Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Why Should Farmers Switch To Organic Farming?

The easy and quick answer would be profitability. In 2014, certified organic products have become an $80-billion industry. Recent studies have shown that organic farming is between 22 and 35 percent more profitable for farmers than conventional methods. 2017 projections should push these figures even higher.

The farmer has much to gain from organic farming since there’s no dependence on costly synthetic fertilizer and pesticides. Organic foods give more to the farmer for the produce, mainly because of the premium 21st-century consumers spend for them.

Image source: gorus.in

Organic farming is the natural cultivation of plants, a process that uses biological materials and avoids synthetic substances, thus maintaining soil fertility and ecological balance while minimizing pollution and waste.

In organic farming, crops are grown and cultivated without synthetic-based fertilizers and pesticides, relying instead on ecologically friendly agricultural principles like using organic waste, biological pest control, green manure, and crop rotation.

Image source: indiatimes.com

But more compelling than the profit is organic farming’s friendliness to the environment. At the heart of the organic farming principle is the conservation of natural resources and promotion of biodiversity. With the organic method, sources of water are uncontaminated. It creates less pollution, preserves sources of water, lessens the risk of cancer, and helps in pollination and care of domestic animals.

Geoffrey Morell, through his farm P.A. Bowen Farmstead, provides the community with the highest quality of farm products. More on the benefits of alternative farming here.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

When It Comes To Weeds In Farms

For farms where managed rotational grazing is done right, weeds won’t be so much of a problem. But that isn’t saying that they won’t be, eventually. In these kinds of farmlands, a huge portion of the niches already has already been occupied by forage species. What does this mean? It means weed will have a difficult time in establishing itself.

Image source: organicproducermag.com

In fact, it’s the usage of more than one species in rotational grazing that curtails weed growth. In addition to this, forage plants in managed rotational grazing are known to be healthy since there are periods when they aren’t the food. These plants are unstressed, and thus make the land more resistant to weeds. Compare that to cash grain crops wherein weed causes a lot of problems.

A lot of the plants in rotational grazing systems are very good for the animals, and have no need of management. But there are some plants like thistles, and a few known weeds that may either be impossible to digest, or even harmful. It is very important for farm owners to familiarize themselves with and identify these kinds of weeds. Farm owners also need to know that freeing a farm from weeds is almost impossible by using only a single method. Several methods have to be implemented, and a well-carved out plan has to be carried out.

Image source: pinterest.com

Geoffrey Morell provides the community with highest quality farm products from his farm, P.A. Bowen Farmstead. For more on farming, please visit this site.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Eat The Fats: Animal Fats Are Good For The Health

A common misconception about fats is that they are bad for one’s well-being.  That is only partially true as the types of fats that are unhealthy are the refined ones, such as vegetable fats processed from soy, corn, peanut, or others.

However, there are also good fats – examples are unrefined, saturated animal fats.  They contain protein and many more nutrients that are beneficial to the body.
Image source: independent.co.uk
Some of the proven health benefits of consuming nourishing animal fats are the following:

Better body composition

Animal fats are rich in omega-3 and good cholesterol that improve the body processes that burn fat, e.g. metabolism and lipolysis, promotes hormonal balance, which maintains one’s lean physique and satiates cravings.

Improved cardiovascular health

Saturated fat is essential to cardiovascular health; they improve cholesterol ratio and reduces the risk of contracting heart diseases because the triglycerides are lowered, which, in turn, limits one’s sugar and carbohydrate intake.
Image source: themeatshoponmain.ca
Stronger bones

The appropriate consumption of healthy animal fats helps calcium metabolism.While these fats do not provide the body with calcium and other nutrients needed for the bones, they enhance the bones’ absorption of these nutrients.  As a result, the bone mineral density is optimized, and osteoporosis can be prevented.

Geoffrey Morell is the co-owner of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a farm that practices managed grazing to provide livestock with proper sustenance and shelter.  This ensures that the highest quality meat and dairy products are delivered to customers.  Follow this Twitter page to read more about the industry.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Common Pitfalls Every New Farmer Should Avoid

It’s easy to make mistakes when taking on a new endeavor. It takes a while to learn the new things when embarking on a new journey in life. This applies to anything, from learning a new sport, to starting a business, to putting up a farm. Here are some of the more common mistakes new farmers should look out for.

Image source: linkedin.com
Absence of a plan

Building a farm without a farm plan dooms the farm from the get-go. The layout of the farm is as important as any part of the farm. Farm plans help new farmers learn more about their lands, plotting out wetlands, drainage patterns, and the nature of the soil.

Image source: rbauction.com
Zero farming experience

A significant truth when starting a farm is the requirement of experience. Some people think farming is easy, without actually having tried their hand at it. People should have at least volunteered in a farm first to know how expert farmers use their time, seed, fertilizer, and water.

