Macon County Chronicle

Opinions and Blogs

Nature in a Given District

“We may well assume, if there is a forest by Nature in a given district, it has its good use for the surrounding farmland. We should have sufficient insight, on no account to exterminate the forest in such districts, but to preserve it as well.
Therefore we should have the heart-when we see the vegetation is becoming stunted, not merely to make experiments on the fields alone, but to increase the wooded areas a little. Or if we notice that the plats are growing rampant, then we should set to work and make some clearings in the forest-take certain surfaces of wooded land away. What the woods do- not only for it’s immediate vicinity but far away and around it- what the woods do in this direction has to be done by quite other things in unwooded districts. This we should learn to understand.
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Constellations

The sun and moon rise in the east and set in the west. They always occupy the same section of the sky; you’ll never see them in the north. From our latitude, the sun and moon live in the southern sky between 30° and 72° above the southern horizon. All of the visible planets live in this part of the sky, too.
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Bellis Bend

Our mission is to grow high quality, organic produce, and help others do the same. Many problems inherent in modern agricultural production disappear by farming organically on a smaller scale. Locally grown food uses less energy, but provides more employment. Soils are better cared for, and the farmers and surrounding environment are safer. There is reason to believe our nations health crisis is directly related to an unhealthy food production and distribution system, ie., Factory farms and fast food.
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Christmas Carols

I love Christmas carols. When I was a child we would sing them at school, as we prepared for our Christmas festival, Hope, Joy and Peace, expressed in different songs, felt comforting.
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The Last Delivery

We grew too many vegetables again this year. But our friends have risen to occasion and dealt with almost all of it. As the last delivery of the year pulls out of Long Hungry, we breathe a sigh of relief and gush out gratitude’s; thank goodness for all of your support.
The impetus for our week comes from you, the people who eat our food, read the column, watch the show, or visit the farm. Money flows in and out of here, but doesn’t seem to be the reason for the work. We love what we do and would keep farming anyway, although on a much smaller scale. But the economy of the scale and the division of labor allow us maximum production efficiently, and your support makes this possible.
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“ The World is a Turnip”

Turnips could be about the easiest crop we grow. Consequently, we plant a lot of them.  They are both grown for greens and roots.  There is an old saying “ The world is a turnip”, but I don’t know what it means.
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Most plants are not an excuse for kissing.

Most plants bloom in the spring, bear their fruits in the summer, and are dormant in the winter. Most plants don’t need a bird to propagate them.  Most plants have their roots in the earth and grow upwards towards the sun. And most plants are not an excuse for kissing.
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The Hardy Fall Vegetables

   November’s garden looks greener than green, with all shades inbetween. Although the temperature has fallen down into the 20’s for several mornings, the hardy fall vegetables are thriving. There’ll be plenty to eat at Thanksgiving.
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A Major Question for Gardeners and Farmers

Soils are built up and made better by grass, clover and other cover crops They add valuable organic matter, mobilize nutrients and their roots help create good soil structure. A major question for gardeners and farmers is “How do we change what’s growing on our soil, and get it prepared for the next crop?”
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Food Festival

On Saturday, Nov. 1, the farm hosted a good food festival. I simply invited “foodies” over to give workshops on food. A “foodie” is someone pleasantly obsessed with good food. They like to prepare it, share it, and enjoy it themselves. All good chefs are foodies, and the recent upsurge of interest in organic and local foods indicates an increase in people’s awareness of the value of good food.
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Gardening Comes To A Close

The threat of the first hard freeze kept the boys as busy as bees a few days before All Hallow’s eve. A few frosts had fallen, tinging the tender annuals with a bit of black. But small lettuces might need protection, a field of pumpkins were ready to roll and the great pepper patch was soon to be history.
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The Way Things Used To Be

Dad had a table at the end of our driveway where we offered vegetables for sale. A shoebox collected the money that folks would leave when they got their corn, beans, or whatever. It was the honor system. When questioned about people taking without paying, Dad just shrugged his shoulders and said they probably needed it more than anyone else anyway. All were our neighbors, and the farm had community support.
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Farm Festival

So many people, so much help, and a whole lot of fun went into creating a pleasant atmosphere for our fall farm festival. The weather responded well, too, and the maples in the yard changed hues all weekend. We asked “How can we make land and training easily available, and the work fun and profitable, to encourage youth in agriculture?” We had many visitors all weekend long.
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Sweet Potato Patch

The rain came. I breath a deep sigh of relief, as do the little lettuces. Much of the fall garden hasn’t seen a drop since it was planted, but now you can hear the greens growing. We were hoping to get sweet potatoes dug before the rain and with a little help form our friends, we did.
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Fall Harvesting

Round and round we go in a full fall daze, trying to get everything done before the earlier night falls. It takes many circles to wrap up the haying, rolling over bumpy fields with the mower, rake, baler and finally the truck. The cows are secure of their winter feed, lined up like giant tootsie rolls in side the fence.
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Farm Dependancy

Our farm is dependent on the whole world, and probably the universe as well. Starlight and moonshine may contribute something. We share air and water worldwide, and quite a bit of dust flies around, too. I use Japanese vehicles and Arabian oil. My ancestory can be quickly traced back to European peasantry, and our livestock breeds lived on European farms, too.
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Changing Crops With Changing Seasons

As the weather changes, so does the garden. Our first crops of green beans, cucumbers and summer squash have produced and faded, to be bushhogged back into the earth. Later plantings of these crops are just now coming in.
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Impact Study in Macon County

The demand for local foods keeps expanding, and you see it mentioned in magazines, books and other media. There could be a hundred vegetable farms like ours in Macon County, supplying middle Tennessee with fresh produce so they wouldn’t have to keep getting it from California and Mexico. The demand is there, and we could supply it.
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Canning Tomatoes

Canning tomatoes is an opportunity to relive the past. All the equipment – jars, canner, tongs, and bowls – are just like moms. Heirloom tomatoes, scalded, peeled, and boiled, get packed in hot jars. As I remember, a wonderful aroma fills up the kitchen. Rows of red maters, promising winter dinners, sit on cellar shelves.
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Apples

The boughs are bowing with the weight of fruit, as Mother Nature makes up for last year’s dearth with an over abundance of apples. Every tree is loaded and has bending branches. Nature always redeems herself.
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