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, March 15, 2011

Is it weird when Nine Inch Nails Year Zero seems to be fulfilling it's own dreadful prophecy?

Just a question I was pondering today given the environmental and humanitarian disaster underway in Japan coupled with the revolutions in the middle east and rising tensions in the US as well as the oncoming collapse of the U.S. economy and dollar.

Shock, Horror, the other side still misses the point!

So I checked out "The Other Side" blog today, not so much because I give a shit about anything they have to peddle or mutter on about but because I sometimes become curious about the thought process behind their propagandizing of their pro-GMO Stance (note: this does not apply to Anastasia, who I tend to find fair).

And what do you know, first post at the top of the page just called to me, lit the coals and stoked the fire.....again. As always, any asshole slanted coverage of Organic or Sustainable farming can almost always be attributed to this same short sighted, simple minded, over achiever of totally useless goals who wrote the article in reference.

The article itself addresses a supplier of Organically certified fertilizers who defrauded consumers by using "cheaper" synthetics to fortify his mixes, all in all, I agree, the guy is obviously an asshole giving a bad name to more scrutinizing and trustworthy organic suppliers, that said, the author of the article, instead of taking time to report about the incident and make commentary based on the flaws of actual USDA organic certification instead decided to take the time to speak from the wrong end about how "organic" can't feed the world.

Two points of contention exist within the article, at least from my mindset, first and foremost, his flawed understanding of soil sciences, nitrogen demand, and sustainability.

The second, that most and or many of us believe certification and buying in of nutrients is or should be an option in the first place.

I'll tackle the nutrient cycle/availability issue first and I'm completely sure this will piss off not only chemical/GMO advocates, but also those who think certification is a viable option. From the perspective presented in the article it would seem that once again those engaged in more sustainable and localized agriculture are getting the short end of the stick from this site , as always the support for big ag is evident in the blog and the enemy is made out to be certified organic farmers and producers of supplies, those of us who don't fit neatly into the preconceived side get no input/output whatsoever.

The author of the article presents an uninformed statement that there is not enough manure in the world to feed the world "organically" (I'm taking this to mean sustainably as well) and then in the next paragraph says there is not enough nitrogen in the "natural" world (hmmmm, one in the same much?)

This is a huge misconception, first of all, chemical nitrogen is very limited as it is mined from a dwindling supply as well as extracted from petrol chemicals, both sources of which are dwindling leading to a rising price and a slump in demand both due to price as well as the awakening and education of the public to the dangers of unsustainable farming and where it will/would lead us if we continue to follow the path laid down by the so called "green" revolution.

Meanwhile sustainable cycles of raising either animals for meat which are in turn fed by food grown on the farm which is in turn fed by the composted manure of the animals as well as the use of cover crops and local waste streams to return carbon, nutrients, and humus to the ground is a completely and utterly fascinating sustainable model that big ag can and will never hope to duplicate but one which humanity has relied on for nigh 10,000 years. To boot there is tons of archaeological evidence to support the theory that human population has been incredibly dense but sustainable in many locations across the globe in the same time frame comparable to modern population densities.

Granted, using such methods in an attempt for one farm to cultivate a few thousand acres isn't going to happen, however when we are speaking in terms of sustainable agriculture which realizes the flaws in both plans of action presented by big ag and USDA managed organic, and as such we realize that current civilization is not and will not be sustainable over the next 20 years so variables including methods of farming, size of farms, and who is farming will change, shrinking down to only local, small scale farming at some point within the next 20 years if not incredibly sooner out of necessity.

It seems that he is supposing that all farmers interested in and pursuing sustainable farming practices are buying in some if not all of their nutrients which is a complete supposition on his part and incredibly ignorant as many of us are producing 90-100% of our own nutrient and soil building needs while filling the gaps with excesses from other local farms using long term time tested methods like thermophilic composting and cold composting as well as vermiculture, terra pretta, and the food chain cycle of raising farm animals.

It is unfortunate to me that he can't see the Forrest for the trees, believing that big ag has all the answers and that nutrients from mining and drilling operations is in any way sustainable or capable of continually supplying the nutrient needs of modern agriculture, it's a shame he has a pedestal from which to proclaim his ignorance to the world when instead he could be spending his time drawing pretty pictures for his moms refrigerator with crayons.

This is without mentioning breeding work that his been done using traditional methods to improve nitrogen efficiency in many if not most crops by amateur plant breeders across the globe with a great deal of success, but I suppose he believes the current system of using GMO to "improve" plants while propagandizing the reduced use of fertilizers and pesticides while the opposite often proves to be true is "The Way Of The Future." Right, try on a different hat and see if it doesn't improve the blood flow to that tiny brain.

