Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Free Samples at Easy Valley Farm

The Little Sprouts Crew will be in person at Easy Valley Farm for the afternoon of  Thursday 12/31 to give out free samples of our sausages and meats, as well as answer any questions about our farm and products. We encourage you to take this opportunity to meet us and try these meats.

Place: Easy Valley Farm Stand

Address: 2557 E Evans Creek Rd, Rogue River

Time: 1pm till Dark

We welcome Easy Valley Farm to the growing list of spots to carry our meats. Please show your support for them!

Article in the Rogue Valley Messenger

We are pleased to appear in a local publication available at food stores around the valley, the Rogue Valley Messenger!


http://www.roguevalleymessenger.com/your-local-organic-christmas-ham-or-pork-loin-live-the-new-american-dream-with-little-sprouts-farm/



The Evils of Cheap Food

Last night, a friend and long time colleague of mine put his two young twin girls to bed, alone for the first time. His vibrant young wife passed away yesterday from a short months long battle with cancer.  It is heartbreaking, but not uncommon in our world today.

Cheap Food, something sought after for decades, is killing us, one at a time.

I am not saying that cheap food is the cause of cancer alone... there are many contributing factors, but all the evidence clearly shows that cheap food is at root of many, if not most health issues. Food devoid of nutrients and filled with toxins.  Food with a long shelf life, cheap selling price, pretty packaging, easy transportability, and... death.

Food is life. What we eat determines our health. Food can be a source of healing or a source of damage. What determines this? largely... price. Cheap food is both devoid of nutrients and filled with toxins. Pesticides and herbicides are easily found in the urine of children and pregnant women who consume cheap food.  It is not found in the urine of those who consume expensive food.

The difference? Farming styles, processing and packaging.

Conventional farming has been driven for decades to produce food more cheaply. Demand for lower prices at the store drive the farmer to lower his standards and find ways to produce food at lower costs. Chemicals manufacturers filled the gap with innovative ideas on using chemicals to produce artificial growth, artificial food, at lower costs.

And the cancer rate in america climbs. Disease takes off and goes from rare to common in only a few decade.  The common denominator? cheap food.

This is all BEFORE gmos, we can not blame gmos on the current health issues where families are torn apart by death and suffering. Things will only get worse, much worse, as gmos infiltrate the food supply. But the battle is NOT with gmo's... if we banned all gmos across the nation, we would not get any less sick, no less death, because the death and sickness we have today is not from gmos, it is from plain conventional agriculture focused on price, efficiency, prettiness.. rather than nutrition and pureness.

Bottom line... cheap food is conventionally produced food, filled with poisons to artificially make it appear more attractive at lower prices. IT is a lie. Safe money on food, and pay with your life.

There is a direct relationship between the price of food and how much good or bad that food will bring you. The lower the price, the more damage it causes. The higher the price, the more health it brings. We can forget about gmo's.. labeling issues, etc. Its not about that.. it is about price. If the food is cheap, corners were cut, and nutrition, the hidden aspect of food, has suffered.

Little Sprouts Farm will not compromise, will not produce nor sell cheap food. We offer the highest possible nutrition, doing everything we can to increase the healing qualities of our food. We do not cut corners. As a result, our foods are perhaps the most expensive around... not because we are getting rich... but because we care about your health first. We are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Our philosophy is.. "all of the above".. meaning... we do everything we can to each type of food to increase health benefits. No longer do you have to choose between "cage free" , "pastured" , organic", "soy free" , "high omega 3" in your eggs... we do it all at once.  We treat animals humanely, improving genetics with each generation. We dont spend money on fancy packaging... we put all our investment inside.

My own children eat what we make. It is our life.  We do not buy cheap food, and we do not sell cheap food. We avoid it like the plague. Our food budget is huge... we have had to shift our family priorities around and drastically change our lifestyle to accommodate. But we are very glad we did.

IT is hugely saddening to have parents come by to hear our story of how we beat many serious health conditions with nothing but good real  food, only to leave uncommitted because of price or convenience.  Often, these same parents that refuse to spend money on good food for their children leave in a fairly new car, with a Starbucks cup inside. IT breaks our heart to watch over and over.

Priorities, cheap food is evil. It kills.

As my heart hurts for my friend, waking his girls up to a motherless day today, the start of the rest of their life, I am proud to have never compromised on food quality. We will never make excuses for our food prices. They are fair based on the value inside and cost to produce. Our commitment to you, is to bring you the best food possible, at a reasonable price.

Know your farmer... ask questions... demand answers.

Food is your life.

Our government... Our lives

Our government must be stopped, and returned to constitutional boundaries.



http://bundyranch.blogspot.com/2015/11/facts-events-in-hammond-case.html?m=1

The Bundy Family - Terrorist or Ranchers?
posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, December 28, 2015

"Country of Origin" Labeling ends... but is that bad?

I saw this ad on facebook and a thought hit me:




Is this a bad thing?   yes.. and no.

Sure.. I understand how people who rely on grocery stores are so concerned with labels. when you don't or can't know the people that produce your food, then labels are all you have. I get that...

BUT

Is not that actually the heart of the problem?
The reliance on the middle man, instead of the producer?
The reliance on labels instead of a relationship with the producer?
The distance between farmer and consumer?

The fact that meat will no longer forcibly carry a label of origin is actually a great boon to a return to local food, to a return to "knowing your farmer". It is true  what critics say.. now you dont know where your meat comes from... but wasn't that always true? Nothing has really changed.. unless you were trusting that all american made meat was healthy while all foreign meat was dangerous... but thats not true! It is the american meat system that is at the heart of the real problem.. so knowing hte country of origin at the store is not helpful, knowing your farmer IS helpful.

See, here is the real problem... we tend to rely on labels. Labels are ADVERTISING, MARKETING, controlled largely by the government. There is some prevalent yet silly notion that if the government approves of the label, the product inside must be healthy. Nothing is further from the truth! Consider the GMO labeling effort... sure there may be some value in knowing what is GMO and what is not.. BUT... only for those who are ok with consuming toxic conventionally produced foods anyway... because all those who care about their food are already buying organic or better yet...  from a known "beyond organic" farm.  IF a person is ok buying a food labelled "non-gmo", then they already conceded health, so why does it matter?

So what does that mean?

