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.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Making efficient use of abundant local resources.

I planned on adding a few pics to this post, but due to the fact that were getting our first real deluge since late July here in Southern Indiana I am entirely to lazy (and warm, thank you wood heat!) to bother going out and getting soaked to take some pics at the moment.

One of the many things that allows me to continue running this farm on less than a shoestring budget is my ability to trade and barter as well as my uncanny knack for "lucking out" and coming accross discarded things which people no longer need or want to deal with. I am thankful for all of it.

A recent example (pair this with my Gamebird Feed Ration recipie below) was the sudden thought that crossed my mind while picking up a "Jack O' Lantern" with Kim for Halloween (we don't grown jack o' lanterns here). We picked ours up the weekend of Halloween from a local farmers market vendor who we know fairly well, business seemed slow at their stand so I took note of the hundreds of pumkins setting around thinking; "turkeys love c-pepos and they don't need to be cooked to be palatable....hmmmm."

Needless to say, the following week I came home with a loaded down truck full of pumpkins that I placed in the corn crib for short term storage as I knew they would be fed out quickly and also don't store well. To the farmers who gave us the pumpkins sustainable agriculture is a term that applies to other farms such as mine, they don't raise any animals and they don't make compost so the pumpkins to them were just the source of future cleanup, to us though they represented a valuable source of food and nutrition (as well as a wormer via the seeds) for our turkey flock. Everyone gets something from the deal so to speak and I put what would have been an absolute waste of soil fertility and food to good use here on the farm. Of course as soon as the turkeys are "finished" with them they will find their way via turkey manure to the corn crop to feed the turkeys next season.

Another fantastic example (a bit of a "follow up" to the post about trading nursery stock for quail and turkeys) involves the current peasant barn project. I was running short on metal and lumber and in need of resources quickly to finish the infrastructure of the building prior to the setting in of inclimate weather. A fellow friend of mine (and resource scavenger) just happened to be in need of some turkeys hens and toms and also just happened to have nearly the exact amount of metal and lumber I was looking for on hand, all was second hand material but in good shape. I had extra toms and hens that weren't needed as they didn't match my turkey breeding program requirements and a quick trade was facilitated. We both came out on top.

If you've read this blog long enough, you know these are fairly common occurences with me. Resources are out there if you are looking for them and don't ever forget about the power of the "gray" market that is craiglist or the "black market" that is under the table trade.


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