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Tagged "2012-1"


The Young and the Revered

"We need more young people farming". I hear you Palmerino!

Since starting down the path of farming my reading materials have transitioned from finance and Wall St Journal-related to substantially all farming-related. It even goes so far as to subscribing to multiple monthly magazines. I’m not talking ad-laden, glossy covered, highly-edited mags like Garden and Gun, I’m talking about old school, gray paper, stapled-together magazines like Stockman Grass Farmer and Graze Magazine. Nothing like reading a good A.I. vs. natural debate on the train to work...
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Oh, Paula...

I'm a Vermonter.

Although I haven't spent my whole life there, it's how I identify myself. I love sugar on snow with pickles and say "water"  as if there was an o instead of an a. Before meeting Scrapple, I'd only been to the south for several weeks as a kid when my Dad lived in a suburb of Atlanta. There was also the time we drove down to my Grandpa's in Virginia to pick up my horse, Spunky. My little brother and I were enthralled with the accent and just how different people and places could be just a day's drive away. We spent the whole ride home driving my parents crazy by trying to imitate the twang and holding signs up to the window whenever a car passed us, "Yankees RAT here!".  

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Working WITH the Land

"Hell yeah I eat small trees, what about it?"
There’s a few things we’ve chosen to emphasize with our farming model, one of which is to work WITH the land, not against it. Among the multitude of problems we see with so-called “conventional” or “industrial” ag is the unsustainable approach of forcing human technology and infrastructure on mother nature simply because we can and because it’s cheaper and “more efficient” in the short-run. Early memories of dirt feedlots full of cattle eating corn in the deserts of New Mexico come to mind. Those farmers work hard and that’s the way the American milk industry has trended, so I don’t blame them, but that approach just doesn’t make sense to us. So with each decision we not only ask ourselves what it means for the animals, but also for the land.
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Rabbits on Pasture or in a Hoop House?

Rabbit photos courtesy of Stone & Thistle Farm and Allsun Farm

While we were down in Tennessee last weekend we popped by a few local food retailers to say hi and chat about Little Seed's plans and the potential for future business relationships. We were consistently asked if we could supply rabbits. Rabbits are something we're interested in, but it's a subject on which we've gone back and forth. For one, our vision for Little Seed involves all of the animals spending time outside, eating natural forages that they harvest themselves. In the case of rabbits we have plans for a portable unit with an open floor that would allow the doe and its kits to munch on the grass and plants below. In front of our house we have a long tract of land with fertile soil where we could easily plant a variety of crops for the rabbits to munch on and we could move their hutches up and down the land similar to what you'd see in a chicken tractor operation. It sounds great, but there's a few problems when it comes to rabbits.

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Companion Planting - Cultivate Some Leafy Love

It seems that in almost every farmer's book or blog there's a good page or two devoted to waxing romantic about getting cosy with their favorite seed catalogs during the downtime of the winter months. Late this fall, I eagerly awaited the arrival of the three that I had signed up for, ready to join the club and experience this supposedly blissful experience first hand. Sadly, after weeks of waiting it appeared that they would not be coming (maybe because our current address is a P.O. box?). Luckily the three companies that we had wanted to buy from also have online catalogs. For the past few nights we've been getting cozy...with the laptop. Although slightly less romantic, it does the trick! We started with bush beans for drying and within moments I was hooked. Transported from our tiny bedroom in Brooklyn to our farm in early summer, we imagined our first full blown garden as we planned what it would hopefully bear.  I have a feeling that in our excitement we may have gone a teensy bit overboard. We tried to stay on the conservative side but also let ourselves play a bit with variety (as in: we eat lots of carrots so we went with an early season variety as well as the fun rainbow variety I couldn't resist for later in the season). 
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