Small Farmer's Journal

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December 5, 2016

McCormick-Deering All Steel Corn Sheller

McCormick-Deering All-Steel Corn Sheller

To obtain the best results in shelling, the machine should be run so that the crank makes about forty-five (45) revolutions per minute or the pulley shaft one hundred and seventy-five (175) revolutions per minute. When driving with belt be sure that this speed is maintained, as any speed in excess of this will have a tendency to cause the shelled corn to pass out with the cobs. The ears should be fed into the sheller point first.



December 6, 2016

Making Sorghum Molasses

Making Sorghum Molasses

Growing sorghum doesn’t take much work, according to Buhrman. You plant it in the spring, work it a couple of times and that’s about all that’s required until late in the growing season. That is when the work begins. Before it is cut, all the stalks have to be “bladed” – the leaves removed from the stalks. It’s then cut, then the tassles are cut off, and the stalks are fed through a crusher. The crusher forces the juices out of the plant. The sorghum juice is then boiled in a vat for four to five hours until nothing is left but the syrup.



December 7, 2016

SmP Seeder-Roller

Seeder-Roller – SmP Séi-Roll 1.0 for Horse Traction

Because it is a renewable and environmentally friendly energy source, horse traction is currently undergoing a renaissance in small scale agricultural holdings, winegrowing, market gardening and forestry. Within this context, implements for animal traction with mechanical drivetrain and direct draft are gaining importance. One of the goals of Schaff mat Paërd is to support this process by the development of new equipment and related studies and publications.



December 8, 2016

Formulas and Fortitude

Formulas and Fortitude

Today there is no end to formulas that are supposed to give you a leg up, or at best some sort of guarantee of success, with draft horses. I say be wary. The best intentions, the best preparation, the best animals, the safest routine is NO guarantee of success with the working animals. Formulas cannot replace your personal fortitude or strength of conviction and clarity of purpose. And those things will result in a matched natural comfort with the animals.



December 2, 2016

The Snare Thoughts Caught and Offered Up

The Snare – Thoughts Caught and Offered Up

As farmers we must continue to take charge of our own lives, work, environs and future. Our example will win out. There is no other example with the heart and capability to win out. Leadership in its most ideal form is ultimately gardening. Governance in its best form is stewardship. And husbandry is the sane substitution for bureaucracy. Our leaders should be planning and planting and suggesting seed options.


Meeting Place Organic Film

Meeting Place Organic Film

Local, organic, and sustainable are words we associate with food production today, but 40 years ago, when Fran and Tony McQuail started farming in Southwestern Ontario, they were barely spoken. Since 1973, the McQuails have been helping to build the organic farming community and support the next generation of organic farmers. This is a documentary about the McQuails that explores the very real ways their farm has contributed to the long term ecological viability of agriculture in Ontario. It is a call to action for all those who believe there is a better way to take care of our planet and feed the world.

Meeting Place Organic Film

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News & Weather


  • Cheval de Merens Revisited

    In the Fall ’97 issue of SFJ you printed an article on the Cheval de Merens, the all black horse of the French Pyrenees. I was immediately obsessed by their beautiful stature, a very strong draft-type-looking horse with powerful legs ...

  • Black Walnuts All ‘Round

    Dear Lynn, In the Summer 2014 SFJ there is an article by Glenn Dahlem about the black walnut (p. 62). If I may, there are a few additions I would like to make regarding using black walnuts. First, the harvesting. From ...

  • Keep ‘Em Coming

    Super magazine, Lynn and Kristi!! I love the content, and I can’t wait for the next issue in my mailbox. My best to you. Bob Langness Broomfield, CO

  • A Large Part

    Mr Miller – My name is George Bristol. I served for 38 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. I retired in August 2013 as a Colonel and am still working in special operations overseas. I am writing ...

Upcoming Events

Change Beyond the Plate 2016 @ Château Élan Winery & Resort, Braselton, GA
Dec 6 – Dec 8 all-day

School Food FOCUS is a national collaborative of large school districts across the country. Together we are transforming school food by increasing access to more healthful, regionally sourced and sustainably produced food for our nation’s school children. Through the power of procurement we leverage market demand to drive positive and impactful food system change.

Change Beyond the Plate convenes over 250 school food professionals, institutional purchasers, government allies, industry changemakers and food system thought leaders.

Now in its 6th year, our National Gathering is a unique space for attendees to share innovative procurement strategies, connect with supply chain leaders and strengthen the school food movement. Join us!

Green Festival Expo @ Oregon Convention Center
Dec 9 – Dec 11 all-day

Weights & Measures

Dry Measure

2 Pints = 1 Quart

8 Quarts = 1 Peck

4 Pecks = 1 Bushel

36 Bushels = 1 Chaldron

2,150.42 Cubic In. = 1 Standard Bushel

1 Cubic Foot = App. 4/5 Bushel

My Small Kitchen with Kristi Gilman-Miller

Clam Fritters


  • 4 heaping Tbsp. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 level tsp. baking powder
  • 1 stiffly beaten egg white
  • 12 clams (without shells)

Beat flour, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, oil, milk, a pinch of salt until quite smooth.

