Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
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If There Was Ever a Time in America to Plant a Garden

Picture The cost of food continues to rise. If you didn't realize it, you either don't do the grocery shopping, or you haven't ask the person who does!

You can do a search on the 'net and find all kinds of numbers indicating how much food products have gone up and what others believe they will do in the future.

  The viewpoint I liked was from Lynn Carpenter she believes "We have been enjoying a 60-year trend of low food prices that is crashing to an abrupt end this very year."

Lynn says (and I agree) the government numbers released, and what I see at the grocery store never seem to match up. She recommends figuring out how many hours you must work each week to pay for food.

She did some serious research and came up with some very interesting numbers! You can read it all here.

But all that aside if you go to the store a few times you get an idea of what it costs to eat and you suddenly feel a bit of gnawing worry. Now the mistake you might make is to leave the grocery store, get the groceries put away, and dismiss the gnawing worry telling yourself "it'll all work out somehow."

Don't fall into that mindset!

Nothing just "works itself out" and if it does, it is seldom in your favor.

Planting a garden is a proactive way to cut your food bill and improve your overall health.

Feeling overwhelmed when you think of  gardening?

Start Small

One of the best ways to get started growing your own food is to start small. Plant a few tomato plants and some bell peppers along the house.  Make a garden four feet by eight feet. Make raised beds etc.

I love High Density Gardening by Ric Wiley. Gardening is work no matter how you cut it but you can reduce the workload and space needed by using Ric's methods.

He covers everything from A to Z in this ebook.
  • How to plan your High Density Garden in order that you can maximize the quantity of crops you can grow
  • How to build a High Density Gardening bed
  • How to propagate seeds
  • Home made compost. How to make it quickly.
  • Much more

I'm a lover of ebooks because you can be reading them five minutes after you decide to purchase them! Which might be why I spend so much at Amazon on my Kindle.

Take a look at High Density Gardening and download a copy and get started planning now. It takes some planning, money and effort to harvest a successful garden.

But it is worth it!

Imagine your very own lush, green, vibrant garden this spring. Can't you taste the garden fresh tomato's, beans, onions, peppers, cucumbers, water melons, peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet corn, cabbage, you get the point……

until next time!


 

 
 

How To Opt Out of a Food Shortage

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I posted back in January What does 2011 Hold and Five Steps You Should Take.

Since then fuel prices have continued to go up. Grain prices are up, and food prices continue to rise.




Fuel (diesel) has just now reached $4 a gal here in my part of Ohio. $4.05 to be exact.

The world's best real estate investor, Sam Zell, told CNBC last week: "My single biggest financial concern is the loss of the dollar as the reserve currency... I think you could see a 25% reduction in the standard of living in this country if the U.S. dollar was no longer the world's reserve currency."

Folks don't bury your head in the sand.

"A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered." - Proverbs 27:12 The Message


Of the five steps I outlined previously, I want to focus on one that I feel is so important that I'm going to say this:

There is absolutely no reason why anyone should not do this.

If you only take action on one tip, do this:

PLANT A GARDEN.

The most basic, fundamental, insurance policy for your family is to provide food for them. Start planning now.

If you think about it there is no downside to planting a garden. If I'm crazy (along with some the most informed, wealthy people in this country) then the worst thing that happens is you have some good, fresh, food to feed your family.

But if things continue to decline - not just in our economy, but worldwide unrest seems to be getting more prevalent.

Then throw in some natural disasters.

Can you imagine a disruption in our oil imports? If we think $4 -$5 a gallon is expensive for fuel....

And the real question is how much of your monthly budget can you spend for fuel and food while still meeting your current obligations?

My friend it is time to wake up! Get out your pen and paper and figure out where, when, and how you're going to plant a garden!

I recently went on the hunt for some good solid information on small garden "how to." I wanted to see if I could point you in the right direction while you were reading this and take all the excuses away!


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High Density Gardening
I'm a big believer in intense gardening. I grew up with the typical huge garden that you see on most farms of that time.

We spent hours weeding, hoeing, having a roto-tiller beat us to death, hilling up potatoes, and generally working the garden.


With my schedule I don't have much time to spend in a garden. I bet your schedule is like mine. Ric, the author of High Density Gardening has got it figured out.

He covers everything from A to Z in this ebook.

  • How to plan your High Density Garden in order that you can maximize the quantity of crops you can grow
  • How to build a High Density Gardening bed
  • How to propagate seeds
  • Home made compost. How to make it quickly.
  • Much more

And the best part- You can download it and be reading it within the next 5 minutes.

I'm no stranger to gardening and I was impressed with this book. His writing style is refreshing and he knows his stuff. I'm already planning some changes to my gardening and I'm excited!

No more excuses! Get your mind made up to plant a garden this year. Don't wait until you discover the economy or food prices have killed your budget. Do something now! When a friend is talking about how much produce has gone up at the store wouldn't you rather be telling them you haven't bought much produce since you started your High Density garden?

Or how about this - you offer them some of your garden produce at a better price than the local grocery store because you have so much!

Until next time!


