Natural Pest Control

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Natural Pest Control

Pesticides are one of the biggest threats to honey bees. To control garden pests and not kill off the pollinators and other beneficial insects, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Before using chemicals, try using natural methods of control.

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

 

 

 

 


Natural Pest Control

 

by David Proctor


July 13, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly 


Now that most gardens are going strong, so are the pests.  When you want to find a remedy for getting rid of the pests that wants to eat your garden as much as you do, then you need an arsenal of weapons.

I came across a good article that helps explain some of the best methods for bee-friendly pest control:

7 Top Methods For Bee-Friendly Pest Control
Written by: Julie C.          Survival Gardening

Bees
Bees

“Since 1998, scientists, conservationists, and farmers have noticed an alarming trend. European honeybee populations are declining at rapid rates. Researchers believe”…..keep reading

One method of controlling pests is through Integrated Pest Management or IPM.

IPM is a science-based, decision-making process that integrates pest biology, environmental information, consensus building, and technology to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage. IPM considers site management goals and strives to minimize risk to people, property, and the environment, including pollinators. If you would like to read more, go to this link to download a pdf   Reducing Risks to Pollinators from Pest Control  by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Another good article that I will post here is by the  Great Pollinator Project

“Land mangers, urban farmers, and home gardeners are often faced with pest control decisions, including whether to use chemicals and if so, which”….read more, please click the link above.

JUNE 28, 2017
CATCH THE BUZZ – HONEYBEES PICK UP ‘ASTONISHING’ NUMBER OF PESTICIDES VIA NON-CROP PLANTS

“A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season.” Read more

————————-

To summarize, plan ahead for what type of plants will be grown close together. And mix it up, so the pests are not coming to a buffet.

Use methods that do not affect the pollinators while they are at work.

If you think you need to use chemicals, then read the label very closely. Apply chemicals in the evening and not to blooms, but at base of the plants and stems.

Some plants are natural insecticides, try to mingle these into your garden.

Encourage the beneficial insects to help do your work like the Ladybug and Praying Mantis. Remove pests by hand or with a misting bottle and water.

You will probably not use just one method to control pests, but just remember if it “Kills Bugs Dead” it will probable kill all bugs, including the ones that make your garden healthy.


Check It Out!

 

 


Quick Tip

 

  • Thin out the weak plants. That will help provide more root area for the strong and not attract pests to the weak plants. Often, those pests will then move over to infest the strong ones.                                                           
  • Water at night or early morning so the plants can dry.  Plants can bake with water on them during the day and weaken them.                                                                                              
  • Set traps and/or lures for unwanted pests.  This can help control without using as much spray.
  • Help out the good insects like Lady Bugs, Praying Mantis, and Lacewings which can be encouraged by planting herbs like basil, dill and cilantro.  They like to lay eggs in these plants and the larva will have something to eat.                                                                                                                                                      
  • Diversify the plants in your garden to throw the pests off.  Also, mix in garlic and onions to help repel unwanted pests.                                                                                                      
  • Rotate plantings each year so one pest does not get a foothold by eating it’s favorite food.

Bibliography:

C., Julie. “7 Top Methods For Bee-Friendly Pest Control.” Off The Grid News. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 July 2016. <http://www.offthegridnews.com/survival-gardening-2/7-top-methods-for-bee-friendly-pest-control/>.

“Pest Management.” Great Pollinator Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 July 2016. <http://greatpollinatorproject.org/management/pest-management>.

C., Julie. “7 Top Methods For Bee-Friendly Pest Control.” Off The Grid News. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2017.

“CATCH THE BUZZ – Honeybees Pick Up ‘Astonishing’ Number Of Pesticides Via Non-Crop Plants.” Bee Culture. N.p., 27 June 2017. Web. 10 July 2017.


What Did You Think?

Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.


Posted in Apiary, Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

Diatomaceous Earth

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

 

 

Diatomaceous Earth

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.

 

 

 

 

 


Diatomaceous Earth

 

by David Proctor


July 6, 2017

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:

  1. 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.

 

  1. Helps purify water by killing viruses and in filtering out heavy metals

 

  1. Fights parasites by adding to the feed given to pets and farm animals.

 

  1. Can be used as a natural insecticide, since it absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insets’ 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.

 

  1. Beneficial for joints and bones and can help prevent low bone mass.

 

  1. Helps clean and protect skin, nails and teethe.

 

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 is 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 the eliminate them.  I don’t have a flea problem in the house, but I have had to deal with it in the past. I with I had know 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 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 Diatomaceious 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!


Quick Tip

Natural Pest Control

-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. 26 June 2017.

“The Most Versatile Detoxifier Around.” Dr. Axe. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 June 2017.

“Before You Go…” DiatomaceousEarth.com Official Site to Learn About Diatomaceous Earth. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 June 2017.

Winger, Jill “How to Use Diatomaceous Earth.” The Prairie Homestead. N.p., 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 26 June 2017.


What Did You Think?

Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.


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

Four July 4th Foods

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

 

 

Four July 4th Foods

Have A Happy Fourth Of July With 
Four Foods to Make Healthier on the Fourth.

 

 

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

 

 

 

 


Four Foods to Make Healthier on the Fourth

by Carolyn Proctor


June 29, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly 


This was originally run as volume 1 issue 3.  Going on a short vacation and thought this would be a timely rerun article.

 

Image result for us flag png

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

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 allow 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 sauce, 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 ts.p 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.

 

Beans
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 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.

Bananas
Bananas
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:

Katie, Chocolate Covered. “Chocolate Covered Katie – The Healthy Dessert Blog.”Chocolate Covered Katie. N.p., 29 Aug. 2016. Web. 27 June 2017.


