Home Farm Herbery

  (Munfordville, Kentucky)
Home Farm Herbery Blog
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One of our readers sent us a fine letter

This is a response from one of our readers, “I appreciate your attempts at educating the public concerning the source of their food. We all want to eat every day.  Sustainable agriculture, the term is tossed around nowadays. Naturally it is a concept dear to my heart. With all my hard work and effort, I can not say that I have reached the stage of being self sustainable.

 

For some reason I have always had an interest in food production, paid attention and put two and two together. for instance, Long time ago, while still living in Germany, I noticed that since modern agriculture has been in full swing, and reliance on chemical fertilizers is heavy, that though the fields look lush and green, sometimes, on a corner and sometimes a whole strip, where the farmer missed a spot in fertilizer application, the corn is yellow and knee high. If there was no artificial fertilizer applied, the whole field would look that way and there would not be a crop.

 

When I was young, I lived through the transition of age old practices to modern agriculture. The land where I grew up has been continually farmed for a couple thousand years. During that time, it basically had maintained a reliable state of fertility. The farmers knew that you can not just take, you have to give back and you have to give back as much as you take in order to keep equilibrium. The farmer also practiced a tried and true system of crop rotation. Something that I observed, since I still saw fields tended the old way (I come from a very backwards region) were the relative lack of weeds and harmful insects. On my grandparents farm, where we raised oats, wheat and rye, also potatoes, mangels and turnips, the ground was never, ever treated with herbicides, there was no such thing yet, and yet, our fields were not infested. The hayfields, which we would have called meadows, had not been touched in probably hundreds of years. A variety of grasses, herbs and wildflowers grew and made very fragrant hay that kept animals healthy. Also, the hay was cut before the plants went to seed and so weeds were not spread onto fields by surviving seeds in the manure. I had to learn the hard way that you can not use old, spoiled hay as mulch as it is full of weed seeds nowadays.

Sustainable agriculture is like the famous "circle of life". The old dies and gives substance to the new. On my own place, I have worked very hard for several years to improve the soil. Basically I have employed a system that would best be referred to as "robbing Peter to pay Paul" as I am dependent on soil building mulch, manure, etc., that has been grown somewhere else. I try to be as natural as possible, but the hay my little cows eat, was grown on somebody else's unnatural field. Nevertheless, Paul has gotten richer. I am trying to apply all means to improve and help the natural effort of the soil to repair it.

 

Basically by growing green manure cover crops and interseeding things like ladino clover which takes nitrogen from the air and transfers it to the soil.  In my attempt to learn the local flora, I noticed that in some woodland where I was digging up some wildflowers, the soil looked rich and friable, much different than just a few yards away in the adjoining pasture. It is to be safely assumed, that a hundred some years ago, this was the general condition of most of the bottom lands.  It is a sad situation. Wendell Berry, whom I would consider a chronicler of good farming practices, had a character in one of his books says, “When the white man came to this country, he fell in like a pig in a corncrib wasting the abundance. We all have read the numbers, the unfathomable tons of good soil that has been washed away, irreplaceable. I consider it to be good economy to sell produce locally. Of course that is not sustainable agriculture at the soil level. Like a neighbor told me when I first moved here, you can not grow anything without 10-10-10. The question arises. 10-10-10 has not been around very long. What are we going to do if there is none?” My answer, “Try to be as organic as you can be and be a small scale farmer.” QWTCBCS5MEG9

Cold weather and good hot soup

We are busy here at Home Farm Herbery at many things such as starting many organic and heirloom seeds in the greenhouse, getting new raised planters built, creating new herb blends and putting new organic and heirloom seeds up on Local Harvest as they become ready and proven for 2013 plantings.

We start off our chilly mornings with some of our Home Farm Herbery teas and we find one of our favorites is our Herbal Chocolate Chai and it can be found at this link

http://www.localharvest.org/herbal-chocolate-chai-C24258

 

It been cold here with a lot of wind that brings us a low chill factor so the other day I made some good pumpkin soup and here is the recipe.

 

Zesty Pumpkin Soup

Makes 6 good size cups

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 cups chicken broth

1-3/4 cups (16 oz) can) Libby's solid-pack pumpkin

1 cup half & half

Optional: sour cream & chives

 

Direction

In large saucepan, melt butter, sauté onion and garlic until soft.

Add Home Farm Herbery’s Zesty Pumpkin Soup Blend

http://www.localharvest.org/pumpkin-soup-blend-C23784

and cook 1 minute.

Add broth gently, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in pumpkin and half & half; cook 5 minutes.

Pour into blender container. Blend until creamy.

Serve warm, or reheat to desired temperature.

Garnish with dollop of sour cream and chopped chives, if desired.

That soup coupled with some of Home Farm Herberys hearth baked crusty carraway rye bread was just the thing for a healthy delicious supper. Our carraway seeds are so good and can be found at http://www.localharvest.org/caraway-seeds-C24113

Our deal of the week is our White Wonder Cucumber seeds. This rare heirloom seed is in limited supply and we only have 5 packets so get your quickly at http://www.localharvest.org/cucumber-white-wonder-seeds-heirloom-C25028

 

 
 
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