable ones. some just want to live a leisurely lifestyle for the remainder of their years. they worked hard their whole lives in white collar jobs; its a different kind of hard work. you may have less pity for the young types like me who are in their 20s or 30s and come to the woods. you know what? we get our info from books and internet forums like this one! why not be a good neighbor and come down and exchange ideas. tell them your wisdom if they're willing to listen.

if not, they will be willing to listen when things don't go as planned. the biggest problems i already know are culture shock of adapting to a new lifestyle, the hard work and discipline, and the money. always with the money and trying to come out with a profit. i don't plan to make a profit directly off the land. in my opinion from research i have done, traditinal ranching of cattle, goats, and sheep, or growing vegetables and fruit will never pay the bills on your 5-20 acres. that should be obvious.

as much as the traditional farmers innovate their methods to attain near perfect efficiency, organic farmers try to innovate their own ways to turn a profit and enjoy themselves while doing it. i realize homesteaders should prepare for a sudden and dramatic need to shift direction when crap hits the fan. but i think both groups can learn from each other. leave any arrogance back in the city.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:19 PM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,157,766 times
Reputation: 1506
You bring a valid point to the discussion for sure, and it is certainly something I feel empathy for in regards to the new person starting out. Good information is so hard to find today.

I've been headlong into sheep now for 2 years myself and I am just starting to see the fruits of my labor in making contacts with people. Its actually taken me that long to figure out who really knows what they talking about and who can really help. There are a lot of people that really want to help farmers out, but very few that actually do.

We have a local Cooperative Extension worker here who is great with beginner farmers, but with experienced farmers like myself, he just falls apart. It took me awhile to figure him out, but he is one of those people that can talk a lot, but gets intimidated around people that really know what they are doing. Its a kind of "you can BS the fans, but you cannot BS the players", sort of deal. On a few occassions I have had to set him right and say, "that just isn't right Rick". I really do fear some of the mis-truths he is spreading out there.

Another person was our "livestock expert". Despite having sheep herself, she was suggesting giving sheep cow grain that is laden with copper additives...copper will kill a sheep very easily while cows need it. She had not heard of probiotics either and claimed Johnnies could not cross between sheep and cows, which it can. These are some seriously scary things that a "livestock expert" should really know about.

Its pretty scary what new people are told, and while its hard for me to sit by and let people make all kinds of rookie mistakes, I also know its those mistakes that really teach you how to farm. I have jokingly said I got a college degree in farming since from being around three working dairy farms. With so many people coming and going, and so many different takes on farming, I get a well rounded education and experience on farming.

I have read some great books, but one mistake I often find younger people make when starting out is going for the "breed of the Year", whether it be sheep, goats or cows. Or taking every word these authors say and running with it. The problem is, a farm is so site specific, what works one place might not work in another. When you get a little experience, you can pick and choose different ideas and mold them to make your farm work. Using a cookie cutter approach to farming is a recipe for failure.

1. If you are doing what so many others are doing, its no longer novel and no nich market there. You will have to run with an effeciency of scale, and that is hard to do just starting out

2. Many ideas are site specific as mentioned before.

3. Many of the people who suggest this stuff are making more money writing books and magazine articles then actually farming. Sometimes I don't really think they realize this, but their ideas are not so much effective, but are instead just new ideas not in print

I have had a few beginning farmers look at my farm plan and want to copy it. It would never work though because farm planning is not a writing exercise, its pretty much organizing your thoughts and planning out your farm. You create a good farm plan by thinking all the litle details through.

Myself I think you are off to a good start though. You seem to realize a lot of good stuff and you mention forums. I think its a great medium because it comes from people that are doing. I write what I do everyday instead of writing for money like an author of a book or magazine article does. As one person told Hobby Farms Mag, "the truly serious go to your forum to get the truth rather then read the happy manure you put out in your magazine". I think there is some truth in that.

