Posted by & filed under Organic Gardening.

Lysimeter explanation

Learning about Cover Crop Water Evaporation science


We recently went on a 2 day (Coloradao State University) CSU Sustainable Cropping System Tour . CSU has an extensive science community dedicated to helping farmers of all sizes optimize their land. Both for crop products as well as taking care of the land we, as caretakers of the environment, have chosen to undertake.


The CSU Extension Crop Management Systems team hosts a Soil Quality & Productivity Bus Tour

This tour included training in Sustainable Cropping Systems (large farms, small farms and specialty crops, crop pest management & sustainable food systems). Also covered during this great tour was this valuable information where Soil quality and productivity are the primary themes but water use, storage, retention, and quality protection are essential for well managed soils. Specifically, we’ll be taking a close look at using cover crops and high residue farming systems practices on dryland and irrigated farms and at research stations across eastern Colorado. We’ll also learne state-of-the-art vegetable and agronomic crop practices under irrigation at Rocky Ford. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Farm Equipment, In the News.

Have you gone to a local farm or equipment auction lately?  We were at  my first auction on over 2 decades.  An auction in a rural area is completely different than what I remembered during my younger days.  We ended up meeting neighbors and saving money.


When we arrived at the auction site, an open field beside the highway, this looked more like a carnival than an auction.  Yes, there was lots of equipment, but there was also horse tack, Clothes, Case memorabilia, tools, generators, tools still in their packaging, grinders and so much more!

There was even a nice food vendor for those who needed to eat.  Since we were 2 miles to the nearest town, leaving was not an option.  We did not want to miss anything for our first auction in our new community. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Farm Equipment.

Rebuilding a Farm Tractor one repair at a time is a great way to save money and learn new skills.  As a farmer, fixing the tractor seems to be a never ending chore.  We were very fortunate to get a working backhoe for the farm and drive it home last year.  It is a 1968 International 544 with a 3121 backhoe and a model 2000 front loader.  Manufacturers only provide parts for their equipment for a limited time.  Since it is an older model, we were on the edge of getting parts and support from the manufacturer. With research, we found that most everything would be available.


Our new tractor had been used extensively in its lifetime, showed the wear, and received only minimal repairs over its lifetime.  We were able to find a very basic manual for the tractor, it included other models of International tractors.  Most of them were strictly for row crop farming style, not the backhoe style tractor we had purchased.  We would do our best and learn to be creative for repairs and maintenance.

When we first got it home, we had a short list of items to fix: Read more »

Posted by & filed under Permaculture.

What is my understanding of Nutrition?



When most of us read or talk about nutrition, we just talk about our food diet.  But nurturing is complete nutrition.   The online Merrium-Webster dictionary shares this definition of nurture:

  1. Training, Upbringing
  2. Something that Nourishes
  3. The sum of the environmental factors influencing the behavior and traits expressed by an organism
  4. Help (something or someone) to grow, develop, or succeed
  5. To take care of (someone or something that is growing or developing) by providing food, protection, a place to live, etc.
  6. To hold (something, such as an idea or a strong feeling) in your mind for a long time
  7. To supply with nourishment
  8. Educate
  9. Foster to further the development

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Farm Equipment.



Click on the Picture to Open a Hi-Res Image in a new tab

When I built this Generator, we were living at 7,000 feet elevation in Colorado. Our house was heated by gas, but the heater would not function without electricity.  We lived with  extreme cold weather, where I could not even go outside.

The wind chill can be well below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Just to breathe a little bit of those stinging ice crystals and the cold air made my chest hurt and ache!

Our gas stove will provide a little bit of heat, but not enough to keep the water pipes from freezing. We needed heat tape on our water pipes to keep them thawed. Without heat, our house is pretty much a shell. I hated the feeling of hopelessness, no heat means no water as the pipes freeze even with the water running. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Permaculture.

Battery Maintenance: The Heart of Sustainable Power For Your Home

Batteries are the heart of sustainable power for your home. Without proper battery maintenance, you will have system failures. When you live off-grid, you are the power company, water company and communications provider. The great news is that if there is a power outage in the nearby city, we would never know it. The bad news is that if we have a power outage, it is our responsibility to fix it.

putting the power cables back on after cleaning the connections-630

That is a small price to pay to have electricity from the sun, wind or fueled generator. Once you learn the system, maintain it properly, it becomes second nature and you can have your own reliable mini power company on your small scale farm and home. Read more »