Deliberate Agrarian
Snippet #4

Economic Analysis

Dateline 17 April 2014

Greg Hunter

Greg Hunter has a web site called USA Watchdog . He features in-depth interviews with people-in-the-know who are rarely heard in the mainstream media. His guests talk  about economics and politics. I enjoy listening to different people's viewpoints, especially about the economy. There are always different opinions among different people when it comes to figuring out where the economy is headed, but there appears to be a general consensus that very difficult realities are inevitable, and dead ahead.  This Recent Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is a good one. This interview with Dmitry Orlov provides an insightful Russian-American perspective on the Ukraine situation and the future of America. This interview with Professor William Black, a former bank regulator, makes it crystal clear that there is widespread, systematic fraud being perpetrated by the largest banks in the world. And, worse than that, the U.S. government is a partner in the fraud. If you are an amateur economics wonk, like me, you will want to tune into Greg Hunter's interviews. You might well be hearing prophetic words and future headlines.

Deliberate Agrarian
Snippet #3

Futureman Gets Stuck

Dateline: 16 April 2014

Now that warmer weather is here my grandson (a.k.a., Futureman) can spend more time outdoors. The more time a two-year-old boy spends outside, the better. Futureman likes to climb up on Leyland (my tractor). He climbs up, sits in the seat awhile, then gets down. It's one of his favorite things to do when he is outdoors. A small tractor can be something like a playground to a rural child. I was recently stacking firewood nearby when I heard Futureman saying "Oh. Oh. Oh." to himself. Upon investigation I found he had snagged his coat getting down off Leyland, as you can see in the picture above. I am making more of an effort to keep my camera close by when I'm outdoors, and this was truly a Canon moment.

Deliberate Agrarian
Snippet #2

Sheet Metal Mulch

Dateline: 15 April 2014

click picture to see a larger view

Yesterday was overcast, so the picture above is a little dark. But it shows the red metal roofing walkway that runs through my garden. The walkway is 39" wide and 71' long. I can easily walk and easily push my garden cart down this central walkway, and I will not have to be concerned with weeds growing there. Sheet metal roofing as mulch makes sense in a practical garden (as opposed to a "show garden"). I bought that used roofing back in 1999 after seeing the amazing garden my friend, Steve Lonsky, grows using old sheet metal as mulch. I wrote about using metal roofing in the garden back in This Old Blog Post. Check it out, and be sure to click the link at that post to see an amazing picture of Steve in his garden (with sheet metal roofing mulch in the background). Steve is the best gardener I know. Sheet metal roofing mulch is one of his secrets. 

Deliberate Agrarian
Snippet #1

Making Raised Beds

14 April 2014

Click picture to see an enlarged view

In Jean-Martin Fortier's excellent book, The Market Gardener (click to read my past review), he explains how he grows vegetables on permanent raised beds that are 30" wide, with an 18" walkway between them. I already have some raised beds in my garden that are 42" wide with an 18" walkway, but I think I will like the 30" width better. So I have made 14 such beds in part of my garden. Two are pictured above. The one on the right is raked off and finished. The one on the left needs to be raked. I rake first to shape the mounded soil with an aluminum landscape rake (visible in the background), then finish with a metal leaf rake. The just-made beds are 9" above the walkway, but they will settle in time to half of that. 

Time For A Change...

Dateline: 13 April 2014

Sap buckets, washed and air-drying before being put away for another year.

The last two weeks have been a vacation from blogging. I spent the time focusing on homestead and home business projects. 

Maple season is over for another year. The buckets have been washed, rinsed, dried and put away until next season. We ended up with 8 gallons of syrup, which is enough to get us through the year (we typically use 6 or 7 gallons in a year). 

Beyond that, I've been working at cutting some willow and poplar wood off our land. Both woods are soft and not the best firewood for heating a house, but such wood will work just fine for boiling maple syrup next spring. I'm splitting and stacking as I have time, but the focus now is on the garden. Growing food is a top priority with me this year.

Bearing that in mind, I have come to the realization that in order to get done what I need do get done around this little homestead, I must cut way back on my blogging. The time has come for less talk and more action. 

