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Larry Heidkamp

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since Aug 28, 2011
Columbia, TN
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Recent posts by Larry Heidkamp

I've been thinking of chickens for a while. Last week I attended a daylong session on processing chickens sponsored by the TN Center for Profitable Agriculture. Good info on how to keep the birds clean the birds during processing. But their business plan showed that you would have to work for free because the feed cost so much (they also included erecting a small building and a used truck).

This is much more like it - information on the full life cycle and information from the experts. It took me about 5 minutes after watching the video to sign up. I'm sure I will have a flock before I get the video.

Larry.

PS - Justin, Keep the kick starter updates coming.
This is awesome. I listened to his intro and part of another class for about an hour and was impressed. He seems to know his stuff. Since this format is just lecture and slide show it doesn't replace a full PDC, but it looks like it will provide an indepth in-depth first pass at the material. A live class later won't be as intimidating.

Thanks for posting
Larry.
7 years ago
Over the past number of years some parasites have become resistant to to active agents of all 3 of the mainstream wormers. The goal no longer to kill 100% of the parasites in a horse but to keep their numbers low enough that they don't put too much pressure on the horse.

Larry.
7 years ago
Many horse owners like me deworm their horses every other month by rotating though Pyrantal Pamoate, Benzimidazole and Ivermetcin twice each year. They are meant to kill most of the worms within a day or so of treatment. The worm population begins to recover quickly so the next round of treatment is needed before the worm population gets out of hand. Penn State says that the average 1000# horse produces 50# of manure a day, so the wormer would probably be measurable for only a day or so.

Some horse owners use a daily wormer or daily feed through fly control. The feed through fly control is meant to pass through the horse's gut and interfere with the growth cycle of flies. Either of these could possibly interfere with soil biology.

But if the manure balls and bedding breakdown over time into compost, some types of soil organisms are surviving. I have spread the composted manure of my 3 horses on my gardens for the 5 years I have had them, each year I get better results. In fact I picked up almost 2 full-sized pick up loads from a neighbor to expand my gardens and I expect great results.

Larry.
7 years ago
The Garden Watchdog on Dave's Garden has user reviews on hundreds of garden related companies from the largest to the smallest.

Dave's Garden - Garden Watchdog

Larry
7 years ago
I spent a lot of time looking for stainless steel screen and a good solar dehydrator design last summer. I found both at GeoPathfinder. He sells the screen in 2'x2' squares. They are about half way down the page.

GeoPathfinder

His solar dehydrator design is on the Food Preservation page. I built a 4'x4' dehydrator based on his design. Rather than have it built into the ground mine is mobile. I have short legs on one end with lawnmower wheels to make it easy to move and longer legs at the other end with multiple holes so I can adjust it up or down tp catch more or less sun as needed. I didn't get mine built until the fall but I was able to dry several batches of pears and apples. It worked great.

Larry.
7 years ago
I just finished reading 'Organic No-Till Farming' by Jeff Moyer.  Jeff was the farm manager at the Rodale Institute and was looking for a successful no-till organic system.

The system in a nutshell is to use cover crops to supress weeds and then roll the cover crop to kill it just before it goes to seed.  The primary crop is then planted into the rolled cover crop residue using a no-till drill.  The cover crop residue acts as a thick mulch to supress weeds while the primary crop is getting established and provides organic matter to the field as it decomposes.  A succession of primary and cover crops are planted to keep the time the field is bare to a minimum.

It is mostly experimental in the US, but similar systems are used extensively in parts of South America.

It sounds like what you are trying to do without introducing an agressive plant like comfrey into the fields.

Larry
7 years ago
I have about horses and about 10 acres of hay in middle Tennessee.  In the 5 years I have been on my land I have not used any fertilizers or herbicides on my hay fields.  Around here hay is a low value crop and hay fields recieve little nurture.  I don't know of anyone who puts up mixed field grass hay who does.  Around here most hay is local except during severe drought years.  Much is sold directly from the farmer to the consumer.  I bet that your neighbor can tell you where their hay is from any they can talk to the farmer about how it is grown.

Higher priced hay like alfalfa or coastal bermuda is much more likely to have had chemical treatments.  I would also suspect that hay from intensive hay growing areas is also treated.

Larry.
7 years ago