Sold The Farm

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Sold The Farm

Last year I registered my bee operation with the USDA. That made my 1/3 acre in town a small farm. Literally living the Urban Farm Lifestyle.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 


Sold The Farm – Urban Farm Lifestyle

by David Proctor


 July 18, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


I have sold my home as part of my downsizing and also do to the traveling I will be doing this next year.
I was hoping that I would be able to expand this year and finally get chickens, but that was not to be, at least for now.

 

Horizontal Hives - 14 Frames

Horizontal Hives – 14 Frames Per Box

I have been looking at acreage in different areas and hope that after a brief stint of work and travel, I can settle down to a location that will allow me to graze cattle.

Having cattle on land is one of the best things that can be done for the land, as long as they are managed and moved daily.

I am looking at trying to find land that I can lease and manage a heifer operation.  This would also give me a chance to have my chickens, hogs, sheep, goats, bees, worms, and whatever else will fit on the land.

In the meantime, I had to get rid of my bees.  I started this year with two horizontal hives. One hive left and went into a Warre Hive that I had vacant by the house.

Me In Bee Suit

Me In Bee Suit

Thurman And I Preparing The Hive To Move

Thurman And I Preparing The Hive To Move

Steep Hill

Steep Hill

That hive populated and split then went to another vacant Warre hive.

Warre Hive

Warre Hive With Bees On the Outside Just Hanging Out

Smoking Bees

Smoking Bees Back In

I hated to see the bees go, but it was hard trying to imagine having four hives with at least 100,000 bees in a minivan, going down the road and nothing not happening that would probably be regrettable in the future. All it takes is one bee buzzing around your head to have problems while driving.

Thurman Burnley from Burnley Farm Apiary came and got the bees from me so they could have a new home.

Burnley Farm Apiary

Burnley Farm Apiary (Who I bought The Bees From)

Now what to do with the cat?

I have not missed a Thursday publication in over four years now. I hope everyone that opens their email that has my inbox magazine has enjoyed the articles.

I am trying to figure out if this is an ending article or just a change. I will keep you posted.


Check It Out!

 

Black Baldy

Black Baldy


Quick Tip

 

When moving bees wait till evening so they are back at the hive and not our foraging.

 


Bibliography: N/A




 

Posted in Animal Husbandry, Apiary, Chickens, Magazine Issues Tagged with:

EcoAgriculture

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Polyface Farm

The farm of the future may not look like what we are used to seeing today. But it would look very familiar to our grandparents.  The Polyface Farm.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


EcoAgriculture – Polyface Farm

by David Proctor


 July 11, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


From a very early age, I always wanted to farm. The problem was if you have the money that it takes to farm, why would you farm.

Almost every farmer is up to his eyeballs in debt, just trying to make a living and never seems to be able to get ahead.  With all the expenses that it takes to buy equipment, buy seed, plant and fertilize the crops, veterinary bills, medications for livestock-  there is just no getting ahead.

The only solution is to specialize and produce more. More cattle, more chickens, more hogs, more land for more row crops, more everything.  But who really gets ahead? Is it the business that sells the equipment, that sells the seed, that sells the fertilizer, the Sell Barn that buys the cattle, hogs, etc.  The farmer is the only entrepreneur that “buys at retail and sells at wholesale.”

I wanted to see a farm that is truly successful, that is not up to their eyeballs in debt, produces diversity in food, and is producing healthy food. I saw that farm today, The Polyface Farm that is run by the Salatin family in Swoop Virginia.

 

Driveway To Polyface Farm

Driveway To Polyface Farm

I was amazed when I got out of the car, the farm had animals, I could hear them, I could see them but I didn’t smell them.  What was going on here, how can this be?

Hogs

Hogs

Happy Pigs

Happy Pigs

 I can remember when I took a motorcycle trip from Missouri to Minnesota.  I rode through Iowa, I couldn’t believe the smell, it was terrible. And here, this farm had hogs and I couldn’t smell them.  What was being done differently?  Everything is the answer to that question.

