paul wheaton wrote:Smackdown in about 90 minutes. Full access to my patreon peeps https://www.patreon.com/paulwheaton
Today's show will be about the permaculture movie "gracie's backyard."
Here are my notes I took in preparation for today's show:
00:00:46 - Hang wet gloves SIGN - reminds me of wheatons
00:01:25 - Dog chained up
00:01:33 - poultry meet birds in a chicken tractor
00:01:40 - camper in the background - do workers live in it?
00:01:42 - gas powered 4 wheeler
00:02:09 - Quick-cut greens harvester $559 - https://farmersfriendllc.com/products/harvest/quick-cut-greens-harvester
00:03:10 - luckies girl in the world - smart parents
00:03:59 - 10 hector farm. wanted forestry, pasture land, good condition buildings, close to international transport
00:04:25 - enterprise of perennial crops and pasture to create super nutrient based foods that would sell locally.
00:04:42 - main enterprise is pasture raised broilers and pastured eggs - market garden are being upscaled
00:05:04 - All enterprises on the farm run together but can also be run as sole enterprises. Every enterprise can be scaled up to provide a full family income. - productive, profitable farm
00:06:01 - runs an educational facility and looking for people who are driven by a desire to be a benefit.
00:06:16 - using a broad fork - Bully Tools 92627 Broad Fork with Fiber Glass Handle by Bully Tools Link: http://a.co/iID0M5a
00:06:46 - "im not looking for very skilled people because you have to undo a whole load of thinking". Richard is designing a market garden and at the same time his intern, Matthew , is posting a book on market gardening "The Market Gardener". Now richard makes the intern the market gardener manager on the farm.
00:08:19 - started a CSA "Community Supported Agriculture" where they sell boxes of food a year in advance to reduce risk of starting up. Sell everything within a 50 kilometer marketplace on purpose, not because they have to.
00:09:49 - 20 boxes on the truck for sale (are they meeting a quality check requirement?) - 2 stay on the farm - inventory check
00:10:00 - eggs are delivered with invoice - person dropping off the produce is maintaining a relationship (asking questions about what the customers are saying, confirming the amount of delivery for the next shipment, observing the pricing of other products in the store to see what they can add to try and sell at their marketplace)
00:11:00 - 2 people do deliveries. One is doing the navigation and talking with the store representative while the other is doing the driving, heavy lifting, and observing the stores other products
00:11:57 - setup a table in a centralized area of customers where they meet every wednesday from 4:30 - 5:30 to pick up their csa boxes (opportunity to meet customers - some come to the farm but most prefer to meet here)
00:13:04 - customers get to meet the farmer directly and talk with them
00:14:30 - health is important on the farm "if people get sick here, the system collapses"
00:15:04 - drying herbs on a large in-door drying rack built from what looks like a coat hanger box
00:16:45 - Gracie explains chicken sex and how sex works! while in the indoor brooder. Understands that the broilers "boilers" will be raised and then harvested / eaten
00:17:25 - fully raised broilers are loaded from their Joel Saltine style chicken tractor into transportation crates
00:17:45 - "we really enjoy the broiler operation because it is something a person get get their head around and operate in a matter of weeks." Very simple. 3,000 broilers this year, 5,000 next year. Slaughter is done on farm. This is a very profitable enterprise that provides the funds to start the other operations.
00:18:32 - snipping heads off in cone. I prefer to slice the throat and bleed them out
00:19:20 - seperating necks, keeping gizzards, livers as seperate product.
00:19:50 - seperating chickens by quality measures "grades" (cuts, feathers, size, brusing, coloring, touching other birds causes problems).
00:20:44 - not trying to maximize income from products, trying to create a nice balance that pays debts off in business plan and creates maximum functionality between the different systems. Egg layers don't provide much profit directly but indirectly they provide fertalizer for the other enterprises.