Neglecting transportation

Some new farmers neglect to consider and factor in transportation until it’s too late. This can cost the farm a lot of money in the long run. Without a solid transportation plan, taking all the yields from the farm to the market, especially if the market is located far away, can be a logistical and financial nightmare. Geoffrey Morell co-owns a farm that raises pasture-fed livestock and organically grown species. To know more about farming, visit this blog.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Going Soy-Free: A New Frontier In Healthy Living

Those who are truly committed to healthy lifestyles scrutinize their food down to the provenance of ingredients. Allergies to certain traditional food components, such as gluten and soy, are not lightly dealt with. In fact, industries that have readily absorbed such consumer caution and preference have already fine-tuned their production methods with respect to demands for soy- and gluten-free food.

Image source: http://pabowenfarmstead.com

For instance, Burt’s Bees, a beauty brand that has achieved renown for its organic mantra, recently launched a line of protein shakes that are certified non-GMO, gluten-, and soy-free. Such a big brand embracing the wisdom of going soy-free speaks not only of changing manufacturing sensibilities and methods but actual demand undercutting such direction. Those who are cynical about “finicky” food choices should understand reasons behind such shifts.

The reluctance to dispense with soy might stem from its historical role as a regular food item on the tables of many households. Post World War II, soy, a cheap protein source, made its way to practically everything, even animal feed. Such widespread consumption eventually revealed a common allergy to soy. Consuming dairy and poultry products derived from soy-fed animals could trigger the same allergy, even if they exist in trace amounts in food products.

Image source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/

There is also the matter of soy production for purposes of supplying animal feed. Most soy produced in the United States is genetically modified (GM) to favor bigger yields and farming efficiency. This exposes soy to toxic farming elements, such as herbicides and stronger strains of bacteria. Mounting research on the other potential health detriments of soy, such as a vector of infertility, is also driving food producers to stay on the safe side.

Geoffrey Morell co-owns P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a small farm specializing in pasture-raised dairy, eggs, pork and beef. The farm is proud of its completely soy-free tradition. To read about the farm’s products, visit this website.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Preventing Desertification with Managed Grazing Systems

Improving land and pasture conditions is important to those who are raising livestock. As production increases and forage is utilized, managed grazing can cause a greater impact by stopping desertification. For many years, overgrazing contributed to this phenomenon that has damaged pastures all over the world.

Desertification happens when fertile land becomes barren due to drought, deforestation, or mismanaged farming. Due to climate change and misconceptions on grazing, grasslands all over the world have suffered this occurrence. However, biologists and agriculture experts have discovered that the most suitable way to restore the earth back to its healthy state is through proper management of grazing pastures. With an ecological system in place, soil, water, and air quality will improve. Minimizing greenhouse gasses will lead to better plant diversity.

Livestock grazing in barren land gives the soil a protective layer that improves its condition by preserving nutrition. Rotational or deferred grazing allows land and forages to rest and grow appropriately after the grazing period. Allowing livestock to graze for a particular amount of time on a portion of the pasture is a sure method to prevent overgrazing. This increases productivity in the land as all portions are being cultivated properly.

Geoffrey Morell owns P.A. Bowen Farmstead where all livestock are pasture-raised in an environment where they can thrive and live naturally. For more information about Geoffrey and P.A. Bowen Farmstead, visit this website.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Sustainable Farming: Regulating the Use of Pesticides in Farms

Combating pests has been an age-long issue for farmers, including those that primarily grow forage for animal consumption. Over the years, the effort to ward off these organisms that feed on their crops have led to several innovations in farming and the introduction of pesticides.

Pesticides are chemicals used to protect plants from being damaged by weeds, fungi, or insects. It yields to tremendous benefits for farmers especially when it comes to quantity of crops produced. It has been an integral part in crop production as it reduces the risks of losses which can be caused by the aforesaid culprits.

Image source: healthtap.com

However, the excessive use of pesticides—particularly the artificial ones—can result in serious health problems among the farmers and the people around the farm. In addition to killing insects and bugs, it can also have an adverse effect on other organisms such as birds, fish, and non-target plants. Animals feeding on pesticide-treated fodder may also be adversely affected. Moreover, it can lead to soil and water contamination, if not poisoning.

In California, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) proposed to regulate the use of pesticide near schools and daycare centers. Aside from its aim to protect children and students, the regulation is also directed at increasing the communication between farmers and crop growers and schools to help facilitate better response to potential incidents.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with some university researchers, is now looking at ways to combat pests by introducing predatory bugs. In Missouri, garden stores are selling ladybugs to customers that can be released to eat the aphids that plague tomato plants.

Image source: theecologist.org

Ben Putler, professor emeritus of entomology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is leading a group of researchers to look into testing natural predators for other agricultural pests that destroy hectares upon hectares of farmlands. Other farmers are also trying out a new approach on conventional ways to ward off pests and insects from their crops through chickens which feast on insects and worms invading their crops.

Geoffrey Morell offers tours and classes of his farm. He co-owns the P.A. Bowen Farmstead, alongside Sally Fallon Morell. For inquiries, follow this link.