I say, we need to forget about labels and push to know the farmer. Dont buy anything "anonymously"  at a store if you can buy the same thing from a farmer, or from a farm you know.  Take charge of your own life, quit relying on government agencies to protect you.. and get out there to find a farm you trust. Buy from them... support them.. put your trust in yourself and the people you know.

then all the battles over labels are a moot point! Who cares?!?  labels no longer matter.

To the activists I say... quit fighting the battle on the terms of big business... you will loose just as we lost the organic vs conventional battle that way. Instead, remove the financial incentive to produce bad food by educating the public to buy from a farmer they know.  Take the battle to a whole new level, flank the enemy by moving the battle to what they can not control.. the hearts and minds of your neighbors. Forget government regulations... thats a game that big business plays better than anyone. Instead we take the message directly to the consumer. Buy nothing but beyond organic food, from a farmer you know.

Problem solved.

Nationwide Shipping starts in 2016!

Little Sprouts Farm is now opening the doors to anyone that needs good healthy food. We have spent the last several years, and the entirety of our financial savings learning how to operate a farm devoted to quality, not profit, and building that farm into a sustainable model.

Now it is time for the next step.. 2016 is here and we are expanding to nationwide shipping!

The product list will be abbreviated to comply with federal food laws, but what is offered will be of the same extreme quality that we have brought to the Rogue Valley. Our mission remains the same.. heal families through the food that nature intended, heal the land through sustainable practices, and focus on quality over profit.

The model is simple...

Just sign up as a Little Sprouts Farm member, and choose "shipping" as the delivery method. Then you will receive an email every month to warn that your shipping day is approaching. Place an order online for as much or as little as you need before that shipping day, and we will ensure that your order arrives fresh at your door.  You can pay ahead or on order, pay through check or paypal.

Spread the news...  Friends, co-workers, relatives... anyone can sign up starting now and try out the new system.

Our committment to you is this... We will say focused on providing healthy food that benefits man, earth, and animals... traditionally, organically, and humanely raised.  Foods that are not adulterated by modern systems, foods that are not filled with preservatives or chemicals, foods that provide all the nutrition your body needs to heal with none of the toxins that cause disease. Our focus is on you, our customer, and our animals, and our land. We are here for you.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

No Honey available for 2016 till maybe 2023

With all the good news for 2016, there is one black cloud. We will not be bringing back Little Sprouts honey for this next year.



As you may recall, we stopped producing honey as soon as we learned that a somewhat local farmer had planted GMO alfalfa in the Sams Valley area. The subsequent legal battle and court settlement between that farm, and the county has been in the works for quite some time. Now that the settlement is reached, and GMO alfalfa is here to stay for 5 to 8 years, Little Sprouts is forced out of the honey business.

Why?  The GMO alfalfa is within feeding distance of any hives located on our land. Offering honey produced that is likely to contain GMO pollen from that alfalfa field is not something we are willing to do. WE will not compromise on quality or health in our products.

GMO testing?  not practical... since each hive feeds independently, we would have to test each and every hive when harvested. At the cost of about $300 per test, the cost removes any potential profit from a natural type hive as we use. To raise the quality of honey we were raising, it requires lots of smaller hives... but that would mean lots of testing, so not practical.

So, as much as we would like to offer the unique honey we were producing, we simply cant. Our honey business is shut down until the other farm decides to remove the gmo alfalfa crop, which could be 5 to max of 8 years from now. This is why the popular phrase"co-existence" is totally bogus. organic and gmo can not co-exist. Not unless the GMO farm is required to pay for testing of potential contamination of their crop ot surrounding farms.  But legally they are not. not even in Jackson county. The responsibility of protecting the public from GMO toxins is solely on the organic farmer.



Fair? no.  Just? No.  Legal? yes.

There seems little we can do but pause our own business until they decide to follow the county ordinance. If anything changes... we will certainly let you know.. but as of now.. GMO wins for the next half a decade.

Easy Valley Farm carries Little Sprouts Meats in their farm stand

Announcing!!!!!

Easy Valley Farm in Rogue River is now stocking Little Sprouts meats in their farm stand for retail sale. No memberships required.. just drop by and browse the selection to take home!

We will be at Easy Valley very soon offering fresh samples to try all our sausages, just waiting for the weather to clear.  Stay tuned for a post about date and time.

We are VERY happy to welcome Easy Valley as an outlet for Little Sprouts and the Rogue Valley / Grants Pass areas.  Please stop by and say hi when your in the area, and pick up something for dinner while you are there.


End of the year... closing 2015 and opening 2016

Another year has passed already? wow how time flies!

We have been busy with year end concerns, not to mention dealing with the wet cold weather that blew in hard and fast. Year end is our time to evaluate how the year went, what changes will be needed in the next year, and spending time on all those things that got skipped during the busy months.

If you have a chance, we invite you to stop by and see the new "farm store"... which is really just a storage and work area. We have re-arranged and tidied up a bit to make things more comfortable for visitors. Nothing fancy, just improved arrangement.  One thing you will notice is that now all the Scratch and Peck feed is in the farm store, not the garage. Hopefully we can keep the bags cleaner and safer from mice during the winter months this way. It is also more convenient for those who stop by to pick up a bag between deliveries.

We are also modifying how to inventory scratch and peck. For hte last 2 years we used a traditional retail model of "order big less frequently". But that puts us at risk for damage to bags from a variety of sources. For 2016 we are switching to "order less more frequently" or "just in time ordering". If all goes well our cost will remain the same but the risk of damage and loss goes down dramatically.  Please bear with us over the next couple months as we get this figured out.

The best news? Now is the time to start restocking products that have sold down or out.  Things like soaps, lard, bacon, soups, broths, cheese, etc. They will all be appearing in the online store and on our stock shelves over the next 30 days. By February we should be fully stocked with all winter foods.

We also have some exciting new flavors for cheese and sausages coming soon.

Very excited to announce our shipping service... as of January 1st 2016 we are offering Little Sprouts Farm membership nationwide! There will be regular bi weekly or monthly shipping to the continental US for many of our products. We have worked out very good rates on shipping that makes this possible at affordable costs. If you have any friends or relatives across the nation, please mention to them our offering and invite them to check out our website.

We plan on bringing turkeys back for 2016.. after a long 2 year absence!  Stay tuned!

Also,  our famous chicken eggs are due back in spring!!!... plus stewing hens and heritage meat chickens. We have settled on a yearly plan that creates eggs and meat on a regular basis with our new breed of cross purpose heritage chicken.

