As I write this, we are already at the end of April! It has been a cool and rather wet month, which has slowed our gardening down just a bit. Hopefully, this week we will get the garden planted. The new chicks are doing well, and the grasses and clover are growing quickly. The chickens love to roam around the pasture and their is an abundance of seeds, insects and worms for them to enrich their diet. They seem very happy, and we are over-flowing with eggs!
We are primarily a timber farm, with an abundance of red and white oaks, hickory trees, sweet gum trees, water oaks, some pines and wild black cherries, among other species. Trees are very important for so many reasons. I have been recently reading a book written in 1949 by a British gentleman named Friend Sykes called, “Humus And The Farmer.” He chronicles how he took very poor land in England and turned it into a lush and fertile farm – by using cover crops and compost to create humus to enrich the topsoil. And he did it on a large scale (on hundreds of acres). He used no chemical additives, fertilizers or pesticides. I am so enamored with this that I will probably post more excerpts from this book from time to time. On page 13 of Humus And The Farmer, Sykes writes:
“The continued use of artificials is the first mistake, for it produces food of diminishingly efficient feeding value for both man and beast, and is, in my opinion, reducing vitality so low that resistance to the malign bacilli and bacteria of disease is becoming less and less. Notwithstanding the formation of the Ministry of Health with its myriads of enactments, its inoculations, its housing and its hygiene, with the spending of millions sterling, disease is still defiant. The source of all disease is in the food we eat; and the food comes from the soil. Start there. Make a healthy living soil. Grow thereon a healthy plant. Produce a healthy animal and, in turn, a healthy man, and the Ministry of Health can be liquidated in a very short time.”
Keep in mind, this was written in 1949. It was also written with the whole of Great Britain in mind, and with the aim and purpose of helping Britain to grow more of her own food to feed her people. Sykes thought it could be done and done with all natural means. On his 750 acres he did just that. I think we can learn from his experiences, in these United States, and I aim to do just that.