The second point of contention centers on his next assumption that most if not all suppliers of organic supplies or organic farmers in general must be even less trustworthy. This makes the assumption once again that all interested in sustainable farming must be or should be certified to be even recognized as part of the conversation in question.

I and others have tackled the issue of organic certification in the past and it would be a moot point to say that certification is not necessary as any single one of my customers can attest to the power and reliability of a tour on our farm or any other farm in question over any piece of paper "certifying" anything. On top of all of this I will add that buying in nutrients in any large amount while considering yourself organic and or thinking you are part of a sustainable farming movement is tantamount to not knowing how to or refusing to save seeds, it's unsustainable, doesn't make any sense and I will once again reiterate that it makes you part of the problem facing the future.

Relying on certification by the USDA for any product you grow or consume is tantamount to trusting the Japanese government to tell you the truth about the current nuclear situation there.

That said implying that other organic producers are somehow now not to be trusted is the move of someone concerned with ego and not facts. There is a word for that, in fact a phrase I use quite often amongst my friends; "Quit being dick!"

Human genes meet rice! Soylent Green is real!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmm, looks like the USDA has once again proven their omnipotent and everlasting stupidity by throwing their support and approval behind this fucking Amalgam . Chances are I can think of about 1,000 ways to improve rice nutrition in my spare time and given enough genetic material, time and funding I could carry through those improvements. Guess how many of those would involve fucking with the genome of rice by inserting human DNA? None. Duh, Winning! (Thanks Charlie!)

In the long sad history of stupid that is Genetic Modification (and the subsequent approval there of by the Unites States Department of Monsanto, yeah I said it) never once did I think that anything using human genes would actually get approved for large scale testing. Let's get two things straight; one, the danger is ever present to anyone with half a brain to think them through (Prions anyone? Also, human and plant diseases now having the opprotunity to evolve and become one and the same?) and number 2; last time I checked the genomes and reproductive organs of rice and humans were different enough that even if some perv molested a field of rice we'd never have to worry about such a mutant progeny of bastardized human gene bearing rice grains affecting our food supply and subsequently our daily health.

I'd love nothing more than to see this shit burned to the ground. Thank you Anheuser-Busch for boycotting this increadibly irresponsible move, shit like this new GM Rice drives casual drinkers such as myself to your product more than ever!

Cultivators Handbook of Natural Tobacco now available via Bishop's Homegrown!

Hey local farmers and gardeners interested in growing a crop of natural tobacco for personal use or profit, we now have Bill Drakes amazing growing and historical guide available here on the farm for 20.00! Come April we will be selling the book with your selection of 3 tobacco plants in four inch pots for 30.00.

This book contains everything you need to know about growing and curing tobacco for an excellent chemical free product. I highly reccomend it to anyone remotely interested in the art of "rolling your own!"

Pick up at the farm for 20.00!


To our loyal blog readers, just wanted to let you know we haven't forgotten about you, just hit a busy patch of time. Today we lined a hand dug pond for our future duck flock with plastic and we've been hard at work propigating nursery stock, grafting trees, starting seeds, getting the cold frame ready and are getting ready to place an order for even more nursery stock as well as to take down and rebuild a small shed which will be a dedicated bird brooding area as well as expanding into Bob White and Tennesee Red qauil which will require yet more infrastructure. Tomorrow were picking up a load of compost from a neighbor and making plans to clean our his extensive inventory of manure!

Pics and lots of descriptive updates to come, stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hey market farmers looking for alternatives.....

Recently I'm sure you've noticed my profusion of posts regarding tobacco as an alternative crop as well as my many links to author Bill Drakes website, normally I don't do a lot of "Product Placement" on the site but this isn't product placement, it's information placement and dissemination and it's here because were headed towards hard times and we all need information and alternatives long lost to our mass consumerism and sloth like behavior as a society.

Bill is running one heck of a deal over at his site where you can buy "The cultivators handbook of natural tobacco." at half price for resale at retail at farmers markets, if you grow a few tobacco plants and do a bit of promotion this could be a pretty sweet deal for you and in my opinion Bill has written up a pretty good explanation of how to go about doing as such.

We are going to be participating in this program, likely at both the Washington County Indiana and the Orleans Indiana farmers market this season; offering the book as well as 5 or 6 varieties of plants and we would love to see others get involved so this piece of relevant agricultural and cultural information gets more widely disseminated amongst the public.

Check it out here.

Preparing for the economic crash? Bill Drake has another great idea!

Bill Recently updated with a wonderful article discussing the economic possibilities of local tobacco production and distribution. The beautiful thing about the article, just like his previous one discussing tobacco barter, is that in a pinch it could be and would need to be adapted to deal with the new local economies that will arise from the ashes of the coming economic collapse.

Bill says it best, in ways I never could here