What Did You Think?

Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.


Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Recipes Tagged with:

Effective Rainfall

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Effective Rainfall

Sometimes we have too much and at other times not enough water.  What can we do with the rainwater that we receive, to make it more effective?

 

David Proctor

 

 
 
 

           From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

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

 

 

 

 


Effective Rainfall

 

by David Proctor


June 22, 2017

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly 


The importance of water in our life is huge.  Sometimes it is hard to think about what we would do without clean water, mainly because all we have to do is turn on the tap and water will keep coming out till we turn it off.

I have been thinking about water lately as I hear about how clean water has been taken for granted.  Ask the people in Flint Michigan how they feel about clean water.

Ask the landowners that have wells that have been polluted from mining underground resources, how they feel about clean water.

Growing up in Missouri, with all the lakes, rivers and streams, it is hard to imagine what farmers and ranchers went through and how the western part of the country has dealt with riparian rights for years and water management.   There has been many a battle fought over water and who has control of it.

This last weekend I was able to enjoy the fun of cooling off and playing in water at Virginia Beach.  As you can see the waves got the better of me more than once.

VA BCH Waves
VA Beach Waves

Beyond just having fun with water, what can we do to help stem droughts and lack of water?  Often, we think of water shortage as lack of rainfall so there is nothing we can do about it.  But what if we changed that thought to the inability to keep water on the land instead of it becoming runoff.  Now we have an issue that we can attempt to control.

One way to control runoff is by slowing the pace of water as it flows downhill. Water can also be trapped by building more ponds in elevated areas.  This way water can be used in agriculture for distribution without having expensive pumps.

Water can be trapped from rooftops by rain barrels and cisterns.  When I was small and on my grandparent’s farm, they did not have city water under pressure to them, they had two cisterns, one that collected water from the house and the other collected water from the barn.

Just off the kitchen of the farm house, on the porch or mudroom was a hand crank water pump that was used to retrieve water from the well below.

In rural and urban areas, rain barrels can be used to trap water for distribution to lawns and gardens.  This is very seldom used even though it is very effective for retaining water.

A drip hose attached to a rain barrel can supply water for the times when rain is not as prevalent.

When the water is kept on the land, the water filtered to the underground water sources such as aquifers.  One of the big problems that happens when these underground aquifers are over-utilized, the ground can collapse and have sink holes, plus an increase in water salinity if by the coast.

One of the best ways to keep water in the soil is with carbon.  Carbon is a very effective sponge that can absorb water.  For every gram of soil organic carbon, this represents 8 grams of water that can be held on the land, according to Author Judith Schwartz, Water in Plain Sight.  If we can build up the carbon in our soil we can help with the process of effective rain.

One of the best ways to build up carbon in the soil is through livestock.  Under controlled grazing and by mimicking how nature did with large herds and predators, the land that is turning into deserts can be reversed, per Allan Savory, a biologist from Africa.

This is one of the techniques that Joel Salatin has been doing at Polyface farm, and he has had remarkable results in land reclamation.

In the urban areas, we can help by mulching our gardens so the moisture is retained for the plants.  The mulching will also act as a weed control so your plants do not have to compete for water and sunlight.

In areas that are wetlands, it is very important to keep the land that way.  Wetlands help filter water and keep it from just running into the waste water system in urban and city areas.

When you look at your land and it has just rained, does the ground appear to be drying out rapidly or do your plants hold in the moisture?

According to Allan Savory, all droughts are manmade.  That is, we do not use our rainwater effectively.

Think about some of these points as we head into the heat of the summer and you see the ground cracks forming.  The most valuable resource we have is clean water.

Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach

Check It Out!

 

 

 


Quick Tip

 

  • If you are concerned about the water you drink, use a good water filter
  • Use drip irrigation 
  • New toilets provide better water savings
  • Don’t water lawn while it is raining
  • Fix the faucet leaks that you may have

 

Bibliography:

Schwartz, Judith D. Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World. New York: St. Martin’s, 2016. Print.

 


What Did You Think?

Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.


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

Farm of The Future

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Farm of The Future

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.

 

 

 

 


Farm of The Future

by David Proctor


June 15, 2017

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.

I use to read Successful Farmer when I was young and staying on the farm.  The magazine would feature all the large and back then high-tech equipment that the farmer could purchase to become successful.  The magazine would show silos, confined feedlots, and confined hog operations.

Almost every farmer was and 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 if 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 a diversity in food, and is producing healthy food. I saw that farm a year ago, The Polyface Farm that is run by the Salatin family in Swoop Virginia. 
I hope to go back this year and take the “Intensive Discovery, which is a two-day intensive seminar that cover topics ranging from processing chickens and rabbits to moving cattle, electric fencing, pasturing pigs and sawmilling.”

EntranceDriveway 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?

HogsHogs
PigsHappy 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 different?  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. 

Grass Fed Chickens
Movable Chicken Pens For Broilers
Chicken Tractor
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 movable pen that is moved by pulling a wire rope and the whole pen 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.

Yard CageSmall Movable Chicken Pen

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.

Pastured RabbitsRabbits 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.

Rabbits & ChickensRabbit Cages With Chickens Underneath
Sheep & DogA 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 chemicals, 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.

Farm OperationsFarming Operations
Polyface FarmPolyface 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 know speaker on the subject of eco-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

 


Polyfaces English from RegrariansMedia on Vimeo.


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:

http://www.polyfacefarms.com/


What Did You Think?

Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.


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

Sign Up To Receive The Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine

Archives

Categories