Volume 7, Week 22, January 24-25, 2014
My oh my, it sure is dry. How dry it Uncle Vern? It’s so dry, when we went up to Hume this past weekend, I ran the leaf blower to clear the dust and pine needles instead of shoveling a path through snow. Some friends went mountain biking in Tahoe. I not only washed my truck, I waxed it for the first time in a couple years to see if that might draw some rain, but there’s still not a drop on the 10 day forecast. Frosty mornings and afternoons in the 70’s in January.
It’s quite serious for some as they strategize how to keep their groves and orchards alive, while the rest of us suck water from deeper and deeper. Enough negativity already, pray for rain.
Back on the farm, we’ve finished pruning. The guys are fixing tree rope; we put a light rope around the tops of our vase shaped trees to support the weight, so the branches all kinda hold each other up. Sometimes, a pruner will cut a rope, so now’s the time we make sure they’re all in good shape and tight. Dormant sprays are finished and now we’re pulling a frost furrow—a narrow furrow on each side of the tree row—to be as ready as we can be for what is shaping up to be a early, cold spring.
Missing trees are being replanted as well and I believe, by the time you read this, all the winter chores should be done. Everything ship shape and ready for the new crop year.
I hope you’re enjoying the educational aspect of this newsletter. The main goal of the Abundant Harvest Organics adventure we’re all participating in is the reconnection of farmers and the people they nourish, so an understanding of organic agricultural practices and processes is essential to the reconnection.
Organic farming or ranching always starts with the soil and what an organic farmer is essentially doing is managing microbes. While a conventional farmer is primarily a reactive chemist, an organic farmer has to come at his job as a proactive biologist; let me explain.
There are more soil microbes in half a shovel full of organic soil than there are people on earth and when we care for these little guys—much like we care for the microbes in our gut—they harvest nutrition from the soil and make it available to our plants. Healthy microbes, healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy livestock, healthy people. Biological fertility, results in high nutrient density in our crops, and you can taste that nutrition in every bite.
I believe a significant contributor to America’s obesity problem—in addition to sugar and processed food—is the hollow nutrition from synthetically raised food crops. We’re getting calories, but not nutrition, so our body—needing the nutrition—keeps saying “feed me” even though the calorie gauge says full. One thing I know for certain; synthetically fertilized soil is almost sterile. Plants can only pick-up what’s available, so if your soil microbial activity is weak, the nutrition value of the plants growing from that soil is going to be weak.
You’ve noticed it takes less organic (biologically grown) food to feel full, now you know why.