Solar charger (doing the research I have found this one to be more powerful)… http://www.kencove.com/fence/Solar+Energizers_detail_EMS.php
Charger (this has been sufficient for our 12 acre intensive program)… http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=393&cat_id=54
Reels (you will need at least 6 reels, these are the ones we use and are most economical)… http://www.kencove.com/fence/Reels_detail_RNR.php
Twine (this has very high conductivity)… http://www.kencove.com/fence/Twine+(Electric)_detail_R5GW.php
Reel Brackets for wooden posts (also available for T-posts at a higher price)… http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=455&cat_id=49
Our favorite insulators for posts… http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=24422&cat_id=46
Poultry Netting (We have some 5 years old and they are still working great)… http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=20170&cat_id=53 Kencove will be the ones we will try in the future, a little cheaper, and free shipping!!! https://www.kencove.com/fence/Electric+Net+Fencing_detail_NSPCG.php
Everything else you can get locally
- Farmer Brad
PS: tell them HOMEsweetFARM sent you!
Small Food Producers Question Greater FDA Powers New food safety legislation aimed at big producers will impose costly record-keeping and testing burdens on small farmers and food producers READ MORE >>
Food Safety Bills are Going to Bury our Farmers in Paperwork The issue becomes one of industrialized agribusiness in direct opposition to agriculturalists. READ MORE >>
LEARN MORE ABOUT The Food Safety Act... CLICK HERE >>
TAKE ACTION: Sign the Petition! click here >>
READ MORE >>
Food Safety Bill Needs Work The food safety bill that passed the House last Thursday faces an uphill struggle in the Senate. READ MORE >>
Politics of the Plate: Casting the Food Safety Net too Wide A bill recently passed by the House could have detrimental effects on small farmers. READ MORE >>
Food Insecurity NOT Food Safety The FDA has already demonstrated its inability to protect us from food borne illness outbreaks. In fact, Congress is giving them a reward for their failures, in an effort to look like they are doing the right thing for America. READ MORE >>
FDA releases commodity-specific safety rules for melons, tomatoes and leafy greens The Food and Drug Administration has released draft guidance for melons, tomatoes and leafy greens in a process that is expected to lead to more formal regulation of those commodities. READ MORE >>
House Approves New Food-Safety Laws "No legislation like this has moved forward this far in decades to overhaul the food safety laws, It's a pretty historic moment." READ MORE >>
House Approves Food-Safety Bill: Law Would Greatly Expand FDA's Power The House approved the first major changes to food-safety laws in 70 years Thursday, giving sweeping new authority to the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the way food is grown, harvested and processed. READ MORE >>
LEARN MORE ABOUT HR2749... CLICK HERE >>
The FDA is apparently ready to take full use of their new unchecked authority. The day before HR2749 passes in the House, the FDA, with backing from BIG business, released draft guidance for melons, tomatoes and leafy greens. This is sure to only be the beginning for more formal regulations that will challenge how organic and local food is produced and handled.
As a small farmer we are concerned that we will be regulated and bullied out of business. In fear of warrantless searches of business records, increased record keeping, new federal fees, fines and penalties (up to 10yrs prison and $100,000 per offense), along with increased domestic scrutiny (while less than 1% of imported food is currently inspected). At the very least we will see a rise in food prices as American farmers will be heavily burdened and priced out of the global market. This "one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme" is not good for anyone except BIG business and industrial farming.
From the local food front, Farmer Brad
Read the latest articles:
US House defeats sweeping reform of food safety (until Thursday's revote)
Find out if your Representative opposed the Bill... click here >>
HR2749 Nearly Passes and Spells The End of Local Food
Sign the petition!
I urge my representatives to include the Farr-Kaptur amendments that would exempt small-scale on-farm processors selling directly to consumers, require FDA to coordinate with USDA and to consult with the National Organic Program, exempt farms selling directly to businesses from the traceability requirements, and establish a sliding scale for the registration fees.
In Addition to these amendments we need to limit the bill to food being shipped interstate, and explicitly exempt all farms and food processors who are selling only intrastate from all provisions of the bill. We also need to provide an exemption for farms and food processors selling directly to consumers within a local "foodshed", since those who live near a state boundary often have local markets on the other side of that boundary.
Please do the right thing by exempting our few remaining small farms and by specifically regulating the real threat to food safety: the imported and industrial food industry.
Sign the petition!
Onward, Farmer Brad
"I say to you, this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live.
You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid.
You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab or shoot or bomb your house. So you refuse to take a stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety.
And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.
You died when you refused to stand up for right.
