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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.

To e-Mail Jeff - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Garlic PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
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A great crop of garlic graces the garden shed. Tied in bunches and hung from nails in the rafters, it creates quit a sensation. Although the sight is on to behold, especially for garlic lovers, the aroma really stands out.

Each clove of garlic, sown in the fall, makes a bulb. They are planted six inches apart in rows 18 inches wide. A thick hay mulch is laid on over them immediately.

It was October when we planted the garlic patch, but I usually get them in during September. The beds received a healthy dose of compost and the soil was well pulverized. Only the biggest cloves from the best bulbs are used for seed, which insures the biggest and best harvest.

Mulching PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
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By July, we try to hang up the hoes and make much use of mulch. The benefits of mulching are similar to hoeing; it controls weeds and conserves moisture. But mulch has the added asset of bringing carbon into the garden.

Farms are for People PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
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Farms are for people. Soils, plants and animals all play their role in agriculture, but the human social aspect is at the heart of it. The farm offers a safe place to live in freedom, experience nature and develop responsibility. The welfare system which takes care of some people’s needs was not necessary in a farm economy. Farms are the real welfare.

Before I wrote the word “welfare” I had to look it up in the dictionary. It has certain negative connotations, but this is what Webster’s says; Welfare 1. The exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity, or evil, the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; well-being. 2. A blessing.

Subsoiler PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
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The subsoiler breaks up the hard packed soil that lies beneath the surface. It’s shaft is two feet long and the shoe is two inches wide. When I decided to try to reclaim the flood damage fields, subsoiling seemed appropriate.

First of all I had to remove rocks, fill in holes and even out the land. Driveways got graveled and rock piles were formed. We picked up sticks, and logs, and sis a bit of fence repair. The soil was hard.

Hoeing PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
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There has been a lot of hoeing going on around here. Miles of rows have been planted, and the inevitable weeds are sprouting along with the crops. It is important to loosen up the earth next to the emerging seedlings so they can breathe.

Short chipping motions cut the soil up and a quick pull though the chipped soil shatters the small clumps. I like it a little moist so the penetration is easier, but it can’t be wet because it will form clods rather than break apart.

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