I have spent a great deal of time coming up with a working feed plan for the livestock, something we could one afford, and two would provide a good quality nutrition for all of the animals. As I have said before, we do plant and grow some of the feed our selves, and in the past we have talked about spouting wheat. The corn from the feed mill is officially off limits for my farm as I can not depend on it to be GMO free, on the contrary I can most certainly agree that it can only come from a GMO source.
We have switched to the Hubard feed Turkey grower, which is an all natural feed and we are currently feeding wheat and millo. However I find myself at a crossroad with the wheat. I know I will have to replace it with some thing else very soon as they are spraying the wheat this season with Round Up to "dry it" before harvest. There is too large a risk to the animals, ourselves and the land we cherish to continue using tainted wheat.
We now plan to add more to what we need to grow and to start talking to other small farms to see if we can form some sort of group to protect the food we have left. Things for us have reached what I deem crisis level. We are quickly running out of options.
I am growing corn, but corn alone is not a good feed, though planting the three sisters is a very good solution for part of our problem, it will not solve it all. The pumpkins will supply the animals much needed nutrition, as will the corn but scarcely enough. We have planned on using the plants themselves at the end of the season will be used to feed the livestock and this is good, but I find myself thinking about the spouting of grain in a very serious way, as it may provide the only form of hope we have to keep the farm running. If I can not raise animals in a healthy way for them and us there would be no point in doing it at all.
Many days I wonder if I can really do this, I have to plant a massive amount of food for the animals and ourselves and if I fail, we are done. I think about all those who came before me, working the land, trying to find the next best way to produce more, as I work as hard to go back to the way it was before Mono chopping. Before we poisoned the land growing more to feed less...it is hard and riddled with problems. Just finding seed that has not been contaminated with a GMO crop is nearly impossible, and when you do find seed it is costly. Barley seed is very hard to find and organic forms of it have not made them selves present. In the before time, my family in Europe would have planted pumpkins to feed the animals as well as oats, my dad tells me the animals hardly ever got sick, I believe him. Each day I fight the war against the new food that offers little to no nutrition, and has been contaminated on many sides. I almost feel as though there will be no end to it all until nothing at all is left wholesome, then no animals will be spared, nor will we.
I do not give up, I continue to talk to others on the merits of talking responsibility for their food and sharing what ever knowledge I have gained with them. Today I spoke to a cow farmer who is working on raising cows with out all the junk in them, he like us will have to come up with ways to do this in a world gone crazy with GMOs. I also spoke to a bee farmer about our mutual concerns. She reminded me that man can only live in this world four years after the bees are gone, even knowing this, hearing some one else say the words sent chills down my spine. She is fighting too, her bees pollinate crops in other states and have been killed of in large numbers due to poisons and bad plants. There are only so many bees in the world and places like our farm and a few others that are far from the growing centers of GMO crops are protected. What about the others, will bees truly become an endangered species because we need a perfect tomato or larger yields. It seems to be the trend of the United States at least to say that the bees are dying from a mysterious aliment called colony collapse, but it's not really that simple or mysterious. It is devious though, it is evil and it is real...they claim they lost more then 20% of the bees, I am sure in reality the number is far larger.
Interestingly the USDA is calling for more labeling of bee products as most honey on the shelves of your local grocery is a blend at best, and may be mostly HFC( High Fructose Corn Syrup). I only use unfiltered honey from my own hive, I no longer trust the stuff on the shelves. You can do an easy test, as nothing moves like real honey, but honey. Take a small bottle of corn syrup to the store with you, does the stores honey move like it? If so there is your answer, consider going to a local farm and buying your honey.
Enough of my rant, I have eggs to wrap and children needing fed, to morrow will be another big planting day here at the farm. If any of you out their know of a source where I can get none tainted barley please send the information to me.