So much going on.. and so many new things coming! We are excited and looking forward to 2016!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Little Sprouts will not Compromise Quality --- period

With the celebrations floating around (and rightfully so) over the jackson county GMO ban settlement, we have receive a number of suggestions... to compromise.

We would like it to be officially known that we, Little Sprouts Farm, will not compromise quality of our products. Our commitment to you, our customer, stands firm that we will do everything in our power to maintain the highest standard of health and quality possible.

Even in light of the court accepted settlement which means Jackson county will be GMO free... in almost a decade. Yes, it could take as long as 8 years to rid our county of the GMOs already planted here.

In light of this, and to not dampen the "celebrations" of the ordinance remaining strong through the settlement, some have suggested that Little Sprouts can continue business as usual with a GMO alfalfa field within feeding distance to our farm. The controls put into place  give a very low chance that any contamination could take place (assuming they are followed).  But... as one customer put it "Little sprouts would be only a little GMO".

Well we are not.  If there is even a small chance that the honey could contain GMO pollen, we will not produce it.  That is our commitment to you, and our business model.  So, the bottom line is.. my farm has been the sacrifice in this settlement. I have to give up producing honey, because of my commitment to quality, for 5 to 8 years.  The time frame is not even under my control. The judge has given precedence to the GMO farm, and allowed them to choose when to replant their field... with apparently no regard for this farm and its business concerns.  We are forced to STOP our production of honey, so that they can continue their production of GMO alfalfa.

Hence, people suggesting that "just go ahead, all the other honey producers in that part of the valley are continuing"...  well I do not speak for them, and I do not know what their plans are... but we will not compromise.  So, because of our commitment to quality for our customers, we are forced out of the honey business on our land to support the gmo alfalfa business on a neighboring property.

This is why coexistence is not possible... It is not based on "if contamination happens"... it is based on the fact that quality must be compromised.  My business model of quality first is not compatible with GMO farming.  I have already suffered a financial and personal loss, whether contamination happens or not.

For the record, I do support the settlement. However, we need to be honest and open about the damage caused by this judge forced "coexistence" experiment.  It has already failed, because we lost an entire aspect of our farm, due directly to co-existence.

Bottom line - Little Sprouts will not, for the next several years, be producing honey products on our land.

I do not have a recommendation for where to purchase honey, other than to remind you that bees feed up to 10 miles from the hive, and are attracted to the largest color spot seen from the air.


More to come---

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Press Release - GMO Settlement is final


Here is the official press release about the court settlement in the county wide anti-GMO ordinance.

Read the Settlement Press Release

I will be posting more information about this issue and the consequences we face over the next few days.



Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dinner on the patio... the new goat patio...

We are absolutely loving the new goat patio squares! This is one of those moments where you think "why didnt i do this years ago?"... seriously! This may be the single best invention of the year!

As you can see in the pictures, these patio blocks (from this previous post)  make it possible to utilize a part of the goat pen that is otherwise inaccessible during the winter. The girls are very picky about not stepping in mud, and would not go near this corner of the pen when it rains. But now.. it is quickly converted to a clean, dry feeding area.

Soon we plan on adding a roof off the side of the barn to give protection from the rain. But this is already a huge improvement!

You can see the grain feeder up against the barn with some patio squares inside its cage.  The hay area is just a couple of old pallets to hold the bale up out of the water while the girls stand on the patio blocks to nibble. The squares then lead a dry path to all 3 barn stalls and the milking room.


And of course.. Dorothy (middle)  standing in the middle of it all to pose for the picture.  Maggie (on the right) was busy trying to nibble on my clothes but not willing to step into the mud to reach me. 
 Once we have a few more of these patio squares built and distributed around the farm, we are considering offering them for sale locally. If you have wet areas you wish to turn into walkways for the winter quickly and inexpensively, these things work great!  We can fill them with any kind of rock. These have rough granite to help with hoof trimming, but it could be smooth rock just as easily.  If you are interested.. let us know, lets talk!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

NEWSFLASH --- NonGMO Is Still Toxic!

I am troubled by the need to post this... And I suspect this will become the first of a series of posts on this particular topic.

Before I go further, let me assure you, I believe in the non-gmo movement. GMO crops must be stopped before its too late.  Please do not interpret anything here as being pro-GMO.

Now that said...

Simply put... Non-GMO food and feed (food for humans, feed for animals) is just as toxic today as it was 5 years ago.  nothing has changed... except the public perception.  Before the non-gmo movement, we called it "conventional" and it carried a huge negative connotation.  Today we call it "Non-GMO" and it is perceived as .... fine.

To be clear.. here are the options for both food and feed:

Beyond organic - Real Food - Highest Quality - high in nutrients without toxins
Organic - Ok Food - Medium quality - low in nutrients but without toxins
Conventional - Bad Food - low in quality - devoid of nutrients and high in toxins
GMO - Horrible Food - lowest quality - devoid of nutrients while highest in toxins and potential damages from genetic changes

What today is called "non-gmo" is usually conventional... the deadly stuff.  The stuff that has caused the health crises in america and around the world.  The stuff that causes cancer, development problems, etc. The stuff that carries enough poisons to be detectable in the blood of consumers, even in the blood passing to unborn babies in the womb. the food that carries enough toxins to be found in the urine of young  developing children who consume it.

Here's the problem... and in this i now refer to the "feed" market, meaniong what is fed to animals, not people. With all the hype about non-GMO, something has changed... and that something is the perception of conventional. What was just a few years ago considered a "posion" is now the most sought after feed. The demand for organic feed has decreased while the demand for non-gmo conventional feed has increased substantially.  Read that again... the demand for poisonous feed has increased dramatically!  Here in Rogue valley, the heart of the non-gmo movement... Organic feeds are disappearing. Organic hay and straw is hard to find, harder than ever.  Organic whole grains are virtually non-existent.  It has all been replaced by non-gmo certified feed. And people are OK with that!

Let me state this simply... The collateral damage from the non-gmo movement is... people are now ok with conventional non-gmo feed.  And not just "ok" , they feel GOOD about it!  What was considered a poison a few years ago, is now considered not only acceptable, but better than "average"... whatever that is.

Here's an exercise... call around to for simple product.. say goat milk. Ask the farmers.. What hay or alfalfa do they use? What grains? What straw for bedding?  Virtually all will say "non-gmo!" meaning.. "we use the poisonous but not genetically altered stuff".  I know this locally because it is virtually impossible to find truly organic hay, alfalfa, and straw in this valley.

