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Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

The next generation of driversWe are getting ready to plant our oats, hay and corn. Our John Deere two-cylinder tractors get all their fluids changed and tuned-up for spring planting. Preparing the soil for planting is the hardest work they have to do during the year. Notice our next generation of farm workers.
We are going to Albert Lea Seed House in Minnesota to pick up our seed today. Later this month we will be applying mineralized organic fertilizer from Midwestern Bio-Ag.
Visitors petting a 2 day old lambSeveral visitors have come to see and hold our new lambs. Lambing is finally over at RavencroftFarm. We had nineteen healthy lambs this year.

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We have returned from the 20th Annual Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, WI. Pam and I split up so we could attend as many workshop sessions as possible. As always there were great speakers, great food and many interesting people with whom to share experiences.

Cleaning Oats with the Fanning MillI attended several workshops on extending the grazing season. These farmers certainly know what they are doing. They are careful to balance the animals’ nutrient needs with the pasture. One of the farmers raises his animals on grass alone, with no grain ever, as we do. Another one relies primarily on ‘out-wintering’ – a practice of leaving the cows out on a pasture all winter and feeding them hay spread throughout the pasture area. This adds fertility to his fields. It is amazing what this can do for the soil!

Pam attended a session on roots in which she enjoyed and learned much.

One of the Keynote Speakers, Dr. Alan Greene, was a must-hear presentation. He cited recent research about the dangers of conventional agriculture because of the lack of nutrition and use of pesticides and herbicides. These practices are literally killing people. After hearing his talk, I don’t want to eat anything but natural, organic food.

We always pickup new ideas to try on our farm after attending a conference like this one. We plan to do more green manure crops and even try turnips and oats in our fall pastures. We also plan to foliar-feed our orchards with a product that uses natural, water soluble sea mineral solids containing the full spectrum of minerals and trace elements.

Bee Hives with Winter WrapThe winter rest is about over now with the longer days and activity is beginning to ramp up on the farm. We recently ordered our new bee packages and are in the process of cleaning oats in our antique fanning mill for spring planting. In a little over a week, our baby lambs should start appearing.

Even though there is still more snow predicted, spring is right around the corner.

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