 

 
 

Why Every Child Should Spend Time On a Farm

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Helping hold pigs
One of the reasons I started farming again was I wanted my kids to experience the life I had as a child.  I believe there are many reasons why kids should spend time on a small farm. Heck they should visit a giant factory farm also. Matter of fact I think everyone should visit a factory farm. It would change the way you buy your food.

But lest I digress...

Let's just zero in on kids for now. Children need to know where their food comes from. They need to understand that farm animals have a noble calling of supplying the human race with meat, eggs, dairy, and fiber.

All that aside, there are so many things children can learn from farming. Take for instance, my two boys. Early into our farming adventure I began to share with them that not only did we supply other families with food but they paid us to do that.

Then I showed them a batch of gilts (young female pigs) and asked if they wanted to pick one to have babies and they could raise them, care for them, and be responsible for them. If did that they would get a cut of the profits when we sold them.

The oldest was quick to ask "how much money?" My youngest was thrilled to have a pig he could name and call his own. They both did pretty well at taking responsibility according to their age and knowledge.

My oldest son had figured up how much each pig might make him. After several discussions about how I had to purchase the pig, supply the feed and do all the marketing, we struck up a deal that I would gift them the pig but feed would have to be paid for out of the proceeds.

This gave me a great platform to show them the importance of controlling your costs and looking for ways and methods to reduce inputs while still producing a good, quality product.

They now had a vested interest in working the farm and caring for animals. I had to remind them many, many, times they would get paid for their hard work. It was teaching them patience, delayed gratification, and responsibility. I think these are all excellent traits kids should learn as soon as possible.

Contrast this with many of the kids today who demand material things and act like the world owes them. I strive to teach my boys the world owes them nothing and will pay them only based on the value they provide others.

I was tempted to over pay them for their hard work or give in and front them some money when they really wanted a new game or gadget.

But the truth is that wouldn't be helping them, it would only make me feel better. That is until it was time to pay them and I had to deduct the money or worse yet they didn't have any left.

When it came time for the pigs to have piggies, my oldest son's pig was a horrible mother and lost all her pigs in the first twenty four hours. He was crushed. I explained to him that it was a risk that we take as farmers and I know it stinks but that was life...not always fair. I used it to teach him things happen in life that we can't always control.

I made him a deal, since this was his first time, I would trade him for another pig and he could continue on and I would take the loss.

When it came time to sell the pigs we sat down and had a short lesson in math and paid them both what was due them. We also explained they needed to open a savings account and deposit half of the money to start a savings.

They didn't care for that but agreed. We then helped them decide how the money would be spent.

Since then both of my boys are actively involved in the farm. Some work they get paid for and some things are just a requirement of being part of the team here.

We remind them no one pays us for cutting the grass or doing laundry etc. Those are just part of life. Part of being a family and caring for one another.

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Proud of the pumpkins
Visiting a farm and spending time there gives kids all kinds of opportunities to learn how life really is. If things don't go well you can't just re-boot the game and start over.

On the other hand when the boys have had friends over they are always required to help with chores. Some of them are glad to help and others not so much.

But one thing I have noticed from every single boy who comes here and helps on the farm. When we are done and I have encouraged them to do something they might be a bit uneasy with such as wading into a pasture full of hungry pigs and dumping feed in the feeder, they strut to the house like they just won a medal. To quote Joel Salatin in his latest book, THE SHEER ECSTASY OF BEING A LUNATIC FARMER, "one of the reasons our young people have such a poor self-image is because we aren't letting them receive adult praise for worthy work accomplished well."

I guarantee you the next school day they are bragging to their buddies that were feeding pigs on the farm and telling every other adventure they encountered while here.

The farm is a great place for kids to learn new skills and feel like they accomplished something worthwhile.

When I first started insisting the boys help on the farm it took longer to get things done than if I just did myself. But little by little, they began to catch on to what I call basic life skills. I see so many kids today who don't have a clue how to do anything with their hands. They cry and whine about having to be outside because it's hot or cold or they are hungry.

When the boys would complain about being hungry I told them I was hungry too but we would stop when we are at a place that made sense to stop not because we were hungry.

Same thing with being hot or cold or whatever they were complaining about. I stress to them stop listening to your body cry and whine and set your mind to get done.

This past year many things "gelled" around here at chore time. What used to take hours now takes minutes. Many things I had to tell them over and over they do without even thinking. They chide me for standing around when something needs done. I hear them repeat back to me things I thought they would never learn.

They think ahead and work smart not wasting time or energy.

You may be getting the idea I run a boot camp here at Spring Hill Farms. But don't be alarmed. My boys have all the games and gadgets and time to play and be crazy as most other kids their age.

But the older they get the more of a blessing they become. They are generous, caring, responsible,  and have a strong work ethic for their age.

Children will be a blessing or a curse. Parents are the key ingredient in determining which they will be. 

Visit a farm, offer to help, let them get dirty. Start a small garden at home and give your children a part to play in it. Not just the work, but the reward as well. Use it to teach them basic life skills and character.

Don't make the mistake of thinking someone will influence your kids more than you will. You hold the key to your child's future use it while they are still young and willing. What you teach them now will be part of their legacy, and yours.

Until next time...
 
 
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