Posts Tagged With: agriculture

It’s Fair Time!

Setting the Stance

Setting the Stance

The Big Fresno Fair started this week. Fair time brings back memories of 4-H and FFA that we participated in as kids and with our kids. This year “kids” took on a whole new meaning when our step-granddaughter showed her pygmy goat, King Titan, at the fair. This was Katie’s first year in 4-H and she only had a month to prepare. There was some drama just before she showed because her cousin’s goat, Mad Mad, got frisky and head-butted King Titan and caused some bleeding. Despite the drama, Katie placed second out of nine junior exhibitors in showmanship. We’re so proud!

Junior 4-H’ers Preparing to Judge

They had the parents show the goats, too and the juniors judged them. Our son, who had a bad experience showing his dog for 4-H when he was 10 years old, did the honors. He was incredibly nervous, but got 6th place.

Matt and Katie with King Titan

Agricultural Displays

What a Bounty!

What a Bounty!

We always tour the agricultural displays when we go to the fair. The amazing variety of produce grown her in the central San Joaquin Valley always impresses us. Various cities in the area set up booths with bleachers-full of fruits, vegetables and nuts. Some areas specialize in a particular crop such as garlic, grapes or citrus. Others offer a wide range of produce from peaches to peanuts.

The Big Fresno Fair is celebrating its 130 year anniversary with a look at the past theme. Photographs of past fairs peppered the exhibits. The city of Reedley is celebrating its 100th anniversary also. We live only 7.5 miles from Reedley. My grandparents farmed just outside of this agricultural town and my great-aunt and uncle’s former farm is now covered with streets and houses. The rich history of this region is a sight to behold!

Orange Cove Booth

City of Orange Cove Booth

Reedley, CA Booth

Reedley, CA Booth

Categories: 4-H, agblog, agriculture, photos | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Dirt is Smaller Than You Think

@NaylorOrganics Mike (center). Appreciate your participation on grower panel at Tulare Sustainable/Organic Seminar

Mike Naylor (center)

Mike had the opportunity to sit on a growers’ panel at a sustainable/organic production seminar recently. The other panel members were from a smaller and a much larger farming operation. During the day several researchers shared their findings on studies of pest management and farming practices. Mike learned a lot of new information some of which he will try to apply to our farm.

For instance, the importance of keeping the soil healthy. Mike knew the benefits of good soil conservation methods and amendments, but he did not know how alive the soil is with microscopic organisms. As Mike puts it, “Dirt is smaller than you think.”  For more about dirt see Stop and Smell the Dirt.

How does YOUR dirt smell?

Living Soil

Categories: agblog, Agchat, farming, photos, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kudos to Young Farmers

We had the opportunity to give a farm tour to some young farmers the other day.  This passionate group is developing community gardens in under-served communities otherwise known as “food deserts.”  They also glean fruit from farms and backyard trees to help supply the local food banks.

Strolling Around the Farm

They were full of questions about organic farming and Mike shared his wisdom and expertise with them.  Our dog, Penney, enjoyed all the attention, too.  It is great to know that there are young people interested in using their own time and resources to meet the needs of others.  This next generation has many more tools when it comes to networking and finding resources than the previous one.  They can use technology to farm more efficiently and research topics to gain knowledge.  Still, it’s nice to know us old farts have something to contribute, too.

Mike loves sharing the knowledge he’s gained in his 33 years of farming with others, young and old.  Some things about farming will never change, though.  For one, it is just plain hard work.  It’s hot and dirty, too, especially here in the central San Joaquin Valley.  Also, it is unpredictable as I wrote about in another post.  No matter how much technology or science you have, the weather cannot be controlled.  There is an element of faith needed to farm.

Us old fart farmers are doers.  This new generation are doers and thinkers.  When things go south on the farm, we tighten our belts, pull up our bootstraps and work even harder the next year.  Young farmers may do all this, but they also reach out to each other for support and look for remedies beyond the farm.  They do not isolate themselves which can lead to discouragement.  Rather they seek solutions so that they can continually improve their practices and products in the future.

Having said that, we, too, are always looking for ways to improve and we do reach out to others, but we sometimes lack the energy and abilities of youth to implement our ideas.  Kudos to young farmers! By the way, our door is always open, if you have any questions you think us old fart farmers can help you with.

Categories: agblog, farming, organic farm, photos, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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