Month: July 2013


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Spreading Compost

Spreading Compost

(post by Jason) Most of the time in Middle Tennessee spreading compost piles in late July would be a strange job and a fool’s errand if one were looking for it to have any sort of fertilizer value in terms of growing grass. The reason for this is that most of the time late July is very hot and also quite dry. Typically even our warm season grasses go into a semi dormant status depending mostly on moisture availability.  We practice a form of modified manure composting on this farm, and I was saving most of last winter’s manure...

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Fly Control

Last year and this year we have been doing some different things for fly control.   In general we don’t really have big problems with flies, but in my humble opinion one fly is too many, simply because it is guaranteed that the one fly will make its way into my vehicle and never leave. I’ve tried many different natural sprays, sprays made with essential oils, and every brand of regular fly spray there is to buy and quite frankly none of them work very well. It seems you get maybe an hour, sometimes less, of effectiveness out of...

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Insurance Renewal

This week I’ve spent a decent amount of time doing some of the mundane, definitely not glamorous tasks that are part of running a farm. Every few years redoing our insurance coverage is a giant hassle. Most years it is just a couple of pages of paperwork to sign and that’s it, but some years these pesky insurance companies feel the need to be thorough. Obviously they do not understand or care that I am busy. They want to review our board contract, they want pictures of every building from all sides, they want pictures of the fence, they...

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Sunday Stills

George rolling while Asterik looks on Lotus and Silver Moe and Trigger Chance and Homer Baby and Tony Grand and Elfin found a shady spot to graze Largo and Oskar hanging out in the woods Lily and Traveller Dutch, Renny and Wiz...

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Stress and Boarding

Jason and I have been boarding retired horses for almost a decade. One conclusion that we have come to through the years is that many of our boarders (I am referring to the people here, not the horses) come to us with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in regards to boarding. When I hear some of the stories they tell about things that were (or more typically were not) done in their previous boarding situations it is no wonder their tension levels appear to be reaching astronomical heights at the mere thought of taking the leap and trusting another farm...

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Preventing Hay Fires

(post by Jason) Every summer that I can remember someone I knew lost a barn to hay that heated and started a fire. These fires weren’t mostly caused by lack of knowledge on the part of the farm owner. Most of the barns that burnt were on working farms run by people who had a lifetime of experience at putting up hay. But they guessed wrong about one or more batches and it wound up destroying at least a partial winter’s worth of feed at a minimum. It’s easy and sometimes very tempting to bale hay too wet, especially...

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Spring or Summer or . . .?

I was positive it was summer, I really was, until last week. Thursday through Sunday morning we had almost non-stop rain. Every now and then the rain would stop for awhile – never doing chore times of course – but it always started again with a vengeance. I think the highest temperature we saw during those days was 74 degrees.  I have lived most of my life in the south and I don’t ever remember  A) four days straight of heavy rain or B) four days straight where the high temperature barely cracked 70 degrees (21 C) during the...

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Paradigm Farms on Twitter

It took a few years and a lot of requests but I finally broke down and signed up for Twitter. You can find us on Twitter @ParadigmFarms.  Whether we will manage to tweet anything of interest remains to be seen but we will give it a try. The odds are against that happening but everyone loves the under dog, right? The strangest thing about my Twitter experience so far (all three days of it) is Jason’s keen interest in it. He has never lavished attention on our Facebook page or our blog, but for reasons unknown to me he...

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Happy Independence Day

(from Jason) I celebrated my first American Independence Day several years ago in Boston. Melissa and I decided to skip the fireworks and drive home minus the traffic as we both had to work the next day. At the time we lived in central Vermont and we arrived home early enough that I turned on our television to catch the fireworks shows. The first station carried the most spectacular fireworks display I had ever seen and they had an orchestra accompanying it. As it turns out the massive fireworks show and the orchestral accompaniment  were in Boston….an epic, spectacular...

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New Slogans

As Jason and I find ourselves in what feels like an endless cycle of broken things I accidentally made a joke today. I was looking at our John Deere garden tractor, dead in the driveway yet again. Jason saw me looking at it and said “nothing runs like a Deere.” (Surely everyone knows the John Deere slogan?) My response was “yes, nothing runs like a Deere – when it feels like running.” Then I moved on to the Ford slogan: “Built Ford Tough.” I can hardly type that with a straight face. Apparently our Ford tractor didn’t get that...

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