I fear that we have wont he battle, and are loosing the war. By shifting the battle from "organic vs conventional" to "non-gmo vs gmo"   we have shifted the front lines in a major retreat. to prevent an ever greater evil (gmos) we have conceded the battle of organic vs conventional.  the enemy (conventional agriculture) took two steps forward, then one back... and we celebrate.

Lets get one thing straight... Nongmo food or feed is poison... its a slow but deliberate toxin delivery mechanism. We are not improving anything by feeding non-gmo. nothing.  in fact, a non-gmo label is  simply relabeling the same conventional product that was shown to cause cancer a few years ago. Nothing has changed except that people feel good about buying and using this poison today because "at least its not gmo".

I realize that this might cause a raised eyebrow or two, but it must be said, and discussed. WE need a strategy. We must correct this now worse evil caused by the non-gmo success, or our children will suffer an even greater price than what we fight to prevent.

Enough said for now.. I'll post more here as time permits and ideas emerge.

Portable Patio Squares - Latest invention

We have struggled for years with... MUD.  Lots of it.  Here in southern oregon, when it rains, it wont stop. We quickly go from ground as hard as concrete to ground as soft as jello. So what to do with the animals that dislike mud (which is actually most of them)?

We have tried the traditional methods:

Straw - need LOTS of it.  Requires a thick layer to prevent sinking in the mud below, and has to be replaced about weekly during rains.  We are talking dozens of tons to cover the ground we need to cover. While thats good for the ground, it is too expensive and labor intensive to be practical.

Rock - Expensive and immovable.  To cover the areas we need, would take a lot of rock and expensive earth moving and sculpting. Plus once that is done... the area is unchangeable. It can never be planted with a cover crop, and fences are somewhat permanent.  Thats besides the fact that rock must be replaced frequently as it slowly disappears into the earth below.

Cement - See rock, just more permenant.

Wood Pallets - nicely moveable, but dont last long and a royal mess to keep clean! The wood rots and pallets fall apart if left too long, making them impossible to easily remove.

And on and on...   BUT THIS YEAR WE FOUND A SOLUTION!

Introducing --- Portable Patio Squares!

These things are IDEAL!

Easy to build
Cheap
Easily moveable
Easy to Clean
Able to shape into almost any area
Rough enough to help trim hoofs
Stay Dry

Take a look:

It is nothing but a pallet, covered with 1/2" hardware cloth with a 2x4 frame on top filled with 1/2 to 3/4 clean granite.

They can be washed down with a water hose, because the "clean" granite means  no fines to stick together. The rocks stay loose, so as animals walk on them they shift around. With a little water (rain) this becomes almost self cleaning. The action of shifting rocks under hoofs helps the rough granite sides to grind against the hoofs, providing a measure of self-trimming, Since it is just a pallet, they are easily movable with a tractor to place in position, change, stack, etc.  The materials cost somewhere around $10 each to build, less if you use scraps.  And each square covers about 3x4 feet. They are sturdy enough to take reasonable abuse, and can be moved out for repairs when necessary.

We are building a few dozen of these and deploying them in all animal walkways around the farm to provide dry clean sidewalks and patios. We are even building a "play spot" for the goats  that will have some  things to climb on and have fun without getting in the mud. 

Here are some pics of the first deployment in the milking barn:



I will try to post a quick "how to build these" series when possible, right now we are in process of building and placing these ASAP. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Meet fred...

Meet fred.... he showed up this morning at the farm to spend a few hours with the little sprouts...



Hopefully he can stay a while....

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Goats goats everywhere

Just in time for the first serious winter storms, here comes a flood of baby goats. And I mean a flood! My apologies for not posting sooner, and not having dozens of cute baby goat pics... we have been overrun with caring for these little ones in this weather. Plus.. a good number of these are brand new first time moms... so milking has become... interesting.

All together, there have been about 10 to 12 births over the last 2 weeks. That's just about a birth a day... in the cold rain. Fortunately most have been strong and healthy! But still, first time moms are rarely experienced at caring for little ones, so it requires extra precautions. For instance, we dedicated one barn stall for the nursery, and all new births go there for several days. This ensures relative safety of the babies from the bigger goats, and helps ensure bonding of mom and offspring. Without this we have had babies get lost in the herd, and the new moms can actually forget that they had a little one.

Things are finally calming down... except for milking! Wow... what was a peaceful 90 minute daily retreat is now a bit of a rodeo! Teaching a half dozen brand new first time moms what a milking stand is.... that is an experience! Milking can take as long as 4 hours, and not necessarily peaceful.

The good news is ... milk production is climbing again. We hope to be back making cheese soon.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, December 11, 2015

Free Samples at the WAPF Potluck this saturday

We will once again be offering free samples of our special sausages at the yearly WAPF potluck, to be held tomorrow, saturday 12th in medford.

Here are the details:

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2:00 - 4:00 PM
at 1819 W. Stewart Ave.
Find where Stewart crosses Columbus,
continue west 2 blocks around an S-curve.
Find a driveway between the Mexican restaurant and the church, drive behind the church to a separate building.

AND... we are offering a full 20% off retail price for purchases made at the event... we will have plenty to purchase and take home frozen after you pick your favorite.

All WAPF members are welcome to come of course. and we (little sprouts) would like to invite anyone who wished to sample our sausages, and  buy some at a discount (20% off!), while learning about how to truly eat and live healthy, and free yourself from the viscous cycle of pharmaceuticals - symptoms - pharmaceuticals - more symptoms, etc.  

For those not familiar, WAPF refers to the Weston A Price Foundation, a group dedicated to preserving and spreading the approach to health pioneered by dentist and researcher Weston A Price.   more info can be found here:  http://www.westonaprice.org/

We hope to see you there!

Successful results from weed burning!

The winter sprouts are up, and thereby our results from the weed burning test.

IT WORKED!

 Yep.. the rows that were burned right before planting are nearly weed free compared to the rows without heat treatment. Here is a pic:


Look carefully at the area in the middle of the pic. That is where the new section starts.  These "rows" are about a foot wide, and only a few inches apart. As you gaze down the row you can see the difference between "burned" and "not burned". Even in the middle where a large patch of weeds erupted  in between, the rows are virtually weed free!

As you follow along to the right, you see where we started moving "faster" to test how much heat is required, and it starts to fail at about the 5th row.  Now we have an idea for speed and distance.

