Homesteads as Agricultural Zoos


| 9/19/2013 10:55:00 AM


Tags: beekeeping, Persimmon Ridge Honey Farm, Betty Taylor, Tennessee,
Mel the cat things the "hard" way somewhere near here?

It’s 5 o’clock on Persimmon Ridge. Mel and I are sitting on the back porch with a glass of homemade mead, watching my little herd of Tennessee fainting goats browse on an overgrown pasture. Some of the does are pregnant, and I can’t wait to meet the kids! The small flock of free-range hens and their rooster along with the guinea hens are patrolling and scratching for bugs and tender greens. I have lost a hen in the past 2 days--probably to an owl or a coon. I love and don’t begrudge the owls, but am totally unforgiving of the coon that is also marauding my corn crop. But ahh, it’s the web of life. 

This little patch of ground is feeding me and my animals very well. I may be cash poor by most people’s standards, but I'm extremely rich by my own. I do wish people valued what those like me produce enough to pay a living wage for it. Not so much for me, I’m mostly “retired,” but for all the young people who can and would love to make a living producing good food for the rest of us. But the majority of Americans still don't get it. They want cheap, government-subsidized, what-passes-for food.

This is primarily a honey farm and my bees are flying high right now. But I, like other beekeepers, am worried to death about them (see Heartbreaking Piece of Ground blog in the archives of PersimmonRidgeHoneyFarm.com). Unlike my other livestock, the bees are not confined to my land. As they forage for nectar, they fall victim to the pesticides and herbicides that my neighbors spray on their fields and to the genetically modified corn pollen that they gather to feed to their larvae.

Sometimes I grow weary of explaining myself. Why am I doing everything the “hard” way? Why do I let my fence rows grow up (duh? I’m a beekeeper and bees like wildflowers, not to mention the other beneficial insects, the nesting birds and other wildlife) when Roundup would kill those weeds in nothing flat? Why do I let my pastures grow up so long before bush-hogging them? (Ditto--bees and wildlife.) Why don’t I thin out my woodlot? Why don’t I use Seven on my garden? Why don’t I feed chemicals and conventional food to myself, my bees, chickens and goats? It goes on and on. What I want to know is why do people move to the country from the suburbs and then try to make the country look like the suburbs?!

I know full well why I do things the hard way and the reason is sound. Those of us who homestead sustainably are serving an extremely valuable purpose: We are the “zoos” for a world of modern agricultural. We are agricultural preservation zones. We are keeping skills alive that are quickly disappearing.

alishage
9/20/2013 3:29:25 PM

as Michael answered I am shocked that a student can earn $5030 in a few weeks on the internet. .......> www.jobs60.Com





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