I'm not going to stop blogging, but I'm going to stop posting blogs that are long and require a lot of time on my part. For the rest of this year (and maybe longer) I will be posting a series of "Agrarian Snippets." These Snippets will have one or two pictures with no more than one paragraph of text.

Such a format should allow me to still post regularly, without putting anywhere near the time and effort I have put into writing here in the past. 

I suspect that most readers of this blog are also very busy, so I think you will appreciate this new format. Reading my Agrarian Snippets will not take a lot of your time. You could  think of them as little postcards from me to you, instead of longer letters.

The Agrarian Snippets format will commence tomorrow.

Cliven Bundy
& Naboth's Field

Dateline: 12 April 2014

I hope you are following the story of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his battle against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is stealing his cattle and taking away the grazing and water rights to the land his family has ranched since the 1870’s. This is a significant story for rural, and freedom-loving Americans.

The mainstream media is portraying Mr. Bundy as nothing more than a scofflaw who has not paid his grazing fees to the BLM in 20 years, and now owes nearly a million dollars. But, as usual, there is so much more to this story than is being reported. This is a matter of Nevada state’s rights and land theft by the federal government. Mr. Bundy has said that he will pay any fees he owes to his county or the state of Nevada. He is not resisting the federal government’s stealing of his family’s rights to use the land because of some fees. Principled men do not put their life on the line over money alone.

One of the best sources of information on this story can be found at Prison Planet. Reporter David Knight is on the ground at the Bundy Ranch. Prison Planet is an alternative news source that I check daily. 

One organization that is standing in support of the Bundy family is Oath Keepers. You can read their full statement about this dispute At This Link. Here are a couple of quotes from the Oath Keepers statement:

This is not about cattle.  This is about power, and the trampling of rights.  It’s about a systemic power grab and abuse of power by the federal government as it runs roughshod over the rights of honest, hard-working rural Americans and over the rights of all the Western states.  This is not an isolated incident.  It is but the latest in a long train of abuses aimed at subjecting rural Americans to absolute despotism while destroying the property rights, economy, and independence of the rural West, in particular, and eventually wiping out all of rural America.  
Unless We the People begin to take a meaningful stand now, in full support of our patriotic state public servants who are willing to lead us, the domestic enemies of the Constitution will not stop until the West is a land of ghost towns, devoid of people, and we are all crammed into city slums, totally dependent and weak, with no protection of our rights, like third-world urbanized peons under the arbitrary and capricious control of corrupt dictators. 

That last sentence gets right to the point, and it is an important point.


This situation reminds me of the story of Naboth’s Field, found in 1 Kings 21...

Ahab, the King of Israel, coveted Noboth’s grape field. He tried to buy it but Naboth would not sell his field. Naboth said, “I will not give you what I have received from my fathers.”

The family land was more important to Naboth than money. He would not sell at any price, just as Cliven Bundy’s land rights came to him from his fathers, and he has refused to sell his rights to it.

Land rights are no small matter in the Bible. Ahab the king could not just take the land he wanted. So he pouted over it and he got the land through the subterfuge of his wife, Jezebel. She arranged to have Naboth falsely accused for a crime he never committed, and Naboth was put to death. Once Naboth was dead, Ahab was able to get the land.

Our Federal government is Ahab. The federal courts, judicial bureaucracy, BLM and FBI, along with the mainstream propaganda media are acting as Jezebel, destroying an honest, hardworking rancher in order to acquire his land rights. 

The Bundy family, I should add, are peace-loving people. They are not militia people and they are not looking for violence. But they are resisting tyranny, plain and simple.

This wickedness by our federal government is, I believe, on par with the wickedness of Ahab and Jezebel. It should not be overlooked.

If you have an interest in this situation, the very least you can do is fire off an e-mail to the County Sheriff and the governor of Nevada, both of whom can step in and stop the federal government from perpetrating their immorality on not only the Cliven Bundy family, but all Americans.

