There was probably a time when some feedlots in the US were inhumane. I don't know much about them but doubt that this would be the case now. I suspect that they have exercise areas and shade in hot regions. They obviously have unlimited water and are fed very well. Meat from stressed animals is not good meat.
After all, being stalled is very normal in the history of domesticated animals. In Iceland sheep, horses and cattle are permanently stalled in close confinement for up to 6 months. Boy, do they skip and play when let out in the spring. Yes, I have been there and stayed on a farm.
Right throughout Europe and Scandinavia - back in history- the animals were on the lower floor of the farmers' house throughout winter.
Yes, you are right. Omnivores eat both meat and vegetation. Homo sapiens have been omnivores for millions of years. Maybe you would like to pull out your eye teeth. They must be an embarrassment
You are the one that insists on an unnatural diet
I often think about what would happen should there be a melt down on earth when food was no longer being taken to the cities. Lets say the likes of Global Ebola. We would have to guard our farms and their food source with rifles
I have absolutely no doubt that commercial cropping on a large scale eliminates more fauna and causes more environmental damage than grazing the same area. Croppers put on far more chemical and fertilizer than grazers. They have to.
You say these guys in Rome are experts. lets see them come and farm my land. They can't. They cant even work a dog. What are they going to do - run around shouting after a mob of 1000 sheep? Ha!
I am an expert too. I bloody well better be after 40 years of sustainable livestock farming. Tomorrow I am going to go into a paddock and cut one sod out of the ground. I know there will be worms and other visible fauna. I also know that one teaspoon of this soil has several million bacteria living in it
This has been established by our agricultural scientists. I will send a photo
Yup, I've been wrong this whole entire time. The guys with the PHds, who have been studying this stuff, professionally, for decades, have no idea what they are talking about. That sounds like a reasonable scientific analysis...The professors at Harvard and Yale are just a bunch of idiots! And those scientists at the stockholm water institute, those guys are idiots too. That sounds very reasonable.
Kill a cat, with a dried shit stick, under a cypress tree in the courtyard, while eating three pounds of flax! Only a cow goes Moooo!
Somewhere there is a chart correlating the dust bowl with a blip in temperature (upwards). I will try to find it. Should irrigation not be available I suspect the farming systems within the dust bowl zone would be markedly different to what we see today
Should Global warming be a genuine phenomenon, over time agricultural production probably would not change that much. All that would happen is a geographical migration of crops and livestock systems, following the environment that suits i.e. towards higher latitudes and zones that have increased rainfall as a result of the changing weather systems. Some regions will get dryer, others wetter
There are countless remnants of farming systems that did not match the environment and failed - land reverting to its original state. Right throughout the Australian outback ( and I imagine arid US, Brazil, Argentina, Africa) old farm buildings rot away. In NZ this is more a case of land that has obviously been cleared at some stage and is now back to its first generation native cover. They tried, they failed. Economics and nature won the day
Over the very long term Man cannot destroy Earth. Its self maybe
As promised, a sod of soil from one of my paddocks that has been grazed by sheep and cattle for over a century. It has never been cropped. Along with these earth worms are grass grub larvae that have a symbiotic relationship with pasture. We don't need to eliminate them. There are also billions of microscopic organisms in this sod.
If I were to move to another part of the world to take up another farming suystem I would first talk to neighboring farmers, milking them for all the knowledge possible. I would then engage agricultural consultants trained in agricultural science. I Would then study local geography and soil maps. After about 10 years I just may start to understand what I best be doing.
I most certainly would not go to the likes of FAO or environmental scientists in universities who make sweeping statements on a global scale unrelated to specific reality in the field.
Unsustainable - my arse. Unsustainabiilty relates to a miss-match of farming system and environment. Farmers learn very quickly when this occurs.
My farm is only one example of a system that matches environment. There are countless examples of this around the world.
We are not devils hell bent on making money by destroying Earth. Unlike many countries around the world, we in New Zealand are free to use any farming system without interference from Government. They realise that ultimately farmers know best. We simply would not accept interference. I could convert to any crop or horticulture I wished tomorrow. But I, and hundreds of farmers around me, know that would be stupid. The land does not really suit. Its has been tried and rejected.
