Small Farmer's Journal

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MONDAY

February 20, 2017

Lost Apples

Lost Apples

The mindboggling agricultural plant and animal diversity, at the beginning of the twentieth century, should have been a treasure trove which mankind worked tirelessy to maintain. Such has not been the case. Alas, much has been lost, perhaps forever. Here are images and information on a handful of apple varieties from a valuable hundred year old text in our library.

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TUESDAY

February 21, 2017

Walki Biodegradable Mulching Paper

New Biodegradable Mulching Paper

Views of any and all modern farming stir questions for me. The most common wonder for me has been ‘how come we haven’t come up with a something to replace plastic?’ It’s used for cold frames, hotbeds, greenhouses, silage and haylage bagging and it is used for mulch. That’s why when I read of this new Swedish innovation in specialized paper mulching I got the itch to scratch and learn more. What follows is what we know. We’d like to know more. LRM

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WEDNESDAY

February 22, 2017

Stationary Baler

Stationary Baler: Engineering and Evidence

Our friend, Mark Schwarzburg came by the office with an old wooden box he inherited from his great great great grandfather, Henry Schwarzburg. In it is a lovely, very old working wooden model of the stationary baler Henry helped to invent. Also were found, on old oil-skin paper, beautiful original engineer’s drawings for patent registry; and a brochure for the actual resulting manufactured implement.

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THURSDAY

February 23, 2017

The Equine Eye

The Equine Eye

The horse’s head is large, with eyes set wide apart at the sides of his head; he seldom sees an object with both eyes at the same time and generally sees a different picture with each eye. In the wild, this double vision was a big advantage, making it difficult for a predator to sneak up on him. He can focus both eyes to the front to watch something, but it takes more effort. Only when making a concentrated effort to look straight ahead does the horse have depth perception as we know it.

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FRIDAY

February 24, 2017

A Small Good Thing

A Small Good Thing

We shared this video a while back, and now it has been released on Netflix. Check it out! — “A Small Good Thing” explores how the American Dream has reached its end and how for most of us, greater material wealth and upward mobility are no longer possible. To find out what is taking its place, this feature documentary follows six people in one community who have recast their lives so they can live with a sense of meaning.

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Circle of Poison

Circle of Poison

Once a pesticide is banned in the United States for its dangerous health and environmental effects, companies are still permitted to manufacture it for export only. This policy sends a message to the world that American lives are more valuable, yet ironically these toxic pesticides circulate the globe and come back to the US as residues on imported food in the circle of poison.

Narrated by Elizabeth Kucinich and featuring interviews with President Jimmy Carter, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Professor Noam Chomsky, Senator Patrick Leahy, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the film exposes the shocking practice of corporate profit in the banned pesticide trade. It takes viewers across the globe, to India, Mexico, Argentina, Bhutan, and the United States, to document the emotional stories of victims and the inspiring ways communities are fighting back.

www.circleofpoisonfilm.com

News & Weather

  • February 17, 2017

    Popping potential of sorghum

    Eating popcorn has long been synonymous with watching movies. But soon you might find yourself reaching for another popped snack option—popped sorghum. Sorghum is a cereal grain that is becoming more popular in the United States because it’s gluten free ...

  • February 15, 2017

    Cornell University Small Farms Program seeks Farmer Stories for a new column

    The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming and the Cornell Small Farms Program have teamed up to create a new column called “Lessons from the Land,” which first appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of the Small Farm Quarterly. ...

  • January 31, 2017

    Founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery Given Vision Leadership Award

    Albert Straus, founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery, was awarded one of this year’s Vision Leadership Awards by the Specialty Food Association for spearheading the organic milk movement in the United States in the early 1990s. The Straus family ...

Letters

  • Hello from Michigan!

    Dear Lynn Miller and staff, Hello from Michigan! We have only just started to read your Journal, and have really enjoyed it. First off, thank you for your publication. It is always a special occasion when the journal arrives, my ...