The next test, in the spring, will be to lower the burner down to just over the dirt, and then mount a battery powered wench to pull the wagon down the rows at an even pace without manpower. (assuming I can devise a way to house a 100yard cable on a winch...)

Exciting! This is a totally chemical free, almost labor free weed control program.  and it's built out of a propane heater, a wagon, and a propane cylinder.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

First winter harvest!

The first harvest from the winter garden graced two thanksgiving tables this year... beautiful heirloom beyond organic turnips! These turnips seem to have no problem with temps as low as 18 so far! Hardy, fast growing, and oooo so tasty! Light flavor, only very slight radish type heat, and smooth crispy texture. We left ours raw, sliced and served with a little oil and vinegar dressing. YUM!



We ventured out on a beautiful thanksgiving morning, cold but bright sunshine, to find these treasures under a thick frozen frost.



Hunter and oliver picked the best and biggest for the thanksgiving celebration.





Then we had the pleasure of sharing the first harvest with this plot's land owners, Stephen and Linda.



We so appreciate the people that trust us with their land, and enjoy sharing the harvest with them freely. Without land, farming is next to impossible, and taking stewardship of some else's land is a deep responsibility. We feel a special honor for each of the people that have granted us this privilege.

The winter gardens are intended primarily for pig feed, but we will have some available for sale later in the season. Coming soon. Is also: Kale, purple cauliflower, purple kohlrabi, rutabagas, carrots, parsnips, and cabbage!

If you have any land available that you would like utilized for growing beyond organic produce, contact us!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"It all comes Down" ...

Thanksgiving week is here again.. a week of reflection, thankfulness, recognition of blessings material and not. In the middle of celebrating family and friends with good food, good company, and thankful hearts... We should keep in mind one basic truth...

We dont truly "own" anything...  Every day we are here, from birth to death, we are living on limited borrowed time, walking on land given to us as a stewardship, with things loaned to us to utilize and accomplish. But... sure as the sun comes up.. we will all leave this place empty handed. All the works of our hands, all those things we tend to be so proud of, will pass along to someone else.

My dad almost died as a young man... by all accounts of medical science, he should not have lived to give life to me and my siblings.  His survival was "a miracle".. Yet he did live. He lived to see me, the youngest of 4, grow and forge off into my own family.  All his live, as long as I can remember, he said "I am living on borrowed time, I would not be here except by the grace of God".

That stuck in my head... every moment we shared, every breath he took, was borrowed time. And yet.. are we any different? None of us really owns anything... it is all given to us, as stewards of this place we call earth, to see what we will do with it. Each of us is given abilities, resources, and time, but only limited time. We walk on ground for a short lifetime, own things for a short lifetime, and control our own piece of the earth, for a short lifetime. Any of us could leave tomorrow just as easily.

This song, from Patti Casey, entitles "it all comes down" ... brings this point home.  




My question to you, as you listen to the music and hear the words deep within your soul is this...

"What will you do with your day?"   

think about it.. this day, today, is yours. Tomorrow might not be.  What will you do with the time given to you?

As a farmer, given stewardship of multiple acres of land, and numbers of animals... This is a sobering thought. How will we leave the land when we are done? will it increase or decrease in fertility? will it be neater, cleaner, more useful or used and abused?  What will our legacy be, when the next generation inherits the space we call ours today, when that stewardship passes? What example have we set for the next "owners" ?

I urge you to use today.. and every day we are given going forward, as a day to make this world a better place... do what we can with out "borrowed time" to make life better for those coming after.

And perhaps, this Thanksgiving as we go around the table to list off the things we are thankful for... we can recognize that the very act of breathing is the greatest blessing we can be given. Let us celebrate life... and use that life to spread light to the world we live in, leaving it a better place than we found it.

Lyrics to "It all comes down":
From the time that you set foot upon this earth to pass your days
You are walking on borrowed ground, and you may stake no claims
To the soil and to the water, to the creatures lying by
Even the breath you take is loaned from on high

(chorus)
(It all comes down)
In the end, all the works of your hand
Though built of stone and honesty no earthly house shall ever stand
(And it all comes down)
Down in the end like a hand full of sand
(And it all comes down)
(And it all comes down)
Down in the end
As you walk along those borders with the deed held in your hand
Just remember you don't own this you are a steward of this land
So seek wisdom and show mercy leaving some for another day
For you will call upon yourself the same someday
(It all comes down)
In the end, all the works of your hand
Though built of stone and honesty no earthly house shall ever stand
(And it all comes down)
Down in the end like a hand full of sand
(And it all comes down)
(And it all comes down)
Down in the end
When you drift down like a leaf to find your final resting place
You will return what you have borrowed you will have to show your face
And did you help some troubled soul did you try to lend a hand
For only kindness in the end alone shall stand
(It all comes down)
In the end, all the works of your hand
Though built of stone and honesty no earthly house shall ever stand
(And it all comes down)
Down in the end like a hand full of sand
(and it all comes down)
(and it all comes down)
down in the end 
(It all comes down)
In the end, all the works of your hand
Though built of stone and honesty no earthly house shall ever stand
(And it all comes down)
Down in the end like a hand full of sand
(And it all comes down)
(And it all comes down)
Down in the end
(And it all comes down)
(And it all comes down)
Down in the end
 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Video for Medford Food Coop

We recently had the privilege of being included in the video spots for the Medford Food Coop!




Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fresh Pork Bellies Available NOW

We have just added fresh pork bellies to the online store, available for immediate purchase!

These are the same pork bellies, from our pigs, that we make into the "cant keep in stock" little sprouts bacon. Now you can try your hand at making bacon at home. It's incredibly easy!

These pork bellies also go excellent in any soups, stews, or bean dishes. Cut it up and fry into veggies... The oil that renders out under heat is pure healthy lard.  You can rest assured that these pigs were raised right, no chemicals to accumulate in the lard, no toxins, nothing but pure natural saturated fat.

If you'd like advice on making your own bacon, feel free to email. We have tried many different ways before settling on our now famous minimalist approach.  You can save lots of money making your own bacon at home.

Hop into the online store now and order your first.. homemade bacon or REAL pork belly for pork and beans.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The first model weed burner

Here it is.... our first model homemade weed burner. A garden wagon and extra propane infrared heater, 50,000 btu. The burner is dragged along behind the wagon, suspended from two metal bars and supported by two metal skids.