You died when you refused to stand up for truth.
You died when you refused to stand up for justice.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Read the alarming provisions: CLICK HERE >>
For further reading, check out these related articles:
Strange Martial Law via Food Control: HR 2749
HR 2749 is a strange bill in many ways. While the other "food safety" bills have been around since winter, allowing for much public discussion on the internet, HR 2749 has only suddenly appeared. It is a mutant conglomeration of the worst of the other bills, with the addition of one very original part - martial law. READ MORE >>
HR 2749: Totalitarian Control of the Food Supply
HR 2749 gives FDA tremendous power while significantly diminishing existing judicial restraints on actions taken by the agency. The bill would impose a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme on small farms and local artisanal producers; and it would disproportionately impact their operations for the worse. READ MORE >>
Crops, Ponds Destroyed in Quest for Food Safety
Washington - Dick Peixoto planted hedges of fennel and flowering cilantro around his organic vegetable fields in the Pajaro Valley near Watsonville to harbor beneficial insects, an alternative to pesticides... He has since ripped out such plants in the name of food safety, because his big customers demand sterile buffers around his crops. No vegetation. No water. No wildlife of any kind. READ MORE >>
“Clearly, our present ways of agriculture are not sustainable, and so our food supply is not sustainable. We must restore ecological health to our agricultural landscapes, as well as economic and cultural stability to our rural communities.” - Wendell Berry & Wes Jackson
May God be with us all!
I just talked to my local NRCS office, and they have extended the deadline to get into this program for funds, but I was wondering… Is it like selling your soul when they want a copy of your property deed, Social Security number and property tax receipt for you to be put into their FSA system to be registered with a “tracking number” (their words, not mine)? How much is our privacy worth? Are we willing to sell it for a little funding? I know we need help, but I’m not sure if I want this kind of help. Thoughts?
Yesterday we began drilling our new well to 450ft. Today the casing is going in and soon we will have a fresh new supply of water on the farm (just in time for the summer). I can't imagine a better investment from our life savings. We expect bountiful returns (Lord willing).
Begin the evening with refreshments and a tour of the farm. Witness the stories of a developing small family farm as presented by Farmers Brad and Jenny Stufflebeam followed by a five course farm-style meal served in a scenic field amongst the growing summer produce. Diners are joined at the table by the farmers, and other local artisans associated with the meal, graciously prepared by the talented Chef Jesse Griffiths and Tamara Mayfield of Dai Due.
JUNE 12th @ 7pm
For more information, and to RSVP online, CLICK HERE >>
(limited seats available)
This has been one of our most difficult weeks on the farm to date (at least in my mind). It started on Saturday afternoon when I was bitten by a copperhead snake on the back of my ankle. We rushed to the emergency room just to find out that modern medicine can do nothing other than “pain management” sending me home with a dose of Benedryl and a prescription for antibiotics and Vicodin for the pain (which I took neither). Pain and swelling has left me in bed for 4 days now leaving the farm operations on Jenny’s shoulders – she is such a champ.
We have been treating the snake bite and my entire leg with doses of herbal remedies: black cohosh, echinacea, goldenseal, arnica and plantain as a compress every 2 hours along with an oral dose of all of the above MINUS the arnica. After day 3 the swelling and pain was beginning to improve.
To make the farm life more difficult, it has been raining regularly making our CSA harvest more challenging in the mud while worrying about flood damage to the new crops (11 inches so far with more in the forecast). The family car got a flat and needs to be changed (it is still jacked up after 4 days with no time to take care of it). The livestock needed to be moved to a different pasture. The septic system is backing up due to the saturated ground. We have new baby chicks (8 days old now) needing regular attention. The girls are busy with homeschooling. Customers are showing up at unusual hours for feed and supplies. Flash flooding in the area is demanding more customer care concerning CSA deliveries. Managing COOP orders for this month’s delivery. Not to mention Jenny’s time to nurse me back to health with the treatments to deal with the snakebite; preparing meals for the family, cleaning house and keeping up with all of the phone calls and emails. All the while I lay here helpless unable to stand or walk on my own (knowing we are in the peak of spring planting and the work is extra difficult this week without me). After four days, I’m trying to keep a good attitude. Jenny and the girls are remarkable, as always.
This too will pass, and after Thursday’s CSA harvest and delivery, we may be able to catch our breath with a quiet weekend ahead. Hopefully, by day seven of my injury I may be back on my feet, giving Jenny a much needed break. She deserves it! Hang in there baby.
