Posts Tagged ‘Organic’

Help save the monarch butterfly

This adorable insect that we all know and love is on the verge of extinction, and unless people act, future generations may never experience the joy of seeing them flutter about peacefully from flower to flower in summer time.

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Female monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on milkweed plants.  The larvae that hatch from the eggs eat only milkweed plants.  The fate of the monarch butterfly rests entirely on the fate of the milkweed plant.   Here are some pictures of milkweed growing on our farm.  Notice the seed pod on some of the pictures.

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So, what is happening to the milkweed plants?  Many factors are contributing to the severe decrease in milkweed populations, but most experts blame industrial agriculture in the Midwest as the biggest cause for the decrease in milkweed.

Prior to the invention of non-selective broad leaf chemical herbicides (and crops genetically modified to be resistant to these herbicides), milkweed plants were happy to grow in corn fields or soybean fields, the two crops that occupy most agricultural land during the summer months.  These crops are now modified so that they are not killed by non-selective broad leaf herbicides, but the milkweed plants are killed by the herbicide.  Milkweed plants can no longer be found in any of these agricultural fields that spray these herbicides.  This is a huge problem for the female monarch butterflies as they search for milkweed plants to lay their eggs.

What can you do to help?  The typical home owner can put a few milkweed plants in their gardens.  This alone would help the female monarchs quite a bit as they migrate from Mexico back to northern parts of the United States.  If everyone in the country deliberately planted one milkweed plant, there would be over 300 million additional milkweed plants to support the monarchs.

If you live in the country, and have acres in lawn that you spend hours mowing each week, consider converting some of that land to a tall grassland, ideal habitat for milkweed plants.

Indirectly, you can support organic agriculture by purchasing organic whenever possible.  Organic farmers are not permitted to use the herbicides that are preventing milkweed from growing.

Each of us has the choice to be a steward of the land, protecting it for future generations, or to pillage the land simply for economic gain until the soil is nothing but lifeless dirt…

Here on our farm, we chose to be stewards.

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CSA pickup

This is our second week of the 2015 CSA season.  Here’s our spread of produce that was available for the farm members to pick up:

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Here’s what an individual share looked like this week:

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CSA subscribers this week received leaf lettuce, radishes, kale, turnips, lettuce mix, green onions, strawberries, and garlic scapes.

 

The garlic is doing well

It’s about 3 weeks since the garlic pushed up out of the ground.  They have put on quite a bit of growth in that time!

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The garlic is up!

Last fall, we received our seed garlic bulbs.  The variety were are growing is a hard neck garlic called “Russian Red”.

We separated the cloves individually IMG_0603 IMG_0601

And planted them in a deeply worked bed in late October IMG_0604 IMG_0605

Now, in mid March, just days after the ground had thawed, they have already sprouted!  It is so refreshing to see new growth in spring!IMG_0774[1]

2015 CSA

We are now accepting new 2015 CSA subscriptions as well as subscriptions for our returning members, head on over to our CSA page for more details.

Mid-Summer CSA Share

Mid-Summer CSA Share

A Late Summer Night’s Walk Out To Our Farm

After a short walk from our house to the farm using the path we created this year

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We arrive at the farm that looked like this in May

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Here is the farm now with 6 plots under cultivation:

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There are beautiful fall brassicas growing

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Lettuce mix of different ages

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Beds of swiss chard so pristine it makes you wonder why anyone needs pesticides when they look this good without them…

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Stunning beds of cutflowers

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Pumpkins that will ripen shortly before the frost dances in October

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Next years strawberry plants

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A young fall crop of spinach

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A wonderful sandy loam soil freshly seeded with fall cover crops

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And amazing sunsets

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The farm now supports itself.  Everything (financially) was done from income generated from the farm.  All farm income comes from local customers, and, to that end, this is the farm our customers have built.  This is the farm Ontario, Mansfield, Lexington, and Shelby have built.  With each CSA share, with every sale at every Farmers’ Market, with folks calling and asking if we have 20 quarts of strawberries, our customers have supported our farm.  We no longer add any of our off farm income to the farm.  All that we add is our time, and we are more than happy to add it.  We’re proud of this farm, and, hopefully, our customers, and communities, are as well.

Thank  you all.  This plot of land is our canvas, we “paint” a little more on it every day.

-The Saltzgivers