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Re: Natural Farming for a Living

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  • Lee
    Thanks for your reply Steven. I do understand what you mean when you say that other s will typically not consider a life of scarcity. Still, there are
    Message 1 of 92 , Jul 20, 2008
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      Thanks for your reply Steven. I do understand what you mean when you
      say that other's will typically not consider a life of scarcity.
      Still, there are benefits to not having a car. They are greatly
      explained in books on car free living, such as Chris Balish's
      book, "How to live well without owning a car" (not without using a
      car, per se). It is a matter of opinion, and the cliche of viewing
      the glass half full or half empty seems apropriate here.

      I have not yet firmly established what I consider appropriate
      technology for "my" life. I do lean in certain directions and have
      ideas, but having yet to find a mate makes it tougher for me to
      decide on "grey areas". Some ecological choices are easy, but some
      are tougher and have a widespread impact on one's life. Choices,
      choices, I'm stuck.

      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Steven Smith
      <twofriendsfarm@...> wrote:
      > We are Quaker and simplicity is one of our core values. But
      simplicity does not necessarily mean a life of scarcity. As we
      continue to perfect our farm we are working toward never having to
      start an engine, but making hay for winter forage and pushing snow in
      winter still require it. We follow Natural Farming principles--no
      tilling, no chemicals, no artificial soil amendments, no bare soil,
      planting mutually supportive polycultures--and always asking
      ourselves Fukuoka's question "how about not doing this or not doing
      that." From a Systems Thinking standpoint this means discovering
      what element has been removed from the natural system that is
      requiring my labor and attention to replace it, and finding a
      manageable way to reintroduce that natural element and eliminate my
      work. The particular practices of Natural Farming change with the
      geographic and ecological setting of course, but that is what makes
      it fun, discovering how to apply them to our
      > particular situation. But we earn a living. We will send our
      kids to college. We have phones, and a car, and wireless access. In
      fact my work has led me to believe that unless I can demonstrate to
      my neighbors that this is a life of abundance rather than one of
      scarcity they will be much less inclined to consider learning to
      steward the Earth in this way, and the urgency with which we need to
      teach more how to live this way increases daily.
      > Hey all, I would find it helpful if posters regularly indicated
      there location in their post. It helps me frame their queries and
      any suggestions I might be able to offer. Thanks
      > Steve Smith
      > Two Friends Farm
      > 2934 250th Street
      > Marshalltown, IA 50158
      > twofriendsfarm@...
      > 641-751-2851
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: Linda Shewan <linda_shewan@...>
      > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 5:44:18 PM
      > Subject: RE: [fukuoka_farming] Natural Farming for a Living
      > Hi Lee,
      > First up - I chose a man who can give me pretty much whatever we
      need in
      > terms of comfort - but he can't be happy with the simplicity I
      crave meaning
      > there is a constant 'gap' in our relationship. We are looking
      forward to the
      > future where we may meet - where he feels financially secure enough
      > simplify - isn't that concept strange... Trust me, find yourself a
      > that will be happy with, indeed craves, the simple life. Believe
      me, there
      > are some of us out there...
      > Don't try and go all out in one go, keep the laptop and keep
      > online with people like us. If you grow excess and sell at a local
      > you will also stay connected that way. It doesn't take a lot. I
      have started
      > making a pesto with native spinach that grows like a weed (perfect
      > natural farming) and my local connections are slowly but surely
      growing with
      > it. I am still in the money economy but by the time that collapses
      I feel
      > comfortable that I will have a lot more connections in the
      community to
      > support my family through it - AND I can pay the lease on the land
      this way!
      > This statement is heresy on this list but you may feel more
      > starting from a permaculture perspective. There is a large social
      network in
      > permaculture and it encompasses many of Natural Farmings ideals - no
      > chemicals, working with nature, using handtools instead of
      powertools -
      > subsistence living to a large extent. But it also acknowledges our
      > cultural environment and the need to 'Obtain a Yield' (one of the 12
      > principles of permaculture) so that you can survive in this world.
      For me,
      > the pesto is my yield, then as people are opened to the idea of
      using the
      > native spinach, just the leaves will be and then ... we'll see.
      > also shows lots of options for heating, cooling etc outside the
      usual realm
      > so there is a raft of self education you can do in the meantime. I
      > Toby Hemingway's book Gaia's Garden seems to be the preferred one
      in the US
      > as a starting point - it should be in the local library.
      > Go for your goal. I believe you need a social network and online
      may not be
      > enough. Search out the area you want to buy land in and see if you
      > connect with people in the community by attending farmers markets
      > similar events. Talk to the locals - you will then find out if the
      > suits you before spending all your money on the land.
      > Good luck and all the best, Linda
      > From: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com
      > [mailto:fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Lee
      > Sent: Wednesday, 16 July 2008 1:31 PM
      > To: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com
      > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Natural Farming for a Living
      > Back in 2004 I discovered organic farming. At that time the higher