00:21:43 - atv pulls egg mobiles which are designed to what the atv can pull
00:22:31 - not enough grass to sustain future livestock alone, the checkins are put through small areas of pasture at a time on rotation with little impact on the grass and a lot of fertilizer. Mob grazing
00:22:54 - at night the layers all go into their egg mobile, that is when the doors are closed for two reasons. 1. prevent predators from accessing the chickens. 2. chickens are ready to be rotated to the next pasture in the morning without having to round them all up. Once the layers are in the new area they are released and the eggs are collected. Eggs are put into metal baskets with paper padding on the bottom.
00:23:04 - "Agnus" runs field surveys to understand what lands need the next rotation of grazing and to track changes over time. They are a demonstration site and need to demonstrate the changes. Grazing planning is designed to increase biomass and soil quality of the farm.
1st thing "Agnus" looks at is coverage. How much greens and fetch there is. When the last impact was and from what animals. Also observing what different plants are coming in to the area over time. Agnus had no idea about different species or how to identify them when she started. She cuts grass and weighs it when it is wet. Puts them into zip lock bags and labels which pasture they came from.
00:27:26 - stacking production "functions" on multiple layers. Forest gardening style. On the farm they deal with silvopasture, key-line systems "Yeomans plow" by creating patters of parallel lines on the landscape. Moved by a large tractor which looks to be hired (rented). Everything is always the same width apart. This works great when moving animals through the different lines. Integration of tree crops into the farm is very important for nutrients, wind brake, biomass fuel, soil building and additional forage crops for sale.
00:29:21 - 59.6 degree latitude. about 30 species of trees to work with. they are planting/harvesting apple, pear, plum, cherry, raspberry, black current, white current, red current, gooseberry, house cap, hazel. experiments with breeding chestnuts and walnuts to find the ones that will fruit at their latitude as a personal project for Gracie to have.
00:31:00 - Mid July - gooseberry, black current, raspberries coming in. surprising how little space these crops take up. They are specifically planted in rows of mature height so that all of the tree/shrub systems get sunlight.
00:31:34 - 1.8 meter wide tree lanes - low yield estimate of 70-80,000 euros of crops in these tree lanes. 70,000 euro = 82,448.45 USD
00:32:23 - Most farmers tell their kids to go get a "real job" and avoid farming. If you have trashed your systems, what are you bequifing your children with. But if you can show your children the high quality of life you can have here because of the systems I have put in place. They will see the value and the amount of money that can be produced is better than working for someone else.
00:33:40 - "I don't think farmers mean to do harm, they are just doing what they have been told to do." - random intern
00:34:21 - in the chicken tractors, they are feeding with two feeding troughs per tractor to keep the competition down. Looks like there is about a 5:1 spacing for the chickens in their tractor.
00:34:40 - random intern says "I watched my friends campaign for things I was also passionate about. The problem is campaign based organizing still leaves the power in someone else's hands. It leaves people without sovernty. Still asking someone else to give something they should already have a right to do." "We are a lot stronger by making decisions by ourself than depending on a state to provide us with our needs."
00:36:18 - meetings and community.
00:37:08 - dairy cows and milking are introduced. Intern is being friendly to the cow, petting, scratching and feeding before milking. while milking another intern is scratching the cows head and keeping it comfortable.
Cows are in the same area as sheep. Looks to be about 12-15 sheep.
00:38:49 - using electric solar powered net fencing to setup grazing pastures and moving cattle between the two pastures.
00:39:22 - Richard says "Oak tree moves water through trunk at 1 meeter per minute to supply leaves with moisture for respiration. A single Rye grass at full photosynthesis moves water at 25 centimeters per second" which makes them very good at capturing solar and putting carbon into the soils from the atmosphere. We should be preserving this grass for grass fed livestock instead of cutting it and then feeding it to the livestock for maximum carbon capture.
00:41:10 - tree house build in spruce crop. tree house is rented out for more profit than harvesting the spruce trees can produce. The rentals go for more by allowing renters to work along side the interns and to eat food from the farm.
