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Teach A Man To Fish

March 22, 2022

Sometime just before I started the 8th grade we moved to what is now the farm. During the summer before we actually moved, my family would drive down from the Richland area and plant, care for, and then harvest a rather large garden.

This was my first introduction to "the garden"! And, boy I was not happy.... I especially remember the bush butterbean rows. There were FOUR of them a mile long (or so it seemed). One row was all mine to pick and it took all morning (although it seemed much longer). Beans from all four rows were put into empty 100# feed sacks called croaker sacks.

Once the picking was completed then they had to be shelled. Yep! This took ALL afternoon to complete. Needless to say, I was not liking this gardening thing.

Today, I look back on this experience and am very thankful for the many lessons learned and knowing I have the ability as well as desire to raise a garden to meet our needs. Beth & I have done so many of our 41 married years. Our garden sure came in handy in our early years when money was tight.

Friday I read a Reuters report that the U.S. consumer sentiment fell more than expected in March - the third straight monthly decline reported by the University of Michigan... pushing consumer sentiment to its lowest level in nearly 11 years.

The article ended by stating "the government reported on Thursday that consumer prices recorded their largest annual increase in 40 years in February."

Please stay with me here. Who is ultimately responsible for feeding your family? Hint - it is not the government.

We have all recently seen what happens when food supply chain disruptions occur - its only a matter of days before the grocery store shelves are empty.

Spring is just around the corner. Let me encourage you to learn how to grow a garden to meet your families needs this summer. And, remember to include the kido's. It could be one day they also will look back and be thankful for life lessons learned vs. attending a game that nobody remembers a week later.

What are some of the things on the farm we are doing to help keep our cost (and prices) down? Well, building the Compost Bioreactors for one. For about $600 in materials + 20 or so man hours we have completed two composters that will be sufficient to supply our farm regenerative fungi for the soil for a year. Not bad when compared to the price of commercial fertilizer that would cost about $30,281 at today's price.​

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Last week, I mentioned we have a butcher named Jake that will come and help (and teach) us cut & pack beef in our plant. Today, we have 6-beef hanging in our carcass cooler that will be processed March 24 & 25th.

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Ben Simmons

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