Smashing the glass box that is conventional agriculture!
I didn’t attend college. Period.
That’s not just a statement, it is a declaration.
Now, maybe I didn’t attend college because I was lazy, or perhaps I didn’t attend because college had nothing to sell or tell me that would convince me to give up my life to debtors. I will let you figure that one out.
Over the last six years I have subjected my family, my fiance, and her family to my endless curiosity for all things agronomic with a heavy slant towards ecological solutions and breeding, driving them sometimes up the wall, I am sure, and leaving them all wondering how I would make a living for myself. I have grown, tested, trialed, and tasted more varieties of crops than I care to imagine. F1’s, Open Pollinated types, segregates, populations, synthetics. I have dabbled in soil sciences from all over the world, and taken a gander at the true possibilities that soil and various cropping systems on this southern Indiana farm can offer me by looking through the eye of a prism and following each individual “color” to it’s perspective end.
I have harvested acres of corn by hand and subsequently shelled it for seed until my hands were litterally bloody.
I have dabbled with poultry genetics and selected for meat, body confirmation, color, egg size, color of egg and and more.
I have grown crops completely unadapted to this bio-region in trials and breeding plots which often become the source of distress and disaster in unconventional systems which others would only scoff at.
I have cursed, pulled hair, kicked, screamed, been pissed off and generally aggrevated to the point of chain smoking.
I have aged 10 years in 6.
I have alienated friends and made enemies.
I have subjected myself to myriads of manual labor which will effect my health for seasons to come.
And I regret none of it.
For all of those negatives and from all of those moments of extreme aggrevation I have deduced that the root of all of this is knowledge and I’ve accomplished more than I have failed.
I have made friends.
I have opened eyes and minds.
I have had a hand in the fostering of new kinds of varieties which have never existed before.
I have mastered the “forcing” of many crops using only wood heat and plastic in winter weather.
I have discovered those things which work and those which do not.
I have observed nature in ways that many others have not.
I have created new methods of sustaining and creating soil fertility and have foregone sterile mixes in favor of homemade, compost laced solutions.
I have taught myself about trap crops, vermicomposting, herbal medicine, bio-intensive methodology, soil sciences, seed saving, plant breeding, animal husbandry and so much more.
And most importantly I have put myself through School of a type very few others in recent memory ever have. “Warior Training” is perhaps more apt.
I would call myself an agronomist, even if I am missing the “official” credentialed piece of pulp paper that the world might accept as “proof” of such a claim. I don’t need it.
I have created something out of nothing.
And now it is time to move forward with this “gnosis.”
It’s time to smash the glass box that contains “conventional” agriculture.
The conventional agriculture that keeps us tied up in the slave trade of petrochemical fertilizer, genetically modified traits, and “ORGANIC STANDARDS” as set forth by the USDA.
The time for trial and error are over and the time for proof of concept have arrived. 2011 will be the year that I take the first true look at what I have been working on, taking the amalgamated teachings of the best methods and varieties I have utilized and placing them into a fully functional “eco-logical” garden of Eden.
Breeding work will continue with poultry and perennials and the occasional hybrid vegetable, but the introduction of many new varieties and their implementation into the overal scheme and outlay of the farm and it’s profits will take precedence.
In time I hope to open the eyes and minds of many in our bio-region to the true possibilities available to those of us who can think in terms of .5 - 50 acres instead of 500. 5-100 birds as opposed to 20,000.
I hope to help people recognize their true culture, a culture of agriculture, free of the bindings which hold “conventional” agriculture in place and breaking the bonds placed on us by our government and the mainstream media. To help foster those ideas which draw us together and help us see that the binds of civilization are held together only by our ability to use agriculture, in a sustainable way, to our advantage.
To be continued:
Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler
The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.