Thanks so much to our workshare volunteers. Their enthusiasm and dedication is contagious. Our family farm and lives are so much richer for having them involved. We couldn't do it without them.
After two days of work, we have built new wood-framed raised beds for our Outdoor Learning Center which will demonstrate urban farming techniques. More pics coming soon as we build!
We hope to have a few TX A&M interns and Wednesday volunteers help us with this project. Contact us if you are interested.
When the project is complete we will release a detailed journal of the development.
Locally at the state level, SB 682 will limit NAIS to a voluntary program in Texas. This bill was left pending last week by the Senate Agriculture Committee and may be voted on this week. I'm urging everyone to take action by contacting the Senate Committee members urging them to vote "YES to SB 682". CONTACT INFO HERE >>
With all of that serious stuff behind us, our family farm is daily encouraged by the growing awareness for local food and our community. People are going out of their way to eat, grow and live more locally. Recently we had a group of young people stay with us while riding their bikes across North America from Vancouver to Boston spreading the news about living more sustainably. They termed their trek "The Urgency of Now". After harvesting for our CSA and planting 500 tomatoes they rode off toward Houston, and ultimately Boston by June. The "Good Food Revolution" is underway, and we ourselves are off to spread the good news in Waco, TX this weekend at the Spring Farm Day at World Hunger Relief Farm, April 4th. If you are in the area we hope you can make it out.
Yours in the local food revolution,
This just out from The Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund... please read...
On February 4, 2009 Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 (HR 875),
a bill that would establish the Food Safety Administration (FSA) within
the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). HR 875 represents
a tremendous expansion of federal power, particularly the power to
regulate intrastate commerce. While the proposed legislation tries to
address the many problems of the industrial food system, the impact on
small farms if the bill becomes law would be substantial and not for
the better. HR 875 is a major threat to sustainable farming and the
local food movement. READ MORE >>
AT first glance, the plan by the federal Department of Agriculture to battle disease among
farm animals is a technological marvel: we farmers tag every head of
livestock in the country with ID chips and the department
electronically tracks the animals’ whereabouts. If disease breaks out,
the department can identify within 48 hours which animals are ill,
where they are, and what other animals have been exposed.
time when diseases like mad cow and bird flu have made consumers
worried about food safety, being able to quickly track down the cause
of an outbreak seems like a good idea. Unfortunately, the plan, which
is called the National Animal Identification System and is the subject
of a House subcommittee hearing today, would end up rewarding the
factory farms whose practices encourage disease while crippling small
farms and the local food movement.
READ MORE : Op-Ed Contributor - Tag, We’re It - Pitfalls of an Animal ID System - NYTimes.com
“Agriculture’s been a horrible business for 30 years. For decades the money shufflers, the paper shufflers, have been the captains of the universe. That is now changing.
The people who produce real things [will be on top]. You’re going to see stockbrokers driving taxis.
The smart ones will learn to drive tractors, because they’ll be working for the farmers. It’s going to be the 29-year-old farmers who have the Lamborghinis. So you should find yourself a nice farmer and hook up with him or her, because that’s where the money’s going to be in the next couple of decades.”
~ Jim Rogers
By the way, Lamborghini used to make a great tractor, but I will stick with my International. - Farmer Brad
LOCAL/ORGANIC FOOD! It's better for our health, our ecology and our local economy. For more info, visit http://www.homesweetfarm.com/Workshop.htm
Farm on! Brad
Andy Griffin recently wrote an excellent article that I have to recommend. His advise is wise, and as I have frequently suggested to new farmers... leasing land is worth considering.
The article: http://www.ladybugletter.com/?p=70
Market Growers Symposium
February 26 & 27, 2009
Hosted by: HOMEsweetFARM
Join us for this two-day event designed to help new and experienced market growers get the job done. Network and meet with experts in the field for technical discussions and then experience hands-on farm tours and training to deepen your understanding. Lunch includes seasonal surprises prepared by some of the leading
Dr. Joe Novak Dr. Steven King Bill Adams
Carol Ann Sayle Marla Camp Tatum Evans Ben Godfrey
Morning sessions are in a classroom setting with technical discussions on diversified vegetable farming, disease and pest controls, grafting, marketing, variety selection and more.
Afternoon sessions will be in the field at HOMEsweetFARM, a 22 acre diversified CSA vegetable farm serving the
Includes a local/organic lunch filled with seasonal surprises prepared by
Chef Joe Apa of T’afia, Houston and Chef Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due,
Do not miss this unique event!
For more information and to register online visit www.homesweetfarm.com
Call 979-251-9922 Email firstname.lastname@example.org