In this view you can see the tracks of the burner skids / wheel as we pull it along. Everything between those tracks is now dead. 
This test worked out well, except that its a bit hard to pull, and a bit slow for our scale. We needed to burn about 20 100 yard rows.. at half an hour per row speed... that's a bit too long! It looked like the fastest we could pull is about 15 minutes per hundred yards. Faster than that and not enough heat was applied.

After this test we will rebuild with two improvements:

1. move the burner lower by removing the sloped guard and mounting the burner directly on the skids
2. Add a propulsion system



The burner sitting on the skids. 

Another view. The white wire is to turn the burner on and off, connected where the thermostat would go. 

here is a side view of the completed unit. 



posted from Bloggeroid

Sprouts.. Nutritional powerhouse

This paragraph from the linked article below should catch your eye:

 "A powerhouse of nutrition, sprouts can contain up to 30 times the nutrition of organic vegetables grown in your own garden, and allow your body to extract more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fats from the foods you eat. During sprouting, minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, bind to protein, making them more bioavailable. Furthermore, both the quality of the protein and the fiber content of beans, nuts, seeds and grains improves when sprouted. The content of vitamins and essential fatty acids also increase dramatically during the sprouting process."

Think about that.. 30x increase in nutrition by turning a seed into a sprout!

This is why we feed hogs and poultry sprouts instead of dry grain. Sure... Its more labor to sprout grain every day instead of just opening a bag of feed, especially at 400lbs per day... But 30x is worth it!

Or animals are raised from birth with sprouted grains and organic produce we grow ourselves. There is simply no substitute! 30x nutrition! No factory formula feed can compete with that. And since "you are what you eat"... What farm animals eat determines YOUR quality of health. Most farms buy the cheapest feed they can... Not us. Little sprouts is dedicated to our customer health... You. We won't skimp on quality!

So when your enjoying the incredible flavor of our ribs, loins, chops, sausage, chicken.... Rest assured we used every aspect of nature we could to increase the health benefits. Health matters, and everything done at the farm makes a difference on your plate.



http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/05/23/edible-garden.aspx

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Weed control without chemicals

Weeds... A blessing and a curse.

We actually use weeds. They have several beneficial aspects for soil and garden, as an integral part of natures regenerative cycle. Weeds are also very nutritious and inexpensive animal food. However, as beneficial as weeds are, they must be controlled. Too much too soon will stunt other plants, overtaking them in the race to survive.

Tilling and cultivating have mixed blessing as weed control. Heavy mixing of the soil may seem effective to kill weeds, but such actions also expose the seed bank of the soil to bring an explosion of weeds with the next watering. The end result possibly worse than the first.

Mulching helps, after sprouting, but is expensive at scale in both effort and resources.

Pre sprouting helps... But is slow and must be carefully planned.

Weeding manually is time consuming, especially at scale.

Tractor driven cultivators compact the soil, causing unseen damage, and cost diesel.

No till approaches simply do not scale well.

Chemicals... Even as a last resort. Even organically approved ones, are poison. Poison and food just do not mix.

So... What's left to control the explosion of beneficial but harmful weeds? We are exploring a new approach... Burning!exposing the soil and fresh weed sprouts to heat intense enough to kill the weeds without disturbing the soil.

We built a homemade weed burner from an old garden wagon and infrared propane heater. Initial tests are very impressive! It can cover much more ground with less labor than and manual weeding. It exposes no live weed seeds to sprout, leaves the seed bed untouched for immediate planting, cost only a couple dollars per hour to run, it is very controllable for consistent, straight weed free rows, and within hours, or even minutes, the destruction of weeds is obvious.

Our plan is...

Light tilling to prepare the seed bed
Water along the planting area to sprout all available weed seeds
Burn along the seed bed to kill all weed sprouts at or below the surface
Plant !

This weekend is our fist real go. Initial testing has been excitingly successful! Stay tuned for pictures and explanations!

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Surprisingly healthy hog bones!

We processed a few hogs this week for customers that bought a half or whole hog straight off the farm.  Lately we have been doing all the processing in a USDA plant, so we were not present to evaluate the health of the hogs. Yes, during processing you can tell quite a bit about the health of the herd, so on farm processing is quite helpful.  This week, we found a great surprise!

First off, the livers and organs looked beautiful. That's where obvious problems would show up. But all of these hogs were near perfect.

We noticed something else, a first... about the bones. A part of processing, of course, is to remove the feet.  Usually this is a process of clipping a few ligaments and "snapping" the feet off by hand. We have watched this done numerous times without fail. It normally doesnt take that much strength to pop the joints apart. Until now...

The butcher had a very difficult time! In fact, a few times they had to resort to a bone saw to separate the joints, as it was impossible to snap it apart with human strength.  The first one we did was a retired breeding sow, so I thought maybe it was maybe age. But no.. all the rest of the growers had the exact same strength in their joints.  Amazing!

It is not due to only breed, as we have processed this same breed mix several times before without these extra strong bones. The only explanation I can come up with is diet. These are the first set of hogs that have been fully produce fed. All the squash and pumpkin seeds are loaded with the goodness that build bones. In between produce batches these hogs were fed sprouted grain and fodder. Again.. a step well beyond commercial hog feed in nutrition. Sprouts and fodder are "live foods" as opposed to dead dry cracked grain used in commercial feed.  There just is no substitute for live food!

There is one other possibility that could contribute to extra healthy bones.... Leaves! Last year we collected a few tons of fallen leaves in the fall and spread them in a particular garden area. There was maybe 6 to 8 inches of leaves that decomposed and worked into the soil. Then in spring we planted that area with melon that never really made well (a different story)... but the weeds grew like CRAZY! especially.... purslane! it was thick and consistent .  When the pigs finally were let in to "clean up " that area, they ate all the purslane, roots and all.  How does this help? well... the leaves hold a high mineral content, because trees have very deep roots, and deep roots means bringing up deep minerals. Those minerals get deposited in the soil, and a prolific weed like purslane will pick up the minerals and make them bioavailable.

So , bottom line, we were impressed with the bone health of these hogs. what does that mean to you? Extra nutritious pork and broths made from the bones. We have never seen bones and connecting joints this healthy, so the broths and stocks made from these bones should be super nutrition!

