Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Large Farm Solutions Become Small Farm Problems
I have noticed something over the last few years. As many of you know, or some might not, the Small-Hold is virtually surrounded by fields of Corn, Wheat and Soybeans rotated yearly of course. On the very backside of our place there is a fairly large cow pasture that never gets planted but the other three sides are just open agricultural fields. This actually causes our place two problems that I have to deal with. One is erosion as there is nothing to stop the constant water running off one of the neighbors fields and the other is pests.
When I walk out and dig up any section of the soil around the Small-Hold I find a small chunk of dirt teeming with life. Grubs, worms and other insects. Almost every part of the 25 acres we own is home to these insects plus moles, voles, rabbits, fox even squirrels are finally moving back into the small wooded area and I jumped up six does the other day working on the new gate opening. I am sure they were just hiding from all the hunters out there, pretty confident they were safe in the back of the pasture. Open areas around the yard are full of mole runs that extend way out into the pasture and hay field.
This Summer I walked out into the neighbor's fields and dug a few scoop fulls of soil up and there was literally nothing living there. Not even my bees seem to like to work the bean blooms out there. No mole runs, no rabbits. The deer do eat his corn though because I have seen em do that.
This is another aspect of sustainable living/homesteading that many don't understand. Going organic right now in most areas is infinitely more work than it was on our ancestors in some ways even while it is much easier in others. Small organic islands of life in vast oceans of insecticides, herbicides and poisonous liquid fertilizers is what many of our small plots look like.
Here in Missouri at least, and most states East of us, these problems are lessened by rough areas of creeks, streams and the like that create large hedgerows or natural areas but still planting a half acre of yummy vegetables and open pollinated corn is more than likely too much of a buffet line for the insects to resist. After the insects of course come the moles etc.
A few decades ago of course the insects and other damaging wild life had more to choose from out there. Last year especially the plague of Japanese beetles attacked everything we grew yet across the road in the corn field there wasn't one to be seen.
I am not blaming the large farmers. Far from it. They do what they have to do to survive in their own way as well. Maybe some need to see the light that their way of life is coming to an end but that doesn't mean they have any real choice right now either. Unless they to embrace the life of near Galtism like I have but then they wouldn't be farming all those acres either.
My point is when it comes to pests and the like today's small farmers/preppers/sustainers/homesteaders need to remember they are facing a much tougher road to hoe against insects and vermin than our ancestors did. Many people think the pests problems they are experiencing are so bad no one ever could have survived 100 or more years ago without insecticides. They just need to keep in mind that the problem is much more concentrated today because the available food for those insects has shrunk.
These days only your property is inviting to them. Keep that in mind.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!