As an urban farmer, I wanted to see what ideas I could bring back.  I can’t have cattle, hogs, or sheep, but I can have up to four chickens. So, I decided to see how they raised their chickens. 

They do not keep their chickens in little cages or cubicles, they are able to move around, and have plenty of fresh air and grass to eat.  Some are kept in what is called a chicken tractor.

Movable Chicken Cages For Broilers

Movable Chicken Cages For Broilers

Chicken Tractors - Laying Chickens

Chicken Tractors – Laying Chickens

The chickens run around and eat bugs and grass, then are loaded back up in their movable home to the next location. Others are kept in a caged area that is moved by pulling a wire rope and the whole cage is moved along with the chickens to fresh grass.  The difference in the accommodations is for laying hens and broilers.

Where I live, a chicken tractor would not be applicable, but the movable cages might be something to try. The chickens would be protected from predators and have coverage, then in the evening could be brought into a chicken house.

Movable Chicken Cage

Movable Chicken Cage

I also saw where they have rabbits and the chickens run around under the rabbit cages. Some of the rabbits were out in a grassy area that allowed them to eat the green grass and still be protected. The difference here is what the rabbits are being used for, for meat or producing young.

Rabbits Grazing

Rabbits Grazing

Each of the locations that had animals was set up for a specific reason. Some locations were set up to accommodate the different age groups of the animals, whether it be little chicks, or chickens laying eggs or chickens to eat. While others were playing their role to help in the symbiotic relationship with the other animals. These different but important roles of the animals are what makes this farm unique compared to conventional farming.

Rabbit Cages With Chickens Underneath

Rabbit Cages With Chickens Underneath

A Sheep With A Watch Dog

A Sheep With A Watch Dog

The farm of the future is the old McDonald farm with a few different twists. I know you’re thinking that can’t be. There is no scale to that type of farm, no specialization, no way you could make a living. I saw differently today. 

This family is not only making a very good living but a healthy living, without chemical, pesticides, herbicides, and all the other “cides” that go along with conventional farming.  I hope to learn and practice these techniques on a small scale and hopefully try them on a little larger but maintainable scale.

Farming Operations

Farming Operations

Polyface Farm

Polyface Farm

The Polyface Farm, if you would like to read more about their methods go to http://www.polyfacefarms.com/ where you will find books and seminars about what they are doing.  Joe Salatin has written several, books and is a well-known speaker on the subject of agriculture.


Check It Out!

 

I have really enjoyed this book, you may too.
 
YOU CAN FARM | THE ENTREPRENEUR’S GUIDE 
TO START AND SUCCEED IN A FARMING ENTERPRISE
by Joel Salatin


Quick Tip

 

Once you stop using herbicides and pesticides, you are organic!

We are not here to conquer nature but to work with nature.


Bibliography: N/A




 

Posted in Animal Husbandry, Chickens, Health, Magazine Issues Tagged with: ,

Healthier On The Fourth

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Healthier On The Fourth

Today’s issue will cover four foods that are enjoyed on the Fourth of July that can be made healthier.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Healthier On The Fourth

by Carolyn Proctor (2015)


 July 4, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


This was originally run as volume 1 issue 3.

 

Flag

 

Potato Salad:

This yummy side is often loaded with sodium and fat. Making a few simple adjustments to your recipe can reap a much healthier product.

Using low-fat mayonnaise can reduce the amount of fat, but ensure that the reduction in fat is not due to an increase in sugar.

It is commonly thought that taking out the egg yolks will reduce the cholesterol, but not only does the yolk add great flavor, it also supplies many nutrients: iron, choline, potassium, phosphorous, and vitamin A.

When it comes to the potato, leave as much skin on as you can because the outer layer is filled with nutrients and will add more texture to your salad.

Also, when adding the dressing, make sure the spuds are still warm because they will absorb more of the flavor opposed to when they have cooled, which leads to needing less.