00:43:29 - intern explains that instead of bitching about problems, at ridgdale you get the opportunity to do something about it and be the change you are seeking
00:43:50 - richard says "The things the turn people on to regenerative agriculture are integrated animal systems, starting a market garden and the design process. What really makes the farm work boils down to the grunt of hard work."
00:44:24 - intern says what scares people is that there is so much different types of work and you cannot be in full control of what you are doing. But the key is letting go of wanting to control everything and instead learn and listen makes things fun.
00:45:14 - Intern - things look chaotic but at the end of the day it all gets done. Hard work is respected here.
00:47:00 - Government council says they do not know how to classify the land because it does not look like a farm. Veteranarian comes to do salmonella testing on the animals. Duct taped shoes walk around layer mobile to collect samples.
00:50:04 - making hay old school hanging by hand style which allows you to make hay when its raining. This is nostalgic to locals and they appreciate seeing people do it like it used to be done in the area.
The mechanical disturbance would have removed all of the healthy leaves the hay has when doing it by hand. Hay is then transported by kabota atv and put into the hay barn by hand.
00:53:35 - duck is introduced. no water catchment off of the roof
00:54:06 - supper bell is rung while intern and Gracie are harvesting the dehydrated herbs. Supper is held in a large yurt (where the meeting was held). Everybody eats together. The mood is changed by what you eat so putting a lot of love into the food is important - says the cook.
Talking about growing mango and banana. Are they growing those?
Blueberry and raspberry is harvested in the woods by the cook and included in the food with crapes. Large mushrooms are also being harvested by the cook as well.
Cook says it is interesting that people are working for free but it does not work for the real world.
00:59:00 - Richard says we do get free labor but it would not meet my objectives to hire someone. I would rather train people and teach them. If they deliver and perform we put them in as farm managers. If they are successful at that, then we hire them.
The future of agriculture has a lot more people on the ground.
01:00:05 - Intern CSA manager - we all chose to be here and paid to to work for no pay. The experience that I am getting here I cannot get anywhere else. I cannot call someone up and say "Hey, I notices you are starting up a market garden, I have been driving trucks for the last five years, do you mind if I come and manage your CSA."
Another intern says there is nowhere else I can go and learn how to build my own farm. When I first got here I was disappointed for a week or two because it was not exactly how I dreamed it would be, I did not realize I have to take the initiative and do what needs to be done by myself.
Another intern says family asks me why I am doing this without pay, and I say I am getting paid in different ways and I am not paying for a school. I am getting the tools here to go and make a living at it on my own. People need to know that farming can make a living from it.
01:00:50 - looks like they are moving purchased grains to sealed 50 gallon plastic drums.
01:02:41 - Intern? says she tried many farm communities before and the community part was taking too much of the time and energy and they were not doing productive things. Richard has a clear plan and amazing abilities to put the plan into action. Richard runs a hierarchy system. No single piece can be removed without effecting the whole. Everything is a pattern to take care of the whole but nothing does not take care of itself first. Work, play, rest, and learning are all one big fun thing called life. I feel like a kid every day jumping from one project to the next.
Intern says - some days it can just feel like work, but it is work that is super simple and doable where we create food and beneficial effect you can see. Like flipping compost turns a market garden into delicious food.
I am doing this so that I can tell my grandchildren I was aware of this global system crash and I did something about it.
01:07:02 - closes with Gracie and Richard on a boat fishing. Richard says it is my idea of how a kid should grow up. That is the root foundation for the whole thing. When I was 15 I decided I wanted to live on the land because that is how a kid should be raised, on the land. It is natural in all of us but it gets damned out by social pressures, parents, and friends. Gracie can get into anything she wants with whatever focus she wants as long as it is beneficial. The more we include kids in an adult way with decision making the more they learn and mature. She is very capable of making productive decisions and following through.
Intern - she is a representative of the future on this farm. Making intelligent comments. Another intern - she really understands the connections between all of these things. I found it very valuable to be able to talk to her as if she was an adult.
If she is a representation of the future, than we are good to go.