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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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Organic Farming PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Organic farming is how folks have grown food throughout history, up until about a hundred years ago. After a few decades of chemicals, a new organic farming movement arose, along with much confusion. I’m still trying to figure it out and sort the myths from reality.
Greenhouses PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Many new organic gardeners feel the need for a greenhouse, an irrigation system and raised beds, but not for tractors, plows and animals.  In this regard, and a few others, I find myself to be more conventional.  To use the word organic now, you must follow rules set by the USDA which I don’t, and you can use materials which I won’t.
Tip of the Iceberg PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Iceberg is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to lettuce varieties. The garden has ten different kinds this year. Alternating rows of red and green one five the beds a striped appearance. Gardening is like a painting that changes weekly.
Leaf lettuces do not make heads. Black seeded Simpson is the most well known. We grow Red Sails, which has red frilly leaves and gets big. It doesn’t pack and ship well because it is so tender.
Music Makes the World Go 'Round PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Music makes the world go ‘round, soothes the wild beasts, and has a universal appeal. All cultures make some kind of music, and it can be as different as night and day. With seven acres of vegetables planted (finally), you know we do a lot of picking. But there is always time for picking guitars, too.
New Land, New Tractors, New People PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
In between the flurry of farm activities here, I slip into Davidson Count and continue the fun. Twice we’ve taken our manure spreader there, and have about 150 tons of biodynamic compost spread over two acres on four different farms. One field is potatoes, one is sweet corn, on is melons and fruit, and the largest one is for the vegetable garden.
This is new land for me, new tractors, and new people, so I am definitely on a learning curve. The day I arrived to plant potatoes, George informed me that there was a wet weather spring in the back third of the field. But they already had the seed potatoes cut up, so we planted the whole patch. With the extra wet spring, that part of the field did not come up. So our potato crop, which is flowering and is hilled up, will be less than we planned on. But I planned on too much anyway, so we are about on target.
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