Yesterday at our farm I had a great new revelation. While chopping down the
fast growing clovers, grasses and dandylions in our garden lanes, the mower
kept clogging, then dying. I'd have to tip it upright, dig out the masses of
chewed up green-stuff, set 'er down, fire 'er up and continue for the next
hundred feet till she clogged again. It's kind of a wimpy mower, bought
second hand from a local fix it shop down the road (but at a great price,
recycling stuff headed for the landfill, and supporting 'Hank' the local
((and best)) fix it man). The lanes were a bit over grown and a bit wet, so
what can I expect?
Eventually I was mowing next to the pig and poultry pasture. As I unjammed
the mower for the umpteenth time, Amelda came over to see what the 'ta do'
was. I said good morning and scratched behind her ears. But she wanted more,
and kept staring at the mower or the grass. Ahh-ha!, the grass. I tossed the
mass that clogged the mower over to her and she loved it. Pre-chewed grass
and clover, all she had to do was swallow it. She was in pig heaven.
Soon all three sows and one gilt were begging for grass clipping. I rigged a
collector, mowed a bit more lane and fed it to a captive audience. After the
pigs had their fill the geese came over to have a go at it.
This is wonderful! Now I can do one chore, and with the waste product cut
down on my feed bill. In fact, the more I think about it, I begin to
realize, this lil' lawnmower is sort of like a greenchopper, wagon, and
tractor, in miniature. But this fits in perfectly with our scale of
Our scale of agriculture can almost be called backyard agriculture. We own
20 and farm 10 acres. This size does not depend on expensive machinery,
chemical input, unscrupulous commodity markets or government subsidies.
This scale of agriculture attempts to work in harmony with nature, not in
conquest of it. It tries to find ways to not do this or that, instead of
putting more work and more middle men into the flow of food production
systems. It will internalize costs, or better, not create them in the first
This scale of agriculture permits to flow of money and goods directly
between producer and consumer. There are no middlemen, financeirs, or other
profiteers weaseling in on my income and coercing me to change my methodology.
This scale of agriculture allows one to live with-in means and with-in
natures over-ruling life systems. It allows for personal, intimate contact
with the gardens, the animals, and even the wild places we foster on the
farm. It allows for a real sence of love and stewardship for the land to
develop. And not just in our family, but in the whole community of families
that frequent our farm. It's the kind of intimacy that won't occur... can't
occur on a large-scale commodity farm.
In this scale of agriculture, I meet, know and respect the friends who buy
the food I produce for them. They come our and pick most of it themselves. I
know and work with the tenants who share part of the garden space with the
CSA's(Community Supported Agriculture). Their animals share the pasture and
pens with my animals.
Yesterday Joun'Sta, a tenant on our land said, 'No name for little pig,
should have name'. This morning I was mulling over feeding the pigs the lawn
clippings. That lil' gilt needs a name, I thought...Thought...Thought!
That's it! 'Thought'! Yesterday I made food "Food for 'Thought"!
Prairie Dock Farm
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