If you want to try an entirely new healthy potato salad recipe, consider this one:

 

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

 

Ingredients
Makes 6 servings
4 medium potatoes (about 1 1/3 pounds)
2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
1/2 green sweet pepper, chopped (1/3 cup)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 hard-cooked egg, coarsely chopped
Directions
1. Clean potatoes and slice into 1-inch cubes, leaving skin on. In a covered saucepan, add enough water to cover the potatoes entirely and boil for 20-25 minutes or until tender; drain.

2. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, celery, green pepper, onion, mustard, vinegar, salt, and black pepper.

3. Add potatoes and egg to the mixture and toss gently until mixed. Cover and alow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (or up to 24).

Baked Beans:
Another side full of sugar, sodium, and additives- baked beans are often a very unhealthy addition to your plate. Beans alone are a good source of fiber, but when they are canned and drowned in sauced, many of the nutritious benefits are overshadowed.

The best way to avoid unhealthy baked beans is to look closely at the label and avoid the brands high in sugar and sodium, or better yet, make them homemade.

For healthy baked beans, try this recipe:

Ingredients
1/2 lb pinto or white beans, soaked overnight in water
1 can “no salt added” tomato sauce
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce
1 3/4 cup water or vegetable broth
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp molasses (blackstrap or regular)
4 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Directions
Drain and rinse the soaked beans.

Lightly grease the crockpot and combine all ingredients. Cover with the lid, and cook on high 7 hours or until beans are soft.

Turn off the crockpot and with the lid on; allow beans to sit for an hour. Serve or keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.

 

Baked Beans

Baked Beans

Hot Dogs:
This all-American favorite may be delicious, but it is certainly not nutritious.

It is often unclear what meat is in most hot dog brands. The best way to beef up the health of your hot dog is by really reading the label (see last week’s article).

Look for uncured all beef hot dogs, with the best of the best being links that are organic grass fed beef.

Watch out for a few common hot dog brands- Ball Park beef franks are listed among the worst choice because they are loaded with 550 mg of sodium and 16 grams of fat.

You can also make a healthier choice by picking out chicken or turkey hot dogs, which are usually lower in calories and fat.

Along with choosing a healthy hot dog, sugar, salt, and fat can be cut with the bun and condiments.

Either use a whole-wheat bun or even substitute a bun entirely with lettuce.

As for condiments, avoid fatty things like mayonnaise and BBQ sauce, and keep the toppings to a minimum.

Hot dog

Hot dog

Ice Cream:

This sweet treat is also one of the unhealthier items that Americans consume on the fourth of July.

Ice cream is loaded with sugar and fat and as toppings and flavorings are added, the worse it becomes.

There are a variety of frozen Greek yogurt substitutes that taste just as good, but beware of the sugar!

Many labels are misleading because they show fewer calories, but this does not matter if it is higher in sugar or fat.

If you want to swap ice cream for an even healthier frozen treat, try slicing bananas into ¼ inch pieces, freezing them, and then throwing them in a food processor or blender until creamy.

Following this, a variety of things can be added to achieve a sweeter taste.

Vanilla extract, peppermint extract and dark chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes and coco powder, or even strawberries make the bananas taste like classic ice cream flavors.

This is a great option because bananas are loaded with vitamins and nutrients and can help lower blood pressure.

Ice cream

Ice cream

The Fourth of July is a fun time to get together and enjoy good food.  With these simple changes, we can enjoy our food and eat healthier at the same time.  Give them a try and let me know what you think.


Check It Out!

Fourth of July Healthy Treats for Kids   2:41
LA Mom Magazine


Quick Tip

 

Grilled Watermelon

Grilled watermelon sounded strange to me at first too, but the grill caramelizes the melon’s sweetness and gives it a subtle, smoky flavor.
Ingredients
Vegan, Gluten free
∙ Serves 6
Produce
1 tbsp Lime

Baking & Spices
1/4 cup Granulated sugar
1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes


Bibliography: N/A




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Recipes Tagged with:

Natural Pest Control With DE

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Natural Pest Control

Get rid of fleas, ticks, bedbugs, ants and any exoskeleton insect naturally with 100% food grade diatomaceous earth.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Using Diatomaceous Earth For Pest Control

by David Proctor


 June 27, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


What is diatomaceous earth or DE? 