The moral of the story is..  everything matters... your farmer can raise or lower the nutrition and health of your food by his processes...  What has your farmer done for you? Ask them!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Building Mini Greenhouses for winter Fodder growing

Sprouts and fodder are a magnificent way to feed hogs (as well as poultry!). But how do you do it at scale in the winter, when its too cold to sprout grains outside? One option is to move indoors, but that takes a lot of space and expensive climate control.  Another option is to invest tens of thousands of dollars in expensive commercial fodder systems. They work great but.. what small farm can afford to pay those prices? Our answer is much simpler and very cheap.  I only hope it works!

During the fall we developed an inexpensive fodder system based on hard plastic kiddie pools.  It has served us very well, performing perfectly (except for one fixable minor detail).  What you see here is the fall version of this setup... pools under draped plastic sitting on pallets, holes in the bottom for drainage and water timers set to fill the pool once a day quickly, then drain out.



The fall fodder system
For the curious, the one change we need to make is to place the holes around the outside edge, not across the bottom. If the bottom holes plug up for any reason, its a mess! you cant get to the holes to clear them.  This happened once. Our upgraded answer is to place the holes around the outside edge at the bottom so that they are accessible for cleaning.

Back on point... what to do for winter. As the rains come here in southern oregon... the draped plastic just creates a nifty duck pond over the grain!  The cooler weather is made worse by the rain water cooling the grain and blocking the suns heat.  So now we need a way to heat the grain from the sun and keep the rain out. a mini greenhouse! Modeled after the hoops often placed over garden boxes, this seemed a great approach.

Version 1 didnt work out so well... I tried to use regular 1/2 inch PVC, with Ts placed around it to allow for uprights, then bent into a 5 foot circle. This would have fit right inside the pool while allowing easy uprights for hoops.

First attempt didnt work out well at all... broke on bending into a circle.

The problem was that while the pip would bend into a circle... the Ts were not strong enough and popped in two. Other than a great math lessons on circles, this one didnt serve for anything other than a straight line. 

On to version 2... CPVC! Much thinner and flexible. Hopefully overcoming the stiffness of half inch PVC.  
Second attempt made it into a circle, barely, with a Tee-Pee over it.
Again.. failure. Yes the pipe bent easier but the CPVC Ts were even weaker and sook split from the constant pressure of the curve.  We switched to a Tee-Pee design instead of hoops to lower the pressure from the bent uprights, but still no go.  Not strong enough. 

Version 3 was back to half inch, but with no Ts... only 2 couplers, and snap on "T"s to hold uprights. Much better! The couplers held fine, and the snap on Ts resolved the need for so many weak spots.  Getting closer, but still didnt like the difficulty building with all the stress, glue, and pressure. 


Third attempt was actually useable, almost.

I had chosen to go with this design, BUT... while in the store collecting supplies, a new idea hit me... flexible pipe! A roll of black plastic utility pip caught my eye. Yes! light, cheap, flexible, yet strong enough for this application.  an hour or so of toying with different connection options and we have a new plan!

Version 4, based on cheap plastic utility pipe rolls, snap on Ts, and hoop tops of the same pipe worked perfectly! Within an hour of building time we produced the first fully functional prototype.  It fits OVER the pool, is strong enough yet light and easy to lift and present a better angle to collect heat from the sun than a Tee-Pee design. Perfect!


Fourth attempt worked well!
The final product worked well. within a couple hours the daytime sun had raised the interior temp by at least 20 degrees! It was a warm steamy tropical sprouting environment on a chilly day. A gust of wind came by later and blew away an empty pool, but the hoop top stayed put. 

Now we will finish the rest of the pools, and hopefully document the final building process as an available E-Book that you can use yourself. 


posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, October 19, 2015

What it takes to impress a girl these days...

Guys, if you think we have it tough in this modern day of dating rules and such...  Just be glad your not in the animal world! Here is a little taste of the "dating ritual" in the pig world... doesn't look easy!

This little boar decided to try his had at winning the affections of a young gilt. What ensued was a half hour or so of this "dance". In the end.. he gave up and walked away... unsuccessful.


The Sheperd Boy

Stories of "the little shepherd boy" have always been my favorite... but honestly, they seem so long ago, so far away, in a time long gone.  yet they are stories of inspiration, comfort, and wisdom.

But perhaps those days are not so far away as we think...  on this small family farm in Oregon, the shepherd boy lives on, even today. Just like days of old, the sheep know his voice, know his safety and comfort, and run to be under his shepherding.

Here is Hunter... leading our sheep back home from almost a year of off-site grazing.  It took a few minutes, but they remember him... and the feed bucket he carried. They ran to meet and follow him, to wherever he would lead them.  It was awe inspiring to watch these animals follow their shepherd so willingly, so enthusiastically.

If we, as humans, could only follow our shepherd as well, with excitement and total trust.






Now available at Whistling Duck Farm Store!

We are very pleased to announce that Little Sprouts meat products are now available at Whistling Duck Farm Store in Williams, beginning this week!



Whistling duck is a leader in locally grown foods, both what they produce on farm and what they bring in to the community from other sources. We are proud to be part of their quality hand picked products!

If your in the Williams area, please stop by and thank them for carrying our meats (sausages, ground, chops, etc) and pick up a few to try!


Where: 12800 Williams Highway (Hwy. 238), about 25 miles from Medford and 13 miles from Grants Pass. If coming from the Medford direction, we’re 6 miles past the town of Applegate, on the left side of the road. If coming from the Grants Pass direction, we’re 1/2 mile past the turnoff to Water Gap Rd., on the right side of the road. Either way, be sure to stay on Hwy. 238 and you can’t miss us!
When: Monday-Friday 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.
Phone 541-761-6772

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Everyone is back home

What a week we have had! Last monday we discovered that we had to unexpectedly but immediately move all our animals back to the home farm on Dodge road. That was a chore! Emergency fencing, logistics, feed, water, all had to be dealt with without notice. But.... It all worked our after several very long days. All of the sheep and hogs, plus llama and horse. Are back safe and sound.

Amazing how quickly things change in life! But by God's grace, we made it through.







posted from Bloggeroid

Newest fodder / sprout setup

We have taken the fodder / sprout system to a new level... Attempting to keep these hogs in fresh live feed in between seasons of garden produce. We needed a way to produce several trash barrel size feedings per day. Well here it is!




Plastic children's swimming pools, sitting on pallets. We drilled about a dozen holes in each pool for drainage. Then last a water hose in the pool, in a timer. The timer runs water once a day, long enough to almost fill the pool (about 30 minutes) The holes let the water slowly drain out. There two pools together on a set of 5 pallets. Lastly, each set of two is covered with 6 mil greenhouse plastic and tucked under.