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Last edited by Michaeljc on Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
At this time, my view of earth includes me too, I don't see myself as separate from it- (I wish I could say it was my view about everything) Destroying earth is an enormous task but I can't drink from the creek, can't swim in the lake, a great lake mind you- Neither are safe- And back in my home state, couldn't drink the water from the creek there either and I'm talking back in the 60's when I was a kid- I think it will take a great deal of time to destroy earth, or rather earth itself, completely- I'm no scientist I've no idea if earth is dying already or still in the process of being born- Best I can do is live in the condition it is in now- When I plant flowers, I honestly have no idea if I'm contributing to some solution or causing harm- But I plant them- They attract tons of bees, minus honey bees- Butterflies- Saw a monarch this past week for the first time in years- The goldfinch eat the cosmos seeds- I feed birds, a practice frowned upon by many- I don't feed the humming birds, but they do visit the garden- A rose-breasted grosbeak has been visiting the feeder, which is a first- Never saw one before- At any rate, I ask myself daily if I'm just indulging myself with all this nature stuff- It's not like I'm growing food to feed humans or raising animals for the same-
There are tons of agricultural structures in this state rotting away- Tons- Silos, barns, stables- And while I can tell you that there tons, I don't know why- Visited an old stable the other day with my son, we both love old structures- The stable is tucked away in a residential area that was once part of the Severance estate- The rest is a shopping mall .. Not much further away is an old observatory rotting away- (a telescope that was once housed there, the 24-inch Burrell Schmidt telescope, was moved once to another location in Ohio, then to Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona -- where Joe does improvisational dance while watching the skies ..?) Anyway, the waste in this country is insane-
About the Dust Bowl .. the majority of farmers didn't flee .. despite all that adversity ..
Nice post, thanks
I am now on a farm that is considered uneconomic for sheep and cattle: too small. This was the fate of many of those farmers who owned the rotting buildings. One has to change the system ( I run horses too) or sell to a bigger farmer. We hear the stories of huge tractors working 24 hrs a day in the US corn and Wheat belt. But it can work the other way:
I mentioned the fate of my GG Grandfather's estate of 1885 of around 10,000 acres, Now only one descendant is left on that land, with but a few hundred acres. But wineries clamber after his grapes. He is doing a good job. Almost all of the original estate flatlands are in vines.
Go to a big liquor outlet and see if you can find Sauvignon Blanc produced in Marlborough, New Zealand . It probably comes from my old family land
Very recently the US took over from Australia as our most import wine market
I really do hope that I can make a balanced analysis. Everything that has been written here is partially right and partially wrong. There are always exceptions and room for improvement in Man's footprint
An example: I can drink from the streams here but you would probably get the skitters until you built resistance. City visitors to my farm get munched by fleas during summer, whereas we feel nothing.
There is always some baddies in natural system. We live in a soup
I'll do it! I rather like that famous varietal. There's a "severity" and dryness that I like, plus a crisp freshness, usually. I'll look for the "Marlborough". It should go well, chilled, in the hot desert.
When I lived in Chile, I liked their Sauvignon Blanc very much. And there were, on the other side of the spectrum of sweetness, some wonderful deep yellow wines based on Semillon, even though not botrytized, and so not really dessert wines. I don't know how they made those.
Of the French whites, I like Montrachet, and Graves. I like tasting the chalky pebbles, ...and I'm not even a Geologist!
I look forward to the Marlborough area whites! Thanks.
ps I planted some Arabica coffee seedlings yesterday in clay pots, mainly as ornamentals, but we'll see it they bear fruit in some years! Each pot is "A pot of coffee". Even if they're not even sentient, maybe their caffeine keeps them up nights anyway.
pps Michael, do you recognize any relatives in these mentions?:
http://www.winemag.com/Web-2012/New-Zea ... ite-Wines/
no kidding Michael... I am visiting in New Hampshire (north east).... why just today, I had to seek out the state liquor and wine outlet... and saw the Sauv Blanc from Marlborough... but I've also seen it in California! About ten years ago, I worked in a wine tasting room, a small family thing... they made the most complex chardonnay with mineral characteristics (Burgundian style) ... quite unlike the usual oak bombs in CA back then. The wine maker who had studied all over the world who was under 30 at the time took over from his father who was self taught... there: the zen of wine making.
The thing to remember is that you have to be a good farmer before you can be a good wine maker ... and they were.
ps... fortunately, Sauv Blanc has made quite a comeback after beeing labeled a second sister to chards... just goes to show us how powerful gossip and concepts can be! For me, I am sick to death of chards.....
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
That's cool - enjoy :-)
If you buy some send me the brand name. Many are places mentioned in the diaries
The homestead (1886) still stands and is now owned by an American. It is upmarket accommodation (Hawkesbury, Blenheim)
A cousin of mine who is a sort of white witch wants us to go down there and stay a few nights. There has always been reports of a ghost. She wants to do a séance. Heee - I have not done one of those for years
The story in the diaries is family saga extraordinaire. Aside from murder there is everything else. I have started a book
The whole manner in which I by shear chance ended up with the diaries and the way my GG father writes, as though he knows that one day the story will be told, is eerie. The hand writing is extremely difficult to read. No one else bothered to battle there way through them. only now can the story be told.
I am not surprised that Hawkesbury has a ghost. Cousin Cath hopes to connect.
