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Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

This is a great time of year to be planting new grass. To give our livestock the best forage possible, we contacted Cliff Taylor, of Taylor Made Seeds and he suggested a great organic mix that will green up quickly and will be ready for grazing within six weeks. He was also kind enough to loan us his “no-till” seed drill. This enables us to plant the seed with minimum impact to the soil and the living organisms in the soil, which are responsible for breaking down old plant material and manure into soil organic matter and humus.

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Soaking up Advice

I had a really nice visit today from Chad Cochrane, our local District Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. We took a walk in the pouring rain and talked about all our conservation concerns (fencing off a seasonal stream, controlling erosion on a hillside, dealing with soil impact in high use areas, etc.). Chad had some great advice, including which projects might be eligible for funding under the EQUIP program of the 2008 Farm Bill. Whether or not we get the funding, Chad is a great example of what I  wish the government could always be: efficient, highly competent, and really out to help us.

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I just unloaded the last of the hay we’ll need for the winter. This is certified organic hay from Kori Stay of Richville, New York. Not great for our carbon footprint this year, but considering all factors including price and quality, Kori has the best product for us. Eventually, our management system should improve our own pastures enough to let us graze directly through most of the winter, reducing our costs, our use of hay and of fossil fuels.

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Times OP-ED

cow_planetInteresting OP-ED piece in the New York Times yesterday. The cows-are-worse-than-cars proposition has really caught fire because it appeals both to vegetarians and to conservatives. I am biased, of course. I think the author of the piece did not emphasize strongly enough how much damage to the planet is done by tilling the soil. Mob-grazing cows on pasture is the fastest, lowest cost, earth-friendliest way to undo the damage. The meat produced is just a bonus.

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