“Diatomaceous earth is a soft, powdery, porous, and silica-rich mineral that is found in fossilized deposits near dried up bodies of water.  This mineral is the result of the accumulation of dead diatoms found in marine sediments, which contain the remains of silica.”
 
I have found that quite a few people take the 100% food grade internally and according to Dr. Axe has these benefits:
 
Detoxify the body by cleansing the digestive tract, boosting liver function, helps eliminate heavy metals in the body such as aluminum, and acts as a detoxifier for the blood since it carries a negative charge that attaches to free radicals and other harmful toxins.
 
Helps purify water by killing viruses and in filtering out heavy metals
 
Fights parasites by adding to the feed given to pets and farm animals.
 
Can be used as a natural insecticide, since it absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, which causes them to dehydrate and die.  DE can be used to eliminate bed bugs, house dust mites, cockroach, ants, and fleas, without the use of toxic chemicals.
 
Beneficial for joints and bones and can help prevent low bone mass.
 
Helps clean and protect skin, nails, and teeth.
 
The use that I thought was interesting was for ants and fleas.  These are two very hardy insects and hard to get rid of once they make your way into your home.

Diatomaceous earth is a really inexpensive way to control external and internal parasites in your dog and cat.
 
The microscopically sharp edges contact the insect or parasite and pierce their protective coating, so they soon dehydrate and die.  The larvae are affected in the same way. But DE is completely harmless to animals.
 
The only thing that you should be very careful about is not inhaling a lot into your lungs.  It is easy to do, so if need be, wear a mask if you think you might inhale a lot while working with your pet.
 
DE can be placed on your pet, cat or dog and the powder rubbed through the fur to the skin. When the fleas come in contact with the DE, it will help eliminate them.  I don’t have a flea problem in the house, but I have had to deal with it in the past. I wished I had known about DE.
 
One problem I am anxious to try this out on is ants.  I have had an ant problem in the house for about a year now.  They haven’t taken over, just around enough to be a real annoyance.

Another use I would really like to try this out on is with the chickens.  It appears that DE can really help chickens with egg production.
 
The Food and Drug Administration lists “Food Grade” diatomaceous earth as “Generally Recognized as Safe”, which means it’s legally allowed to be added to many different types of foods, beverages, and supplements.

How To Use Diatomaceious Earth

In summary, it is my belief that Diatomaceous Earth can be a very useful product for eliminating pest naturally.  I do not know enough about the product that I would necessarily take it internally, but I would not be opposed to trying it.


Check It Out!

 

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth on Dogs for Fleas 4:07
ProTerra – The Diatomaceous Earth Guys


Quick Tip

 

Natural Pest Control

CAUTION: DO NOT USE POOL GRADE DE!!


Bibliography:

Scott, Dana. “Diatomaceous Earth: Get Rid Of Fleas & Ticks Naturally!” Dogs Naturally Magazine. N.p., 01 May 2017. Web. 24 June 2019.

“The Most Versatile Detoxifier Around.” Dr. Axe. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2019.

“Before You Go…” DiatomaceousEarth.com Official Site to Learn About Diatomaceous Earth. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2019.

Winger, Jill “How to Use Diatomaceous Earth.” The Prairie Homestead. N.p., 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 24 June 2019.




Posted in Animal Husbandry, Health, Magazine Issues Tagged with: ,

Vermiculture

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Vermiculture

Vermiculture is the raising of worms for use in composting, for bait, and the use of their castings for fertilizer.  The castings can be used to make worm tea, or just added directly to your plants as an organic fertilizer.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Raising Worms

by David Proctor


 June 20, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


The most common worm that is purchased from a worm farm or supplier is the red wigglers or Lumbricus rubella.  These little guys are great for fishing and do wonders for the soil. 

These worms live just under the surface, ingesting soil along with organic matter and leaving tunnels that carry oxygen to the plant roots and improve drainage. This activity breaks up heavy dirt clods, and the castings keep the soil loose.
 
