Hog and Dogs Ranch / Produce

  (Herald, California)
Piggin out on natural grown pig

Drought What to do and still have a great season

I live and farm in California that has its own problems, Right now we are in a drought which to other states is a normal thing,but to us its an OH MY GOD what do we do,I am surprised how fast  fellow farmers looked to the Government for help-- WHY they can't make water! Mind you we are not a large farm we have a CSA and Proteins, but the concern is the same, it is our lively hood, Here at Hog and Dogs Ranch/produce we have been using mulch for years to cut down on the water use,We are always open for suggestions to improve what we are doing, Most small farms feel the same way , with that said I found a website called Dancing Turtle it  has some great ideas for staying safe and still watering,our plants being concerned but not panic,taking it in hand instead of asking for a hand out let me know what you think..........


What is Food & Water Security?

Food and water security exists when all people have access to clean, safe, and healthy food and water.

Although the definition may state the obvious, it's not necessarily easy to achieve.  Depending on your location fresh, healthy, local foods are not always easy to obtain.  Our goal is to spread awareness and share our knowledge of fresh, local, and healthy foods.  We also strive to develop skills related to food production and consumption.

Water is an essential ingredient for sustaining life and all aspects of the food chain from production, transportation, and preparation to consumption.  Nearly 70 percent of the Earth's surface consists of water, yet only 2 percent of this water is fresh and only a small portion of this is readily accessible.  Despite these statistics, there's still a lot of water available, but given its importance and limitations it's a resource well worth taking care of.

Animal Welfare Approved

Yesterday Lance Gegner came to visit our farm, We showed him around he took pictures yes he asked first, We didn't care if your not doing anything wrong you shouldn't care if someone takes pictures! He looked at everything our pens our pasture, our feed items. Took labels off bags.Showed us on a label in small print,what we had not noticed. Then he said "You are doing a great job and we will be glad to include your farm into our program" My husband Brien and myself are very proud to be one of the few here in California, Lance told us "its not easy,"  We have learned Nothing worth having is easy to achieve at least it hasn't been for us. But this makes this week a whole lot better, Read up on there program,see what you think can your farm make the cut, If you can its well worth it,for you and your animals Especially for the animals Name of the program is called Animal Welfare Approved add a .org and look them up,

Ag Ins

Oh my Goodness getting ins to cover CSA's I have had a problem.The only thing I can think of is I MUST BE DOING IT WRONG, I have had USAA my whole life ,my children have it but they do not cover Ag so went to the Grange for my Ag ins,so many of our ag friends have it,BUT they are very leery about chickens and turkeys, they don't seem to have any issue with cattle,pork but when you have a lot going on ????? Maybe its just the agent we had,I don't know she did make a comment" why did you tell me that" What does that mean should I have lied about what we offered,Goodness we post on localharvest all we do,we never ever tried to hide anything If anyone has information on a good Ins person please send us the INFO so we may get coverage we need, or if anyone has had the same problem maybe your incite will help others so they won't go through what we did and are.  All help is a learning experience for the giver and receiver I being the receiver needs the learn en . 

locust how do you stop them?

This is one of the worst things that have happened for us while growing chemical and pesticide free foods. 8 days ago we had a few grasshoppers, which grew to a overwhelming amount. We called for help to universities,with bug programs, to find out what to do.Time passed the news showed up channel 31 KOVR they were wonderful wanted to help but they didn't know what to do either??? We waited for someone with more knowledge to call,NOTHING then finally I was able to speak to a Berkley professor he tried to give suggestions,Told us to call UC Davis we already had we were waiting for them to call back. Finally an answer or was it "your best bet is to try to build a trench around the area and fill it with a soppy or oily mixture," We are on our 6th day when the call came in, its a little late for the devastation they have already caused. On the internet it suggested making a drench of sorts to spray on and around the plants one was out of jalapeno or whatever hot pepper we could use grind it soak in water for 24 hours add cooking oil and spray over the plants it is said that locust or grasshoppers hate hot peppers.I wish i could have had the grant money they got to come up with this,We went out and took pictures of the bugs eating our jalapenos from inside the peppers ate the plants to the dirt,so much for that idea we could really use some true farming ideas to help it is a try and try again thing our CSA opens on the 28th with a open house if this keeps up we will be serving choc covered grasshoppers as the main course.

