Posts Tagged organic farming

6 Rules of Biological Farming

Today I actually found the time to read. Gardening for Profit is buried somewhere in the moving boxes, but I did manage to bring along my copy of The Biological Farmer. I’ll finish posting notes for Gardening for Profit when I get back to Oregon, but now seems like a good time to start sharing what I’m learning from Gary Zimmer.

This author runs a sustainable agriculture consulting firm in the upper Midwest and this book was originally intended to be a primer for consultants-in-training. He also owns and operates a 500-acre organic crop and dairy farm, and manages a 240-acre livestock and crop demonstration farm. It sounds like he’s heavily influenced by Albrecht, so I’m using this book as an introduction to soil-focused agriculture.

Some of the information isn’t new to me, since I studied environmental science and ecology in school. My eyes didn’t perk up till chapter 2, when he described 6 rules essential to biological farming. By “biological” farming, he means farming to maximize productivity and profits over time by understanding and working with biological processes (whereas conventional practices focus on maximum productivity and profits ASAP, and don’t give a @#$% about biological processes). He goes a step further and describes his criteria for sustainable agriculture, which can be achieved by practicing biological agriculture properly and in the long run: zero soil loss, nutrient balance, and 25 earthworms per cubic foot of soil.

So here are the 6 basic rules essential to biological farming: Read the rest of this entry »

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Newsletter and Photo Album

I churned out another newsletter for my loyal subscribers (the coolest 73 people on Earth) and put together another goodie–a photo album of my farming adventures over the past year. The pictures are broken down by category. I must warn you, however, that these pictures are NOT representative of how smoothly things went this season. Since morale was a little low, we kind of neglected taking pictures of the weeds, the crop failures, and the exploded hoophouse–well actually, I think we do have some pictures of the wreck that was once a hoophouse. Those will be put up soon. Until then, just assume you’re only seeing the “bright side” of farming. It’s much more aggravating than it looks. But it’s still my favorite thing in the world (next to ice cream). Here are the highlights…

Prepping – Tilling, weeding, tomato cages, and the biggest tumbleweed you’ll ever see.

BIG tumbleweed

Planting – Seeds, transplants, tunnels, and me fiddling with an Earthway seeder: Read the rest of this entry »

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