Either way, its tough to get good information on farming in my opinion. Good luck to you though!
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:54 PM
 
Location: tampa, florida
19 posts, read 36,132 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
You bring a valid point to the discussion for sure, and it is certainly something I feel empathy for in regards to the new person starting out. Good information is so hard to find today.

I've been headlong into sheep now for 2 years myself and I am just starting to see the fruits of my labor in making contacts with people. Its actually taken me that long to figure out who really knows what they talking about and who can really help. There are a lot of people that really want to help farmers out, but very few that actually do.

We have a local Cooperative Extension worker here who is great with beginner farmers, but with experienced farmers like myself, he just falls apart. It took me awhile to figure him out, but he is one of those people that can talk a lot, but gets intimidated around people that really know what they are doing. Its a kind of "you can BS the fans, but you cannot BS the players", sort of deal. On a few occassions I have had to set him right and say, "that just isn't right Rick". I really do fear some of the mis-truths he is spreading out there.

Another person was our "livestock expert". Despite having sheep herself, she was suggesting giving sheep cow grain that is laden with copper additives...copper will kill a sheep very easily while cows need it. She had not heard of probiotics either and claimed Johnnies could not cross between sheep and cows, which it can. These are some seriously scary things that a "livestock expert" should really know about.

Its pretty scary what new people are told, and while its hard for me to sit by and let people make all kinds of rookie mistakes, I also know its those mistakes that really teach you how to farm. I have jokingly said I got a college degree in farming since from being around three working dairy farms. With so many people coming and going, and so many different takes on farming, I get a well rounded education and experience on farming.

I have read some great books, but one mistake I often find younger people make when starting out is going for the "breed of the Year", whether it be sheep, goats or cows. Or taking every word these authors say and running with it. The problem is, a farm is so site specific, what works one place might not work in another. When you get a little experience, you can pick and choose different ideas and mold them to make your farm work. Using a cookie cutter approach to farming is a recipe for failure.

1. If you are doing what so many others are doing, its no longer novel and no nich market there. You will have to run with an effeciency of scale, and that is hard to do just starting out

2. Many ideas are site specific as mentioned before.

3. Many of the people who suggest this stuff are making more money writing books and magazine articles then actually farming. Sometimes I don't really think they realize this, but their ideas are not so much effective, but are instead just new ideas not in print

I have had a few beginning farmers look at my farm plan and want to copy it. It would never work though because farm planning is not a writing exercise, its pretty much organizing your thoughts and planning out your farm. You create a good farm plan by thinking all the litle details through.

Myself I think you are off to a good start though. You seem to realize a lot of good stuff and you mention forums. I think its a great medium because it comes from people that are doing. I write what I do everyday instead of writing for money like an author of a book or magazine article does. As one person told Hobby Farms Mag, "the truly serious go to your forum to get the truth rather then read the happy manure you put out in your magazine". I think there is some truth in that.

Either way, its tough to get good information on farming in my opinion. Good luck to you though!
the lack of information for an industry that is supposedly dead, or underground in the united states is truly what perpetuates the amateur homesteader stereotypes. i can sympathize with you when they come and tell you how to farm, when their ideas are unproven. like you said, a cookie cutter approach won't work and you have to come up with a plan for the soil and climate conditions particular to your own land. so how exactly is one to do that when they know next to nothing to begin with? that's where we need help. surely there's a general set of guidelines that could help.
for example, i have 10 acres in western main that is almost on the peak of a mountain foothill. it hasn't been tilled in years and the oldest trees are at least 40 years old. there are parts that are in excess of a 60 degree angle that goes down hundreds of feet. sure the climate is similar to the rest of maine, and the soil is the typical acidic sort that produces mostly pine trees, but there is solid rock less than 20 feet down. a unique approach would be needed.
trial and error may be a big part of it, but from what i understand it's considered socially acceptable for neighbors to come and help in a time of need. for example, if unsure what breed of dairy goat to bring in, i would try different breeds at the same time in pasture based on what is said to be appropriate for the climate. i wouldn't just bring in the "breed of the year" or try any fad. this is one of the oldest professions after all, and there are endless improvements to the tools, implements, animals, construction, and all other relevant technologies over the years. so when i would try various breeds, there will be some animals in the herd that will have to be culled, and others that get sick, so i guess you just have to learn from it.
if you are alluding that some information in credible books, particularly agricultural ones found in a library, are not always factual, that is very disturbing. can homesteaders only believe word straight from the farmer's mouth? or are most books basically accurate?
farming by example used to be a natural thing passed down in families. now anyone new to it has to learn from seemingly arcane sources. i've even read books written before the 1940s, before everything started to revolve around pesticides and mass production.