The key to having worms is to have a place that keeps them happy and comfortable and to feed them.

 

Worms In Worm Bin

Worms In Worm Bin

You can build a worm bin or purchase one.  I started with having a compost pile outside.  This is where I put the grass clippings, leaves, and kitchen scraps to be made into fertilizer.
 
You can use any wood or plastic container for housing your worms.  The key is to have one that breathes well.  Wood boxes tend to allow a constant supply of air, but plastic will work fine as long as holes are drilled for drainage and you stir in air every few days.
 
You can use a storage bin and lid, but I would recommend that you not use the lid but instead place burlap on the top.  This will diffuse the light, help keep moisture in, and allow a good supply of air.

Burlap Canvas Cover

Burlap Canvas Cover

If your worm bin is outdoors, keep it in a protected area, out of the hot summer sun or cold rains in the winter.

Worm Farm

Worm Farm

I turn the compost pile and worm bin every week so the decomposing of new additions to the pile or bin is enhanced.  There has never been a smell from the compost pile.  When I turn the compost, I see all sorts of worms
 
This is the same compost pile I used to re-pot my jalapeno plants.  The compost is a rich black soil, not like any other soil in my yard.

Compost

Compost

I have an indoor worm bin that I keep in the basement.  I put coffee grounds and vegetables in that bin.  It is just about time to remove castings from this bin.

Uncle Jim's Worm Farm

Vermicompost

As the bedding disappears, replace it with new.  This is the process the worms go through in composting or vermicomposting.
 
Add a few handfuls of moist soil to the bedding.  This will help provide worms with the grit that they need for digesting their food.

Worms

Worms

Now that you have your worms taking care of your organic waste material you can start reaping the rewards of the worm castings.  After about 6-12 months you will have enough castings to harvest in one of the following methods.

  1. Feed the worms in one end of the bin for several weeks, attracting all of the population to one area; then scoop out the castings from the other end.
  2. Stop adding scraps until all are eaten and only bedding remains.  Remove paper bedding and empty the bin onto a plastic covered table outdoors or under a bright light.  Make a long, low mound and slowly brush the castings off the top of the mound.  The worms will quickly bury themselves at the bottom.  Continue removing castings until the worms are left with a thin covering, then put them back into their bin with fresh bedding.

You can place a handful of casting in potting soil for your houseplants or around your vegetables and ornamental plants.  There will be worm eggs and a few young worms in the castings, but they will survive and enrich the soil.
 
If your population of worms has exploded, you can begin another bin with half the worms or put some out into your garden. 

Remember the other part to having worms, is you always have bait when you want to go fishing.  Few things work better than live wiggly worms to catch fish with.

Fish Just Waiting To Be Caught

Fish Just Waiting To Be Caught

Having a worm farm is a win-win.  They don’t bark, they stay to themselves, your kitchen scraps and grass clipping do not go to the dump, and you will not have an excuse to not go fishing.


Check It Out!

 

 

How to make Worm Tea 4:53


Quick Tip

 

  • Your worm box must be well-ventilated.  Aerobic bacteria will slowly decompose the organic material, making it more palatable to the worms.  If the environment becomes anaerobic (without air) the bin will develop a foul odor and the worms will eventually die.
  • Drain the bedding well before putting it in your worm box.  It must be able to absorb moisture from the food scraps you add.  The bedding is perfectly moist if it clumps together when you squeeze it in your hand and not water drips out. Usually, it is unnecessary to add water to keep the bedding moist, but if it dries out, add a small amount of water at a time.
  • Until the worms adjust to their new environment, it is a good idea to expose them to light overnight.  After a week, they will be well-fed and acclimated to their new surroundings.

Bibliography:

McCreary, Rosemary. “Worm Bin Care.” Worm Bin Care (n.d.): n. pag. Sonoma County Waste Management Agency. E University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Home Composting Education Program. Web.




 

Posted in Animal Husbandry, fish, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

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