Here Joe: My GG Grandfather owned most of the Wairau valley. He narrowly escaped a Maori massacre there as a young surveyor before starting to buy up land.
Arabica grows best at high altitudes in the tropics. e.g. the Highlands of Ethiopia that has a constant moderate climate - the most comfortable living temperature imaginable throughout the entire year. It may be too hot where you are
Fascinating!, about the Wairau and Awatere areas. Thanks for the sample of writing from Great Great Grand-Dad's diaries. You've got a treasure there.
Yes, I planted the Arabica in large clay pots, so I can grow them indoors. Indeed, it's much too hot here generally for them to survive outdoors. They'd do well outdoors in Zone 24 (coastal Los Angeles, e.g.), whereas Tucson is Zone 12. There will be some seasons when I can bring the pots outside, though, and watch the plants shine. The leaves have a very "polished" look, almost "waxy". I'll see how much outdoor exposure I can get away with, with them. Fortunately, I have 10 plants, each in it's own pretty large clay pot (room to grow on), so if one or two plants outdoors become stressed by heat, I'll have a backup supply indoors, ...and I'll have learned.
BTW, I also planted three Bodhi Tree (Ficus religiosa) trees from air-layered branches I layered 4 months ago on the main trees, and have these now in pots. They should be ready to give to friends as gifts by Thanksgiving (in three months from now). The Bodhi Tree scan of leaves in my "avatar" photo here is of leaves of the same original tree. I've propagated it by now into about 10 or 12 specimens, all doing great. The leaves become huge (7-8 inches long). Funny, the tree's habit is to become deciduous in ...mid-Spring! Every year, all the Bodhi Trees in my collection lose all their leaves during April and May. That's just the normal habit of this tree (a.k.a, the "Pipal").
Are they sentient beings? Well, let's just say that SOMETHING talks them into dropping their leaves.
Ha yes Joe you play with terroir - the environment that stamps its mark on the specific quality of what it's prepared to grow. It will be extremely difficult to substitute those specific qualities found in the lands that grow premium coffee. There are, apparently 2 families of coffee. I have, when desperate in the field, tried for hours to make the lowland variety taste half nice. Impossible: raw and bitter
Visit any humble home in the Ethiopian Highlands and the lady of the house will sit down for half an hour to prepare your coffee over fire in the most simplest of manner. It is served sweet and black and matches any espresso you can find in Italy
I am going to conduct an experiment soon by drawing a latitudinal line through the Wairau valley and finding its equivalent in California. I am predicting that somewhere on that Californian line fine white wines will be produced. It will be inland with a range on its seaward side - ie a kind of valley. Parts of California are very similar geographically to Marlborough. These regions need to be cold in winter and hot and dry in summer. Great whites need to be challenged by weather and are produced on a knife-edge. The perfect year does not come that often
Further South attempts are being made to produce ultra-premium whites on hard rocky ground in Otago. Right now they are up to their balls in snow
Plants may not be sentient beings but they contribute to that attribute in Man. Imagine a world without them
In vino, Veritas!
You know, your Marlborough is at about the latitude of Boston (and, yes, of Oregon, too), but South. My hometown area (NYC) is at 40.5 N.
Tucson, AZ, is at 32.2 N, in a desertic clime.
Yes, Oregon is a great place for wines (Washington, too). Many climate zones. I have some fave late-harvest Semillon and Gewurztraminer from there.
I'm afraid that, right now, much of our Pacific NW is in flames! And there is a critical manpower-shortage in USA for fighting wildfires. Some Military are being brought in (not too specifically-trained... worrisome!).
Was just at a "Trader Joe's" outlet here, and, with sundry groceries and some specialties, I picked up two Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs, each under $10 US ( $7 - $8 ).
"The Pass", 2014 (label says that they "blended fruit from both valleys to showcase the best flavour characteristics of the region"; and,
"Picton Bay", 2014 (label says, "Picton Bay, at the N. Top of the South Island, is the gateway to Marlborough".
Will be giving these a tasting, likely this weekend. I may have some words to say (will make tasting-notes).
Boy, oh boy. Have I ever been further "OT"? (don't answer that). Maybe I can rescue it all if I repeat:
In vino, Veritas!
Truth, maybe, yes, but prob. not Wisdom? I won't say.
ps Note that the very "cold" deep-ocean upwelling Humboldt Current in the N. Pacific brushes the California coast, causing coastal fog, so even wine-growing areas of California are cooler than they "should be", compared with other regions at the same latitude. Mark Twain said that "the coldest Winter [he] ever spent was Summer in San Francisco!" The same cold Pacific current makes some areas of Chile the driest desert in the world (the Atacama), ...and really helped my career in Radio Astronomy there in the early 1980s.
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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