  • 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

Upcoming Events

Mar
15
Wed
Public Auction – Horsedrawn Farm Machinery, Antiques, Collectibles
Mar 15 all-day
Mar
16
Thu
Public Auction – Full Line of Horsedrawn Farm Machinery
Mar 16 @ 9:00 am

• 8 mules     org. Dairy Young Stock
• 30+ HD Mowers
• Belle City Threshing Machine
• IH Grain binder   •   IH Corn Binder
• New Idea Hay Loader
• JD 999 Corn Planter
• IH 200H Manure Spreader
• Emerson Brantingham 2 way Plow
• IH – JD – Minnesota Cultivators
• Oliver 88 gas Tractor, runs very nice
• JD 336 Baler   •   Bear Cat Food Mill
• Oliver 2 bottom trail plow
• Lots of other wagons & misc. farm
machinery. Some antiques & collectible
farm items

Mar
19
Sun
First Ever InTents Conference to Help Farmers and Others Grow Their Farmers’ Market Businesses @ Marina Village Conference Center
Mar 19 – Mar 21 all-day
Mar
27
Mon
California Farm to School and Garden Conference @ Modesto Centre Plaza
Mar 27 – Mar 29 all-day
Apr
21
Fri
Pacific Overland Expo 2nd Annual Horsedrawn Vehicle & Equipment Auction @ Yamhill County Fairgrounds
Apr 21 – Apr 22 all-day

Weights & Measures

Measure of Surface

144 Square Inches = 1 Square Foot

9 Square Feet = 1 Square Yard

30-1/4 Square Yards = 1 Square Rod

40 Square Rods = 1 Square Root

4 Square Roots = 1 Acre

640 Acres = 1 Square Mile

272-1/4 Square Feet = 1 Square Rod

43,560 Square Feet = 1 Acre

My Small Kitchen with Kristi Gilman-Miller

Bacon Wrapped Dates

  • 18 Large Medjool Dates
  • 18 Pieces Gruyere or Parmesan cheese ( about 1” x 1/4”)
  • 6 slices bacon, each cut into thirds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Slit each date along one side and remove the pit.

Insert a piece of cheese into each date.

Wrap a piece of bacon around each stuffed date and secure with a toothpick.

Put the dates on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for about 6-7 minutes until the bacon on top is crisp.

Using tongs, turn the dates and bake for another 6-7 minutes until the bacon is crisp.

Remove from the oven and place the dates on to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any grease from the bacon.

Dates may be arranged on a platter as an appetizer, or used as a fresh baby greens salad topper.

Spotlight On: Book Reviews

The Horsedrawn Mower Book

Removing the Wheels from a McCormick Deering No. 9 Mower

How to remove the wheels of a No. 9 McCormick Deering Mower, an excerpt from The Horsedrawn Mower Book.

An Introduction To Farm Woodlands

The farm woodland is that portion of the farm which either never was cleared for tillage or pasture, or was later given back to woods growth. Thus it occupies land that never was considered suitable, or later proved unsuitable, for farm enterprises.

Farmer Pirates & Dancing Cows

Farmer Pirates & Dancing Cows

From humor-filled stories of a life of farming to incisive examinations of food safety, from magical moments of the re-enchantment of agriculture to the benches we would use for the sharpening of our tools, Farmer Pirates & Dancing Cows offers a full meal of thought and reflection.

Barbed Wire History and Varieties

Book Excerpt: The invention of barb wire was the most important event in the solution of the fence problem. The question of providing fencing material had become serious, even in the timbered portions of the country, while the great prairie region was almost wholly without resource, save the slow and expensive process of hedging. At this juncture came barb wire, which was at once seen to make a cheap, effective, and durable fence, rapidly built and easily moved.

Starting Your Farm

Starting Your Farm: Chapter 3

What goes with the sale? What does not? Do not assume the irrigation pipe and portable hen houses are selling. Find out if they go with the deal, and in writing.

