agriculture

Foothill Agrarian
Headed to the Fair

Sep 1, 2014
Headed to the Fair

As I write this on Labor Day afternoon, Sami and the girls are preparing to wash their Gold Country Fair lambs and give them one last clip.  Lara is showing a market lamb, her eighth trip to the fair since she was 9 years old.  Emma will be s...

Foothill Agrarian
More Thoughts on Scale and Small Farm Profitability

Aug 28, 2014
More Thoughts on Scale and Small Farm Profitability

Earlier this month, I wrote a blog post entitled "Does Small = Sustainable" in response to an article in the New York Times Sunday Review ("Don't Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Farmers").  The author of the original article, Bren Smith, a fa...

Foothill Agrarian
Heading for Reno

Aug 21, 2014
Heading for Reno


After I finish my chores tomorrow morning, I'm headed for Reno for the California Wool Growers Association annual meeting.  I always enjoy the CWGA convention - I like catching up with other sheep producers and getting a brief break from a busy summer schedule.  I also like going to...

Foothill Agrarian
#agdayaugust2014

Aug 19, 2014
#agdayaugust2014

Yesterday, Flying Mule Farm, along with a bunch of our farming and ranching friends, tried a social media experiment.  We wanted to show folks what a day in the life of a farmer or rancher looked like - by posting photos at the top of every hour, ...

Foothill Agrarian
Does Small = Sustainable?

Aug 14, 2014
Does Small = Sustainable?

Several weeks ago, a friend and farmers’ market customer brought someone to the ranch who is interested in starting his own sheep operation in Mexico.  As we were talking about production practices and animal husbandry, I asked him about how big his ranch was and about how many animals...

Foothill Agrarian
El Nino – or La Nada – Preparing for a Fourth Year of Drought

Aug 7, 2014
El Nino – or La Nada – Preparing for a Fourth Year of Drought

Disclosure: I borrowed the term "La Nada" from a friend who heard a weather forecaster say that we have three winter weather patterns in California - El Nino, La Nina and De Nada.  To me, La Nada (the nothing) makes more sense than De Nada (litera...

Foothill Agrarian
Ernie’s Progress – August 3, 2014

Aug 3, 2014
Ernie’s Progress – August 3, 2014

Another installment in the ongoing saga of Ernie the sheep dog!Ernie put in a full day's work today.  We started by hauling lambs back to leased pasture (we'd sheared them yesterday).  Ernie brought them from the trailer to the paddock with n...

Foothill Agrarian
Bugs

Aug 2, 2014

I think it's impossible to work outdoors and not interact with bugs - insects, spiders, etc.  This week has been a reminder!Towards the end of summer, we start seeing praying manti - riding the sheep, climing the fences, perching on the tall grass...

Foothill Agrarian
One Man’s Weeds – Another Man’s Forage

Jul 30, 2014
One Man’s Weeds – Another Man’s Forage

Or How I  Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Yellow StarthistleSoldiers in the War on Weeds!Okay, so I don't really love yellow starthistle, but my attitude about weeds is evolving.  Back in 2001, I dragged my young nieces and oldest daughter ...

Foothill Agrarian
Farm-to-Fork – Why the Sacramento Bee Just Doesn’t Get It

Jul 18, 2014

The Sacramento Bee seems to have embraced the Sacramento region's growing "farm-to-fork" movement, but recent editorials, guest editorials and news coverage suggest a lack of understanding of what it takes to put food on our forks.  At best, ...

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