Newsletter 2016 1001

October 1, 2016

“Maybe we should stop asking why Real Food is so expensive and

start asking why processed food is so cheap.”

Upcoming Order Deadlines

Order by Sunday, October 16, 2016
Pickup Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hattiesburg & Hattiesburg Hwy 98 West
Order by Monday, October 17, 2016
Pickup Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Biloxi & Gulfport
Order by Monday October 17, 2016
Pickup Thursday, October 20, 2016

We believe in transparency, as there’s no better education about what it is we do, how we do it and why, than an honest and straightforward conversation about any aspect of our farm!

Thanksgiving Pork: We still have several pigs available for custom processing. All pigs will be delivered for harvest October 16th and will be ready for pickup the week of Thanksgiving. Treat your family special – serve them Real Farm Food beginning with Nature’s Gourmet Farm Thanksgiving ham.

Christmas Turkey: We have had several inquiries for turkeys. While we have not raised turkeys before, we are “up to the challenge” (folks I have spoken to say turkeys are dumber than dumb and hard to keep alive). Time is very short! We need to order early next week to have 10 week growth for Dec 18th availability. Each turkey should weigh about 10-12 pounds and will sell for $3.75 per pound. If you want your name in the hat for a Real Farm Fresh Christmas Turkey, simply email us and we will plan accordingly.

Carbon Sequestration – How does it work? Soil sequesters carbon from the atmospheric CO2 by means of the age-old biological process of photosynthesis – using the carbon to create carbohydrates that then convey the carbon into the root system where it feeds soil microbes (this is how I first learned about the importance of carbon as the main food source for soil microbes – my soil work force). Keeping the land covered with some form of plant life enriches and extends this process and increases the amount of carbon being removed from the atmosphere – from my perspective I want to sequester carbon to feed and expand my microbe workforce who will then improve my soils.

“Some scientists have projected that 75-100 ppm of CO2 could be drawn out of the atmosphere over the next century if existing farms, pastures and forests were managed to maximize carbon sequestration,” reports Michael Pollan.

The French government in their 4PT declaration state if soil carbon were increased worldwide by .4 percent, climate change could be reversed!

But, how long will carbon stay in the ground? Here is where complimentary agriculture practices make all the difference. If you go in and plow, the carbon will go back into the atmosphere because tillage breaks up the root systems that disperse the carbon to the microbes in the soil. With tillage, you release carbon, lose moisture, destroy your microbes’ (workforce) home, creates compaction & runoff, and activate weed seed to germinate – think of it as an F-5 tornado.

The majority of tillage is done to support commodity crop production like corn and soybeans. Both crops are highly subsidized by the federal government through the Farm Bill. A lot of the production is used to feed beef, pigs, and chicken in CAFO’s (Confined Animal Feeding Operations). For beef, there are over 950 CAFO’s in the USA with 10.5 million head of cattle on feed (as of Jan 1, 2016) and will feed more than 28 million annually.

The same Farm Bill also subsidizes grasslands to stay out of production. I have read research that concludes that excess CO2 in the atmosphere could be sequestered into the soil simply by shutting down CAFO’s and moving those cattle onto unused grasslands – and there is more than enough grasslands to support this!

At Nature’s Gourmet Farm, everything we do supports carbon sequestration! It begins with a commitment to no-till agriculture. Last year we made a major investment in a no-till drill to plant our diverse pasture crops, hold in soil moisture, and keep the ground covered. Cows are rotationally grazed. And this year, we added compost tea. The only subsidy we receive comes from the sale of our products.

Meanwhile, many people will tell you they have strong convictions about climate change and can cite lists of things companies must do to reverse climate change.

However, let me suggest you consider your role. What can you do? As you know, “money talks”. When you spend your valuable food dollars, consider supporting farmers who pay attention to carbon and whose practices align with your convictions. Together, we can make a positive difference.

Next week we will show a short video of our practices vs. tillage.

Thank you for supporting your local farmer - we care about your families health!

Ben Simmons

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