Add the extra milk, baking powder and beaten egg white.

Place in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Dip clams one at a time in the batter, drop in the deep, hot fat and fry until golden brown. Eat immediately.

Spotlight On: People

Building a Community, Building a Barn

Building a Community, Building a Barn

from issue:

One of the most striking aspects of this development is the strength and confidence that comes from this communal way of living. While it is impressive to build a barn in a day it seems even more impressive to imagine building four barns or six, and all the rest of the needs of a community. For these young Amish families the vision of a shared agricultural community is strong, and clear.

Fields Farm

Fields Farm

Located within the city limits of Bend, Oregon, Fields Farm is an organic ten acre market garden operation combining CSA and Farmer’s Market sales.

Livery and Feed

Livery & Feed

from issue:

A livery stable, for the benefit of those who never heard of one, was an establishment which catered to horses. It boarded them, doctored them, and bred them, whenever any of these services were required. It also furnished “rigs” — a horse and buggy or perhaps a team, for anyone who wished to ride, rather than walk, about the town or countryside. It was a popular service for traveling men who came into town on the railway train and wanted to call on customers in cross-road communities.

B. Adroit's Profiles in Passion: Herscel Gouda

B. Adroit’s Profiles in Passion: Herscel Gouda

Excerpt: Um, ya, you’re just gonna have to read this one.

Farmrun John Erskine

John Erskine

John Erskine farms with horses in Sequim, WA.

It Is Who We Are

It Is Who We Are

from issue:

It is NOT a small world, it is a BIG world, as wide and various as you can possibly imagine. We are not alone. When we feel ourselves shut down, crowded by worry and a sense of failure, it would serve us well to remember Bulldog’s admonition, “Boss, never give up, no matter what, never give up.” Anyway, how could we? Who would put up the hay? Who would unharness the team? Who would milk the cows? Who would wax the cheese? Who would feed those woolly pigs? It’s got to be us, after all it is who we are.

Farm To School Programs Take Root

All aim to re-connect school kids with healthy local food.

Loose Hay with Ryan Foxley

Loose Hay with Ryan Foxley A Farmrun Production by Andrew Plotsky


Poetry Corner: What A Boy Lies Awake Wondering

This is a poem from Paul Hunter’s book Ripening.

Hand-Harvested Food Challenge

The Hand-Harvested Food Challenge

from issue:

In the winter of 2011, Daniel mentioned a fourteen-year-old student of his who had spent a whole month eating only foods gathered from the wild. “Could we go for two days on the hand-harvested food we have here?’ he asked. “Let’s give it a try!” I responded with my usual enthusiasm. We assembled the ingredients on the table. Everything on that table had passed through our hands. We knew all the costs and calories associated with it. No hidden injustice, no questionable pesticides. We felt joy at living in such an edible world.

Harnessing the Future

Harnessing the Future

from issue:

En route to a remote pasture where the Belgian draft horses, Prince and Tom, are grazing, we survey the vast green landscape, a fine mist hovering in distant low lying areas. We are enveloped in a profusion of sweet, earthy balance. Interns and other workers start their chores; one pauses to check his smart phone. Scattered about are many animal-powered rustic implements. This rich and agriculturally diverse, peaceful place is steeped in contrasts: modern and ancient.

Richard Douglass, Self-sufficient Farmer

Richard Douglass, Self-sufficient Farmer

from issue:

I’ve got two teams of Belgians that power all the things on the farm. I don’t have a tractor, I don’t have a truck or anything like that. Everything must be done by them. I have two buggy horses that I use for transportation. I have a one-seater buggy for when I’m going into work or into town by myself and then I have a two-seater one for when I’m with the kids.

Mayfield Farm

Mayfield Farm, New South Wales, Australia

from issue:

Mayfield Farm is a small family owned and operated mixed farm situated at 1150 m above sea level on the eastern edge of the Great Dividing Range in northern New South Wales, Australia. Siblings, Sandra and Ian Bannerman, purchased the 350 acre property in October, 2013, and have converted it from a conventionally operated farm to one that is run on organic principles. Additional workers on the farm include Janette, Ian’s wife, and Jessica, Ian’s daughter.

Meeting Place Organic Film

Meeting Place Organic Film

Local, organic, and sustainable are words we associate with food production today, but 40 years ago, when Fran and Tony McQuail started farming in Southwestern Ontario, they were barely spoken. Since 1973, the McQuails have been helping to build the organic farming community and support the next generation of organic farmers.


No Starving Children!

You’d never be able to harvest the broccoli or the hay or milk the cows or make the cheese if it were subject to government process. Not only are our industrial farms too big…

Farmrun George's Boots

George’s Boots

George Ziermann has been making custom measured, hand made shoes for 40 years. He’s looking to get out, but can’t find anyone to get in.

ODHBA 2016 Plowing Match

ODHBA 2016 Plowing Match

The Oregon Draft Horse Breeders Association hosted their 50th Anniversary Plowing Match at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center in McMinnville, Oregon on April 9, 2016. Small Farmer’s Journal was lucky enough to attend and capture some of the action to share.

Journal Guide