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Barefoot Farmer

Barefoot Farmer - Jeff Poppen

The Barefoot Farmer (Jeff Poppen) uses his farm (Long Hungry Creek Farm) as an example in demonstrating good farming principles. The landscape and atmosphere of the 21st century is leaning away from a small farm economy, bucolic scenery, sustainable agriculture and homegrown meals. The health of ourselves and our environment can only be enhanced by a reliance on local small farms for our needs. To learn more about these principle join Jeff Poppen with his weekly column - Barefoot Farmer.

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Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes & More Sweet Potatoes! PDF Print E-mail
Friday, October 23, 2009
Sweet Potatoes are the last major crop we plant in the spring, and also the last to get harvested.  All we need is two days without rain, and a whole lot of help.  Monday and Tuesday we got both.  Eleven rows were 700 feet long and three rows are half of that, and both rain and frost were in the forecast. 
Farm's Fall Festival A Huge Success! PDF Print E-mail
Friday, October 23, 2009
Preparation began in late Sept. for the farm’s fall festival. A thorough house cleaning happened early in the week, as it was too wet to “clean” the gardens. That had to wait until Wednesday or Thursday, when I also got to plant more kale and dig two rows of sweet potatoes. 
Use the Land Entrusted to Us . . PDF Print E-mail
Friday, October 23, 2009
One of the offers I have is at a farm in Nashville.  A hundred years ago this land grew a large garden and supplied vegetables to hotels downtown.  We would like to recreate gardens here, raising food and public awareness about biodynamic gardening.
Farming Knowledge Lost? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, October 23, 2009
It’s no secret that I love farming. The whole question of land use intrigues me, from forestry and pasture management to the various horticulture techniques for different crops.  These days it’s the middle part, making compost and soil preparation that I enjoy focusing on.
Owning land is a responsibility.  Tennessee was woodland until we cleared the forest for our crops and animals. This was done without machines; our grand fathers used crosscut saws and grubbing hoes to make field.  If we aren’t going to tend the fields they ought to be left to grow back into woods.
What's Under the Ground PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
As an effort to understand more about what’s under the ground we stand on, I took a three day course in microbiology. It’s a fascinating subject. The professor dispelled many myths and inspired a desire to learn more. I have a long way to go.
Soils have lots of nutrients, but they are in a form that is unavailable to plants. A soil test tells us what’s available, and gives recommendations for how much fertilizer to add. The water soluble fertilizer helps t he plants to grow, but it destroys the soils microorganisms. Once we learn their role, we don’t want to hurt them. There are a thousand times more unavailable nutrients in the soil than available ones, and microbes can make them available.
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