Sustainable Farmers – Stewards of the Land . Chapter 8

signMORNING GLORY FARM, GRANT TOWNSHIP, MINNESOTA, June 25, 2010.   This is an ongoing photo journalism series about Sustainable Organic Farmers.  To see more, click on the farming category in the menu on the left, then previous entries when you reach the bottom. A word about “organic”.    Previous to our current Administration, the USDA allowed some of the original standards of organic to relax due to pressure from commercial operations.  Making it almost impossible for the consumer to know what is truly organic.  The O’Bama Administration has made some changes that will allow the National Organic Program to do a better job with the organic designation.  Farmers such as Rebecca remain true to the original ideal.  Eggs are a good example.  If an organic farmer sells their eggs to a grocer, government regulation requires that they be cleaned, which usually means washed in chlorine.  Free range could mean that the farmer lets the birds out in a fenced confinement for 15 minutes.  One must be diligent in choosing food beyond reading labels.  KNOW WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM. Morning Glory eggs are made by free range, happy, healthy hens fed on purely organic nutritional meal.   They virtually have the run of the entire place.  Because they are truly free range, the diet is diverse plants and proteins only available while stomping about all day.

eggs

Read more important facts about eggs here:  Dr. Mercola on Eggs.

hives

Honey is an organic challenge.  It’s very difficult to call honey organic since bees can fly up to 2 miles to collect nectar & pollen.  Some honey is labeled “natural” or “raw”.  Beware of honey that has been processed, heated or mixed with other things like flavorings.   Some beekeepers will use insecticides in their hives for mites, or feed their bees antiobiotics.  This of course ends up in the honey.  Bees that feed on plants full of pesticides will not only be sick, but bring the toxic pesticides back to the hive.  The best way is to place the hives in a location bursting of pesticide & chemical-free plants & trees that the bees like with a clean water source.  Rebecca does not treat her hives or plants, or heat the honey.  This means, the pure, untreated honey goes right from the hive to the jar full of vital enzymes, amino acids & vitamins from nature.  See more about honey nutrition here.

emptypasture

Morning Glory milk cow, Tess, & calf are now settled at their new home, grazing in the pasture.  The goal is to move all four cows in together in the larger pasture, but there are complications with that. Currently the calf and pigs get the milk.  Eventually, the calf will be weaned off Mom Cow and all the milk will be for human consumption.   This week has been in the 90′s and hot.  The flies are brutal. Rebecca hand sprays her cows and horses daily with a natural herbal mix to help keep the biting flies off.  It even smells good.

cowsinpasture
horses

Above:  The horse herd is comprised of Rebecca’s own horses, plus some that needed a place to live.  Rebecca trained horses in California and rode daily.  There’s no time for riding now.  The horses have a spacious stalled barn for evenings and plenty of pasture with a shelter with water by day.

water

Above:  In the high afternoon heat, Rebecca & Katie make sure the water is working properly in the sheep pasture.  They are about to expand the sheep pasture fence.  The sheep were adjacent to her vegetable garden fence, but leaned into it and found their way into the garden.  No vegetables were left behind.

fencingline

Above:  The sheep are moved regularly to new pastures providing organic natural grasses.  The fencing is moveable solar electrical.  Below:  the expanded sheep pasture.

sheepyard

Rebecca & Katie are working hard in this heat to get fencing and new areas set up allowing the animals shade and grazing area.   Below:  The pigs have grown and rooted up their entire area, so today, the fencing will be expanded to allow a shaded area and more room.

pigpenfeedpigsRebecca spent a lot of time researching feed.  One of the pig feeds listed protein on the label.  Upon further investigation, the protein turned out to be PORK! You would think the feed company would have learned a lesson from mad cow.  Not only is this unethical and inhumane, it’s also dangerous.   Rebecca’s pig feed is a nutritional mix of non-gmo corn, soy & minerals.  Below:  Rebecca & Katie fill the water & deliver feed.

pigfeed

This pig fence is different than the sheep fencing.  It’s lower to the ground since pigs don’t jump over, but sturdier.  The solar fencing comes on reels which are strung from post to post.

fencepower

The pigs love their new shady digs.

pigyardpigworld

The happy pigs lunch and lounge while Rebecca continues working through the heat delivering fresh hay to root about in.  A Farmer’s work is never done.

hay

Photography Tip:  Photojournalism began when photographers were hired by the government to go across the country recording living conditions and war casualties.  The goal was to reflect events as accurately as possible.  To show the real stuff, it’s best not to use special filters, retouching techniques, unusual perspectives or lens.  Show the action as it’s happening without imposing direction or staging.  This genre of photography can mean you’re waiting for hours to see the action happen because you’re not forcing or staging it.

Share on Facebook

Comments are closed.