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"food production systems" DVD

paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 19561
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I was sent a free copy of this to review. 

One thing that irks me is that I saw a picture of mine that was used in the DVD.  I really think I should have been asked for permission, and then received credit for the pic.  I'm feeling a bit raw over that.

Setting that aside ....

The first thing I have to say in reviewing this is that these folks have done two very important things:

1)  They have gotten to the point where more than half of their annual food is coming from the land.  This alone makes all of my criticisms trivial. 

2)  They have used their brains to evolve their systems.  This is not documentation about their first year, but it seems many years have passed and they have eliminated some systems in favor of others.  This evolution is reflected in their language.

I would also like to add that there is at least one interesting thing I learned from this DVD.  I can't remember what that one thing was. 

About every minute or two I had a comment to make about things I thought should be different.

They had a section on butchering - and I am very glad they did.  Few folks will show that.  And they talked frankly about feed to meat conversion and how this led them to strongly favor rabbits.  Although they do keep chickens and cattle

Another thing is that they expressed their frustration about how many publications are written for northern climates and how they struggle with heat and too much sun.  Excellent!  Too many other publications just express "this is the way" and this video frequently points out "for our climate."

I want these people to take steps to minimize their need for water by using hugelkultur

They did mention doing a simple bio-assay to test for hidden pesticides in manures and hays from off farm. 

There were lots and lots of things where my thinking was that they were making too much work for themselves.

With their rabbit stuff, I would like to see them experiment with pastured rabbit.  Or at least comment on why they think pastured rabbits  would not work.

Oh yeah:  they tend to water in the evening, while i would advise that they water in the morning.  Maybe this is a regional thing since it is so hot there.  And I would strongly advise to not water the leaves of plants - but maybe that is not a problem there.

Overall, I would like to recommend it.  At the very least, it is a robust view of how one family goes about it.  I would very much like to push my obnoxious opinions on them and have them do it over.  But I know that's not gonna happen. 

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