Resources from Friends of Ag Breakfast with Martha Glass

Here is the catch all website for Agritourism information:

http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/agritourism/

Remember, one of the most important things it to post two sings on your property that have the following text:

WARNING

Under North Carolina law, there is no liability for an injury to or death of a participant in an agritourism activity conducted at this agritourism location if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of the agritourism activity. Inherent risks of agritourism activities include, among others, risks of injury inherent to land, equipment, and animals, as well as the potential for you to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury or death. You are assuming the risk of participating in this agritourism activity.’

Spring Showers and May flowers

May Flowers
May Flowers

What can I say- “We live in the South.” If you don’t live in the South, you probably don’t REALLY understand this phrase. To ‘live in the South,’ you accept the reality that the weather can change from a sunny, 80* day to a chilly 30* day in a matter of hours. We can have calm winds in the morning to gale force in the afternoon. I have seen snow flurries in June and hail at any time of year. It can be confusing to plants and animals alike. We have seen snakes and wasps earlier than ever this year. The heritage breeds of turkey are not supposed to start laying eggs until March. Last year they started laying in December! This year, it looked as if they were never going to lay, but finally an egg appeared, and then 2 and 3. All is well, and the Tom got a stay of execution since his ‘ reputation’ was now secure……
Recently I came across a publication that is new to me but obviously not to others interested in weather predictions, and no, I am not talking about the Farmers Almanac(they are very accurate too). It is The Browning Newsletter published monthly by Evelyn Browning Garris . Apparently Ms. Browning has been immersed in weather trends, patterns and predictions for decades and has a reputation of accuracy. So much so, that Texas ranchers follow her predictions closely as they prepare for livestock loads and crop returns. She uses historical data and incorporates this into current weather models. ‘Historical’ climate events can tell us much about the future if we will only pay attention. This data includes ice core samples, tree growth rates, water temperatures and even fish reproduction rates. The ‘living’ world can tell us a lot. Recently our Great Pyrenees field dogs got out of the fence AGAIN. I knew they were over on a neighbors property( text messaging is quick!). Off I went in the farm truck for retrieval. The neighbors have horses. As I was looking for the dogs I noted that the horses were looking intently in one direction. I saw nothing but upon giving my distinct call for the dogs, they quickly appeared from the direction in which the horses were staring. I know we have all experienced this animal behavior before, but we rarely utilize the natural gauges around us to full potential and to our economic benefit! Ms. Browning states clearly that ‘ Our calculations show the climate, over the next term, will cause dramatic changes to our social and economic patterns. We feel that readers, attuned to these changes that are occurring, may develop a competitive edge; and, by understanding their current and future environment, can use this momentum of change to their advantage.” As we see continuing changes in weather patterns, perhaps we need to began thinking of ways to incorporate growing methods working with greater variables. Such as high tunnels that can shade from excessive heat, open to receive rain or close to keep things dryer. Add livestock to areas for fertilizing and aerating. Forest Farming is another alternative.  Historically farms used a more ‘holistic approach’ in that EVERYTHING was used. Today this is typically known as Permaculture, but it is not a new idea.
Last October The Browning Institute predicted a 90% chance of and ‘El Nino’ event in 2014. Just recently, national and international weather institutes have predicted a 60% chance of an El Nino event. Those reading the Browning report have had a 4 month jump on preparation for much warmer and moist conditions.  We are all keeping an eye on the weather after our experience last year of the wettest in decades. It was an agricultural challenge to say the least.
What can I say? WE LIVE IN THE SOUTH!!! “Be prepared” has always been our motto, no need to quit now.  Just keep growing, we are all dependent on agriculture.

IMG_6641
Are you my Mommy?
Turkey chicks are called Poults. These are just hatched.