Agropraxis Farm

  (Scotts, Michigan)
A Ultra-Low Carbon input farm using Eco-Bio methods.
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What I learned at Market

Farmers Markets are such an interesting microcosm of our society. They bring together such a wide variety of people all to support the broad community each Market services. Farmers, bakers, entreprenuers, organizers and the broad spectrum of consumers that make the market. It seems interesting what I learned from a few of my fellow vendors last week.

As the market slowed and we had a chance to breathe, we struck up conversations amongst groups of vendors to pass the time until time to pack up or a last rush of shoppers demanded our attnetion. We were a group of farmers, farm wokers, soap maker and baker. What I learned is that this is a default money maker for each and everyone of us. We all had other things we are trained for and prepared to do but choose to be at market. One of us was a former investment banker, one an accountant, another a mathmatician and other assorted professions. I've met teachers, musicians, artists to show the variety of people drawn to markets. Our reasons are all the same. The market provides a wonderful opportuity for all of us to benefit from the time and energy we put into our products and offerings. It has a better schedule than the office. It is direct to consumer interaction and many of us thrive with that type of contact. The baker was happy to be a dad when not at market. The office demanded too much. I enjoy providing great food for famlies to nourish themselves. The farm worker was glad to work outside and have something different to do each day.

I tend to think the markets have grown and expanded because they meet the needs that our society has ceased to offer. Opportunities is the big one, but people interaction and support is another big part of it.

Farmer Pete


Summer Season

Weather and subtle seasonal changes can be noted on the farm. We had a big overnight storm during last week. It blew hard, rained down hard and left us with dramatically milder weather. The storm left us with power out for 36 hours, enough downed trees and limbs to supply wood burners for at least a season and a bit of damage to some plants. The power meant a generator was needed to water the cattle herd and supply wash water for the vegetables. From warm and humid to cool, dry and sunny was a welcome change. Suddenly the sweat was no longer dripping down my nose or soaking my clothes within 5 minutes.

A nest of barn swallows are nearly ready to fledge. As I enter the barn the parent on duty would swoop at me and sound alarm. Over time the swallows learned my untheartening habits and merely observed from a safe perch. As I exited the barn they would follow and circle a few times before sounding a call I think was an “all clear” and returned to bird calm. I can tell the 3-maybe 4 chicks are almost ready to fledge. Their droppings are growing to a significant pile (I learned last year to be careful not to leave equipment under the nest) and they crowd the nest. Flying lessons soon!

Monster the 18 month old farm cat has become a proficient huntress. Catching mice, voles, and gophers at will. She finds pickings so easy that she offers extras to those of us working on the farm. In return she'll share a cheese snack when offered but swears of all vegetables. Must be a true predator-carnivore!

I started reading a story by a favortie storyteller, Ivan Doig. I liked the description of one of the main characters and identified with the message. Doig wrote that the character had gotten to their place in life by not taking the easy way but by, “..taking the uphill route.” A smile to myself with recognition that life's path is not always one we can plan.

Farmer Pete

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