Sheriff Gillespie:

Governor Sandoval: Click Here 

Gardening On
The Brink Of War,
& Taking Leave

Dateline: 31 March 2014

Transplanting Romaine, 2013

Spring is upon us here in central New York state and there is much to be done around this little homestead. Therefore, as difficult as it is for me to put the brakes on my blogging habit, that's what I'm doing. I'll be off for a week… or two. 

If you have not yet done so, I encourage you to sign up and receive new blog posts (when I start blogging again) by e-mail. There is a place to sign up on the right side of this page.

Before I go, I'd like to retract something I wrote here earlier this year. You may recall that I said I wasn't going to have a very big garden in 2014.  I expected to be too busy with my Planet Whizbang business this year. Well, I take it back. I'm making the time to have a big and productive garden this year! Here's why...

I am particularly alarmed by the recent and ongoing events in Ukraine. There is sufficient evidence to indicate that the United States government played a key behind-the-scenes role in the destabilization of that country. Multinational banking interests, along with global energy and agribusiness corporations stand to benefit greatly. Follow the money.

The corporate news media in the US is unreliable. It has clearly become a propaganda arm of the federal government. They routinely discuss trivial matters as if they are important, and feed us misinformation about things (like the situation in Ukraine) that are critically important. 

I have become skeptical of everything our government is doing in the realm of "foreign relations." I do not believe it is in the best interests of the American people to have our government stirring up trouble with the Russians over an area of land that is on the Russian border, that used to be a part of Russia, and that is largely populated by people who identify themselves as Russian. In short, Ukraine is of major strategic importance to Russia and has always been. What strategic importance is that country to the people of America? None.

For our government to be over there causing trouble for Russia, then criticizing them for responding to the trouble, is something I don't understand. There is a whole lot more to this than meets the eye. And, like I said, I'm alarmed. 

There isn't much we can do about globalist elites (American politicians among them) perpetrating their self-serving corruptions in so many places around the world. But there is something that we can do to be better positioned to deal with the difficulties that will, in time, surely befall the people of this country... 

We can be more and more proactive about providing for our food needs, apart from the industrial providers. Which means, we can get more serious about growing food for ourselves and our families. And that's what I intend to do.

Squash seedlings, 2013

If you are getting more serious about your own gardening pursuits this year, I want to point out that I have numerous Planet Whizbang products that can help you be a more successful gardener…

1.  The Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners

2.  The Planet Whizbang Wheel Hoe

3.  Whizbang Bucket Irrigation Kits

4.  Planet Whizbang T-Post Trellis Span Y-Holders

5.  Planet Whizbang T-Post Grape Trellis Fittings

6.  Whizbang Garden Cart Plans

For more inspiration and information, check out This Archive of My Garden Writings.

Tomatoes, 2013
(on Whizbang T-post trellis spans)

And finally, until we meet here again, I want to leave you with some pleasant, reflective music to listen to…

That song is part of David Farley's new CD, and you can listen to the whole CD At This Link

If you go to that link, play close attention to the beginning of song #5 (Stella). That was going to be the lead-in music to my Agrarian Reader podcast (which I decided not to follow through with).

I'll be back here in a week... or two.

Best wishes,

Herrick Kimball

P.S. I have finally posted another old excerpt to my Agrarian Nation blog. Check it out: Earth Ovens—1869

Me & Futureman, 2013

Deliberate Agrarian Redux
March 2010

Dateline: 29 March 2014

Yours truly, with my Aunt Carolyn, when I was a Futureman.

New readers are coming to this blog all the time, and most new readers don't have the time or inclination to go back and read the hundreds of essays I've posted here over the years. So, once a month, I think I'll feature a Deliberate Agrarian Redux post, like this one…

Back in 2010 I was posting a single, monthly "blogazine,"  and my March 2010 blogazine elicited one of the harshest comments I've ever received here...

"My goodness, I've certainly never heard a conservative set up a phony moral high ground and then bash everyone down below with his scepter of Ultimate Moral Authority before. You're a greedy fool, old man, and you want to see the "bad" people's blood run out across the land like every other lazy minded, selfish bastard in the world. Too bad there are so many of you, we might have had a shot. Have fun playing pioneer and sneering at those wage slaves who'll never own land. I'm sure it feels mighty fine."