      > prices payed for organic produce restored my childhood hope to farm
      > for a living. I then went on to discover various methods of farming
      > on small organic farms. As my knowledge progressed, I began to
      > desire to farm with less and less technology, or farm equipment.
      > My first plans were to farm with a small used tractor and used
      > implements. Then, in December of 2005 in an issue of American Small
      > Farm I read an article about how one man still farmed with horses.
      > He was also a professor, and explained the economics of horse
      > farming, and all of the numerous benefits. I was excited to
      > that it was still profitable and functional, especially since I had
      > background of breaking colts. I felt like I could combine my love
      > for horses with a passion for organic farming, and everything would
      > be wonderful.
      > Well, in the coming months I subsicribed to a journal and a
      > about farming with horses and oxen. I learned a bit more and was
      > further encouraged. Then, during the spring of 2006 while digging
      > the internet for more organic farming information I read about
      > permaculture and no till gardening. Also, that spring in an issue
      > Acres USA I seen one of Masanobu Fukuoka's books the One Straw
      > Revolution mentioned. The title of the book and a few words
      > describing it stayed on my memmory. In the spring of 2007 I
      > purchased the book. I was taken away by the wisdom in Fukuoka's
      > methods, and his devotion for being in harmony with nature. At that
      > point I changed my mind about wanting to farm with animals and till
      > up the land.
      > Since then I've been working an average of 60 hours a week in order
      > to save money to purchase farmland. In about a years time I have
      > managed to save thousands. Not hundreds of thousands, but tens of
      > thousands, thanks to a career opportunity in construction.
      > Nevertheless, this is certainly not a career that I want to spend
      > life in. I am still working towards my goal of farming for a living.
      > I do have some concerns though. My biggest concern is whether or
      > I will be able to earn a sufficient income to meet my needs. Now, I
      > am aware that a living a life of natural farming is more than just
      > farming techniques, but a way of life that is more natural and
      > simplified. I welcome the idea of further simplifying my life, and
      > I am interested in voluntary simplicity. I currently live debt
      > and TV free, but the rest of my life is that of a typical "tight"
      > spend-thrift american. The problem arises for me when I consider
      > fact that I would like to provide finacially for a spouse. I'm
      > currently single, and have no prospect, but I do worry about this.
      > also worry that I will not be able to find a spouse that would be
      > happy living a life of great simplicity.
      > I can see that living without electricity and living car-free would
      > drastically reduce my expenses, but what about transporting my
      > produce to the market? What about my social needs (though I'm a bit
      > of an introvert), and what about the desires of a potential spouse?
      > I'm beggining to question at this point whether or not I must
      > between a life of natural farming, and providing financially for a
      > life partner. Choosing to live off-the-grid is not tough for me,
      > choosing to live without solar panels, a laptop, a cell phone, and
      > fridge is tough for me. I know that I can do without these things
      > I must, but will I meet a woman in America that desires to live
      > a life? Then, there's living car-free, transporting produce, and so
      > on.
      > I guess that I'm asking for some direction, and a bit of
      > encouragement.
      > I also need some hands-on experience with natural forming before
      > able to even subsist on it?
      > Which brings up a good point. Should I only expect/desire to live
      > a subsitance level, and not trasport produce? I see the benefits in
      > living such a life, but I fear being lonely and disconnected from
      > relatives.
      > I've considered joining a commune in order to meet my social needs,
      > but I feel that I will be limited in the amount of choices that I
      > will be able to make concerning the layout of the farm, and so on.
      > Maybe I'm being a bit selfish in that respect, and should see that
      > some trade-off must exist in order to share my life with others.
      > Back to the hands-on experience. I do need to learn. I have some
      > knowledge about plants and the soil, and a bit of experience with
      > livestock, but when it comes to real natural farming, I do not have
      > any experience. Aside from my fears concerning financial issues, I
      > know that I do not "yet" have enough knowledge and experience to
      > natural farm at even a subsistence level with any certainty.
      > Any advice would be much appreciated, even though some of my
      > questions go beyond the realm of natural farming in some ways.
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • grannis04
      -No, the chicken layer pellets are poultry feed for laying hens. It is grain based feed but if you want complete ingredients maybe check the label on the bag
      Message 92 of 92 , Jun 22, 2009
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        -No, the chicken layer pellets are poultry feed for laying hens. It is grain based feed but if you want complete ingredients maybe check the label on the bag at your feed store. Steve G.

        fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, yarrow@... wrote:
        > So are chicken layer pellets similar to Sluggo (iron phosphate
        > pellets), which is sold as a nontoxic (to pets and wildlife) snail
        > and slug remedy at about $5-10 (est.) a pound in the U.S.? What's in
        > them? Do birds eat them, or do you need to hide them (as with Sluggo)?
        > At 11:00 PM +0000 6/22/09, grannis04 wrote:
        > ---Micheal, I don't know what a chicken later pellet would be but
        > chicken layer pellets are fed to laying hens. This really works and
        > is very inexpensive. A 50lbs. bag is about $12.00 here. Good luck,
        > Steve G.
        > >
        > >
        > > Steve, what is a chicken later pellet?
        > > Michael
        > >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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