it is up to the experienced farmers like you to keep homesteaders from going astray. if it seems like they are "wasting" land it's because they don't know how to use it properly. if you stay open-minded to our ideas that blend cutting-edge technology with centuries old agricultral principles, we'll stay open minded to your principles that have stood the test of time.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:15 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,681,328 times
Reputation: 8170
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
You bring a valid point to the discussion for sure, and it is certainly something I feel empathy for in regards to the new person starting out. Good information is so hard to find today.

I've been headlong into sheep now for 2 years myself and I am just starting to see the fruits of my labor in making contacts with people. Its actually taken me that long to figure out who really knows what they talking about and who can really help. There are a lot of people that really want to help farmers out, but very few that actually do.

We have a local Cooperative Extension worker here who is great with beginner farmers, but with experienced farmers like myself, he just falls apart. It took me awhile to figure him out, but he is one of those people that can talk a lot, but gets intimidated around people that really know what they are doing. Its a kind of "you can BS the fans, but you cannot BS the players", sort of deal. On a few occassions I have had to set him right and say, "that just isn't right Rick". I really do fear some of the mis-truths he is spreading out there.

Another person was our "livestock expert". Despite having sheep herself, she was suggesting giving sheep cow grain that is laden with copper additives...copper will kill a sheep very easily while cows need it. She had not heard of probiotics either and claimed Johnnies could not cross between sheep and cows, which it can. These are some seriously scary things that a "livestock expert" should really know about.

Its pretty scary what new people are told, and while its hard for me to sit by and let people make all kinds of rookie mistakes, I also know its those mistakes that really teach you how to farm. I have jokingly said I got a college degree in farming since from being around three working dairy farms. With so many people coming and going, and so many different takes on farming, I get a well rounded education and experience on farming.

I have read some great books, but one mistake I often find younger people make when starting out is going for the "breed of the Year", whether it be sheep, goats or cows. Or taking every word these authors say and running with it. The problem is, a farm is so site specific, what works one place might not work in another. When you get a little experience, you can pick and choose different ideas and mold them to make your farm work. Using a cookie cutter approach to farming is a recipe for failure.

1. If you are doing what so many others are doing, its no longer novel and no nich market there. You will have to run with an effeciency of scale, and that is hard to do just starting out

2. Many ideas are site specific as mentioned before.

3. Many of the people who suggest this stuff are making more money writing books and magazine articles then actually farming. Sometimes I don't really think they realize this, but their ideas are not so much effective, but are instead just new ideas not in print

I have had a few beginning farmers look at my farm plan and want to copy it. It would never work though because farm planning is not a writing exercise, its pretty much organizing your thoughts and planning out your farm. You create a good farm plan by thinking all the litle details through.

Myself I think you are off to a good start though. You seem to realize a lot of good stuff and you mention forums. I think its a great medium because it comes from people that are doing. I write what I do everyday instead of writing for money like an author of a book or magazine article does. As one person told Hobby Farms Mag, "the truly serious go to your forum to get the truth rather then read the happy manure you put out in your magazine". I think there is some truth in that.

Either way, its tough to get good information on farming in my opinion. Good luck to you though!
good post ( especially #3 )

Another bit of advice I would give is to ask the person advising you what he has tried that didn't work, why he tried it, and when he decided to change it.

Answers to those 3 questions will tell you a lot about a person's integrity and character.

I would never take advice from someone who had no integrity or character.
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