What did I say to bring that on? Well, see if you can figure it out…

Four years ago in March I dug up my garden clamp, which had perfectly preserved a cache of carrots and beets through the winter.

Four years ago I wrote about Obamacare, which had just passed. My editorial of that law is still, I believe, a valid analysis.

Four years ago I told of how I was voluntarily taking a 30% work reduction at my State job. I was dreaming that someday I would be able to completely leave the job and come home to work my Planet Whizbang business full time (that dream came true last year).

Four years ago I wrote about Victor Davis Hanson's book, The Other Greeks, which tells of the rise and fall of the Greek Mycenaean culture. Understanding what happened to the Mycenaean culture gives us some insights into the post-collapse world of our own culture.

Four years ago I posted a bunch of old pictures of myself and Marlene.

And four years ago I introduced the whimsical chicken art of Jax Hamlin, who is actually me. I have yet to follow through with my chicken art aspirations, but I still want to someday.

CLICK HERE to read the March 2010 Deliberate Agrarian blogazine.

Our $10,000 house, when we first built it.
(a picture from the March 2010 blogazine)

The Holstein Memories
Of Christopher Kimball

Dateline: 28 March 2014

Back in February of 2006 I posted an essay here titled, Making An Agrarian Family Calendar, which I was prompted to write after reading an editorial by Christopher Kimball, editor of Cook's Illustrated magazine. Today's blog post comes by way of Mr. Kimball's other magazine, Cook's Country, a copy of which recently arrived in the mail addressed to my son, James. 

In the recent issue, Christopher Kimball writes of a time not that long ago (He was born in 1951) when small dairy farms still dotted the rural landscape, when farmers knew their cows by name, and when kids still had plenty of opportunities to help out with farm work….

"I have fond and lasting memories of Holsteins, since I spent many summers in Vermont helping out with the afternoon milking. This was a small mountain farm operation with 25 head (fewer milkers at any one time), a barn filled with flies, and an overhead manure bucket on rails.

I soon learned each of the Holsteins' names and personalities. Some hauled off and swatted their tails more than others; some liked a nice scratch behind the ears, like a dog. I can still feel their warmth; the swollen bellies; the heavy, bony heads; the supple, silky skin of the udders, and the rhythmic pumping of the [milking] machine.

I also learned where food comes from. The last pail of milk was brought into the farmhouse, so I drank raw milk in summers, knowing every step of its production, from calling in the herd to shutting the barn door once the cows had returned to pasture.

We have lost the intimacy between farm and table. Farm kids are lucky. They press cider, they dig up carrots and hill potatoes, they milk cows, and they may even help with the taking of life, gratefully putting food on the table.

Cooking does not exist apart from fields and barns. If you have never milked a cow, it is hard to appreciate the taste of milk. A cold glass still reminds me of a small red barn on a mountain farm a very long time ago."

To some degree, I can relate to Christopher Kimball's recollections. I worked for a year on a dairy farm after high school. There were about 6o head of Holsteins. I learned that dairy farming is hard, never-ending work, and I concluded that I would not want to be a dairy farmer. But there were certainly endearing aspects to the work and, in retrospect, I have good memories of that time.

Christopher Kimball's memory of an "overhead manure bucket on rails" led me to do an internet search…

Click Here to learn more about this old-style manure carrier. It would not be that difficult to  make a track-carrier like this, and I can see where such a tool might prove useful. It's something to "file away" for possible future use.

Forking manure into one of those things was, undoubtedly, a lot of work. The farm I worked on had a gutter in the floor behind the cows, with a chain-driven "gutter cleaner" that carried the manure outdoors to a manure spreader. Once a day, after the morning milking, the gutter was cleaned out. But there was an addition on the barn with maybe a dozen cows that had a gutter without a cleaner in it. So I had to fork the straw and manure into a wheelbarrow, then wheel it into the part of the barn with the mechanical cleaner, and dump it. 

Sometimes I had to clean that gutter out while the cows were still in their stanchions. One day a cow slapped me in the mouth with her manure-and-urine soaked tail, and my mouth wasn't closed when I got hit.  That isn't a fond memory. :-)