Book Review Butchering

Two New Butchering Volumes

Danforth’s BUTCHERING is an unqualified MASTERPIECE! One which actually gives me hope for the furtherance of human kind and the ripening of good farming everywhere because, in no small part, of this young author’s sensitive comprehension of the modern disconnect with food, feeding ourselves, and farming.

Retrofitting a Fireplace with a Woodstove

How to Retrofit a Fireplace with a Woodstove

Because the venting requirements for a wood stove are different than for a fireplace you need to retrofit a stainless steel chimney liner. A liner provides the draft necessary to ensure that the stove will operate safely and efficiently.

Art of Working Horses

Lynn Miller’s New Book: Art of Working Horses

Art of Working Horses, by Lynn R. Miller, follows on the heels of his other eight Work Horse Library titles. This book tells the inside story of how people today find success working horses and mules in harness, whether it be on farm fields, in the woods, or on the road. Over 500 photos and illustrations accompany an anecdote-rich text which makes a case for the future of true horsepower.

Posts

Driving Fence Posts By Hand

Where the soil is soft, loose, and free from stone, posts may be driven more easily and firmly than if set in holes dug for the purpose.

Old Man Farming

Old Man Farming

Long after his physical capacities have dwindled to pain and stiffening, what drives the solitary old man to continue bringing in the handful of Guernsey cows to milk?

Dont Eat the Seed Corn

Don’t Eat the Seed Corn: Strategies & Prospects for Human Survival

by:
from issue:

Gary Paul Nabhan’s book “WHERE OUR FOOD COMES FROM: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine” (Island Press, 2009) is a weighty tome, freighted with implications. But as befits its subject it is also portable and travels well, a deft exploration of two trips around the world, that of the author following in the footsteps of a long-gone mentor he never met, the Russian pioneer botanist and geneticist Nikolay Vavilov (1887-1943).

Work Horse Handbook

Work Horse Handbook

Horses are honest creatures. And, what I mean by honest is that a horse is almost always true to his motivations, his needs, his perceptions: if he wants to eat, if he needs water, if he perceives danger. He is incapable of temporarily setting aside or subverting his motivations to get to some distant goal. This is often mistaken as evidence for a lack of intelligence, a conclusion which says more of human nature than equine smarts. What it means for the horse is that he is almost never lazy, sneaky or deceptive. It is simply not in his nature.

Honoring Our Teachers

Honoring Our Teachers

by:
from issue:

I believe that there exist many great practicing teachers, some of who deliberately set out to become one and others who may have never graduated from college but are none-the-less excellent and capable teachers. I would hazard a guess that many readers of Small Farmer’s Journal know more than one teacher who falls within this latter category. My grandfather, and artist and author Eric Sloane, were two such teachers.

Making Buttermilk

The Small-Scale Dairy

What kind of milk animal would best suit your needs? For barnyard matchmaking to be a success, you need to address several concerns.

Horse Sense for Plain Farming

Horse Sense for Plain Farming

Book Review – The New Horse-Powered Farm by Stephen Leslie: Working with horses is not something you can learn exclusively through watching DVD training videos and attending workshops and seminars. These things and experiences can be very useful as auxiliary aids to our training, but they cannot replace the value of a long-term relationship with a skilled mentor.

Woodstove Cookery at Home on the Range

An Illustrated Guide To The Wood Fired Cookstove

Illustrated guide to the wood stove and it’s accoutrements.

An Introduction To Grasslands Farming

From Dusty Shelves: A World War II era article on grassland farming.

McCormick-Deering No 7 Mower Manual in English & French

McCormick-Deering No. 7 Mower Manual in English & French

Instructions for Setting Up and Operating the McCORMICK-DEERING No. 7 VERTICAL LIFT TWO-HORSE MOWERS — Instructions pour le Montage et le Fonctionnement des FAUCHEUSES A DEUX CHEVAUX McCORMICK-DEERING No. 7 À RELEVAGE VERTICAL

Journal Guide