new news about birthing crates

Kroger asks for 'accelerated' move to stall-free pork

By Rod Smith

The Kroger Co. announced this morning that it has started to inform its pork suppliers that it believes "a gestation crate-free environment" is a more humane means of housing pregnant sows than individual stalls and that pork producers should work toward a transition to stall-free housing for pregnant sows.

The company said it encourages its suppliers "to accelerate" this transition, which it noted already is underway. The company acknowledged that this transition "may take many years."

Kroger said it has long pursued science-based standards for animal welfare, and in recent months, the company has sought the advice of animal welfare experts and other professionals regarding the use of gestation stalls "and has concluded that there are many ways to humanely house sows" but that stall-free is more humane.

Kroger is the second-largest supermarket system in the U.S., after Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) immediately applauded the announcement.

Kroger has taken "a very important step for animal welfare in declaring that the pork industry must find an exit strategy for its use of gestation creates," said HSUS chief executive officer and president Wayne Pacelle. Americans believe that all animals deserve humane treatment and that "it's wrong for producers to immobilize pigs in small crates for months and even years," he said.

In recent weeks, a number of major restaurants and Safeway have announced expectations and schedules for pork suppliers to provide them with stall-free pork, and Kroger's announcement indicates its preparation to join that list.

Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, operates 2,435 stores in 31 states under two dozen banners. The company also operates 791 convenience stores and 39 food processing plants.

It had 2011 sales that totaled $90.4 billion. 

WOW can you believe I might have been correct about something Its hard for me to wrap myself around that fact also


diatomaceous earth

Looking for more information, We use diatomaceous earth for pest control with our livestock and in are garden, we give table spoon to our horses daily and use it on our plants to keep the bugs down. I have also left a tub with it in the pasture for the cows to taste. We also put it in the fly bags for the cows to beat up.The fly's seem to be better this year than last, I was just wondering if anybody else uses it on a regular basis, now mind you we pay the extra for the food grade type due to the grand kids being here all the time.I have spoken to older cowboy type that swear by it,does anybody know how it works as a dust bath for chickens we were looking to try it.  Any in put greatly wanted


Love and Hate the rain

As we go through the rain I am sitting in front of our fire place drinking a strong cup of coffee, listing to the weather on Good Day Sacramento 31.I haven't seen the amount they claimed was going to happen ,but its not over yet, Cows look happy about the young piglets are having a great time sliding in the mud,  When they were born they were a nice pinkish color Yorkshire breeding beautiful babies today they are Duroc but still cute.the produce that is in the ground is holding nicely. others waiting may have a longer time in there cold frame just do to the mud, My daughter says "oh mom people in la pay good money to just lay in that", I say" be glad to have those customers to help fund the farm. Hows the weather in your areas??,your crops?? I do hope everyone is enjoying the lifestyle of home grown eating. 

Birthing crates

I have a question? Why do most hog farmers push birthing crates on new breeders,I have never understood, we have raised hogs,swine,pigs,piglets for over 20 years never owned one never needed one. However I did by one a few months ago, for $50.00 from a very smart man that upgraded to a newer model,  through his whole barn  He was very surprised with the reason I bought it Not for what it was intended, We took it concreted it to a 6 inch slab if i need to give a shot  of give any unpleasant anything i just move them into it. works great.  But for having babies NO I am in not way a tree huger but as a mother of 7 you would have to kill me to get me to spend my labor hours and the next 2 weeks after in a box. Whats your opinion and why ? 
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