Helen Atthowe, Missoula County Extension Agent (Missoula, Montana) talks about the farming techiques she used near Stevensville, Montana. She calls it "Conservation Farming".
Helen is well known in the Missoula area, not just as the Missoula county extension agent, but also as one of the most popular vendors at the Missoula farmers Market / Missoula Saturday market.
"The goal of our conservation farming is to increase farm profitability by decreasing labor and land requirements while striving to mimic the ecological principles that make native plant systems sustainable. The ecological principles we hope to mimic include reduced tilalge, increase species and genetic diversity, closed nutrient cycles, and creation of more diverse habitat. We look at our farm from a landscape or watershed level and hope to reconnect wild areas, agriculture and urban areas. Conservation agriculture is both biologically and socially a local agriculture."
"We're trying to develop an agriculture system, in this case a vegetable production system, that sponsors its own fertility."
Biological pest management: ".. mimic from a natural system is to sponsor our own pest control." "We're creating habitat for beneficial insects, parasites and predetors ..."
"We are trying to provide habitat for birds, and pollinator insects and for other mammals that may be in the system. We're trying to create a link between natural systems and agricultural systems."
Includes footage of an all native hedgerow.
Helen talks about issues with voles and how the voles attracted snakes, coyotes and foxes.
That is so refreshing to see considering how many generations of farmers have listened to their County Agent telling them how many hundreds of pounds of chemicals per acre they need to apply to achieve a crop.
County Agents come out of our state AG colleges armed with all of the chemical knowledge needed to continue destroying our nation's farmland. It is nice to see an agent that is not a spokesperson for 'agribusiness'.
We have problems with coyotes here out in the county pretty bad actually. As fun as that is to see them romping the garden and part of the eco-system, they are considered quite a nuisance here. How is she finding harmony with creatures that are considered pests or undesirable? People lose chickens, cats and small dogs out there regularly.
Would you mind it if i translate it and put dutch subtitles under it to add it to youtube again for the dutch permies and future permies? (dont know exactly how to do this but im sure i'll figure it out. obviously it will redirect here and to your youtube channel.)
we wont increase your traffic much, there live 16.000.000 people in the netherlands but the old permie googlegroup only had 200 members, the new forum we started two months ago just 50...
Im mostly setting up the forums to get a good online source, or bundling sources in dutch, for non english speakers.
One thing that is really lacking here is proffesionals applying permaculture (or whatever you wanto call it), out here it's still a hobby type of thing; although many people are feeding themselves, apart from a few educational sites not many large scale projects. just a few people are busy with permaculture proffesionally, would be good to have more (examples of) farms that are actually depending on produce.
that's why i liked this film especially: will be played at a few potluck for sure!
land and liberty at s.w.o.m.p. www. swompenglish.wordpress.com
I gave up farming because I had farmed commercially for 17 years on this piece of land in MT mostly by myself. I was ready to work with others and move back closer to the natual farming I learned when I was in my 20s. I sold my farm to a couple who are farming it organically using some of the reduced tillage techniques I developed. I am now consulting and helping others with their farms and stewardship projects as well as designing and creating a small forest garden that gives me great joy. There's a time and place for everything!