The end result is a system that sprouts and grows fodder quickly in large quantities. Each pool will hold about one barrel of grain, or about 40 gallons worth. The tinner fills with water daily to keep the grain wet and growing and clean while the hikes allow the water to drain and seeds to sprout. The pallets keep the holes open for drainage. The plastic sheet keeps stray animals out and holds heat to sprout sooner.

When ready to feed (2 days for sprouts, 4 for fodder) , it's easy to shovel into barrels and feed to hogs, chickens, or whoever. Then just refill with dry grain and go again.

The results are fabulous, Nutrition unmatched, and easy to manage.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sausage Sample Packs available now

When you just cant decide which sausage to go with, or you want to try something new, or just want to save some cash... the new Sausage Sampler Pack is the way to go!

We now offer two packs.. one mild and one spicy. Here is what is inside:

Mild Sausage sampler pack


  • 1 lb Mild Breakfast Link
  • 1 lb English Bangers - Traditional (with crackers)
  • 1 lb English Bangers - Gluten Free


Spicy Sausage sampler pack:


  • 1 lb Spicy Breakfast Links
  • 1 lb Hot Italian dinner sausage
  • 1 lb Garlic and pepper dinner sausage


With either one the price represents about 10% off the individual prices, so you save money, get a variety, and maybe try something new!

You can order these  starting today.. in the online store, click here


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Corn harvest time

It's finally time to pull the corn stalks, and boy are those pigs happy!

When we grow corn, it's not just for one or two ears from each stalk. That had always seemed a waste to me... 6 to 8 footy tall, thick stalks for just a couple little ears of corn. Well here at little sprouts we don't do it that way. We see more value in that huge stalk than in those tiny ears. So we grow corn FOR the stalk, and if the ears develop... that's icing on the cake. But either way, a row of corn stalks is magnificent pig food.

The trick is to let the stalks grow and mature until they just start to dry out... then pull the entire stalk and feed. Its like an 8 food fudge sickle! Of course... they quickly learn about those yummy ears and go for them first. They will desperately rummage through each and every stalk looking for ears, consume them asap, and then settle in for a nice meal... its like eating dessert before dinner.

Here are some shots of the hogs enjoying the corn harvest.















posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Final patch if seeds in the ground

We finally finished the new winter garden patch! Woohoo! Todays chosen crop is rutabagas.

Each of these patches is 8 or 9 rows, 200 feet long. That's about a third of a mile all together, or about 9000 to 10000 plants. Not bad!

In the ground we have about 10,000 plants of each of:

Turnips
Cauliflower
Kale
Carrots
Kohlrabi
Rutabaga

The system we developed this summer works pretty well. This allows us to go from. Plain soil to seeded with drip lines and ready to sprout in about 2 hours per patch. That's with 2 adults working (and some number of children)

Next we can move to the back pasture garden. The patches that held cabbage, melon, beets, and cucumbers are cleaned out, tilled, and almost ready to become a winter garden.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Invitation to come weed the gardens

We are extending an opportunity to anyone that wants to spend a day or just a few hours in the fresh air and sunshine connecting with your earth and your food.  Yes.. its WEEDING time!

We have plenty of sprouts up, and a good amount of tiny weeds.  this is an "on your knees, use your hands" type of job to carefully remove the weed sprouts from among the vegetable sprouts.

If you would like to take part, just contact us through email or phone and let us know when you wish to come. We are open to all hours day or night, weekday or weekend.

info@littlesproutsfarm.com
541-826-4345

here are some examples of the before and after

Purple Cauliflower after weeding

Purple Cauliflower before weeding

Can you see the heirloom turnips?

There they are after weeding!

Growing Carrots - The Little Sprouts way

Growing Carrots is tough.. perhaps one of the hardest vegetables  for us to grow.  The seeds are tiny, light, flat, and need to be planted right at the surface of the ground, not buried, but kept moist constantly until sprouted and established.

Hmmm... that's a tall order! especially in this southern oregon intense dry heat.

So, we have come up with a method I'd like to share.. works for me. Seems odd, sure... but it works!

There are a few steps to this plan:

1. Finely tilled soil - if the soil is too rocky, the seeds cant stay near the top surface. The seed bed must be pretty flat, fine, even soil.

2. Lightly covered seeds - I have tried the "sprinkle on the top" and it doesnt work as well as "lightly covered". On our seeder, we do not dig a trench for planting, instead we let it drop the seeds on the ground untouched, then the chain dragging over the seeds do enough to cover it.  Think of it as lightly mixing the top surface of the seedbed, not truly "planting".

3. Cover the seeds with toilet paper -  actually 2 ply works best! Toilet paper is unique because it is so thin and light that it will "stick" to moisture to stay in place, it will allow air and light through, but hold moisture along the surface... effectively evening out the water / moisture applied.  2 ply is the perfect thickness to accomplish this but then "dissolve" into the dirt as the seedling emerge in a week or two.

4. Water frequently but lightly - We use drip irrigation for watering, so I set the timer to a short time, frequently in the beginning, and as the sprouts emerge slowly change to a deep watering less often.

   To arrive at these times I do a test.. see how long it takes for the water to fill the empty drip tape lines with no end cap on.  For 80 yard lines at 10 PSI fed by 40PSI, that equals about 10 minutes. This time needs to be at least tripled to arrive at the length of water cycle.  tripling allows for the time needed to fill the line between watering to become a negligible part of the overall water time, thus watering evenly from end to end.

Next set the frequency at the time required for the ground to almost dry out during the daytime sun.  Right now, this is about 4 hours.

So, the timer starts at watering 30 minutes every 4 hours, from sunup to sundown. (not overnight).

After a couple weeks, the sprouts are strong enough to have slowly migrated to watering for an hour every day. If the weather turns colder, its every 2 days.

When the plants are reasonably big and strong, this time shifts to 3 hours, every 2 to 3 days. This gives a good deep watering, with enough time for the surface to dry out in between.

The trick here, is the toilet paper.  We even built a tool out of PVC pipe  that holds a roll of paper at the bottom, has a raised handle, and an arm with a guide at the top. This way... we can lay the seeds in, lay the drip tape on top. Then we use this tool with a roll of toilet paper on the bottom roller, place the drip tape between the guides at the top, and simply walk. The arm with the guide hold the drip tape in position over the seeds are you walk, the paper rolls out along the ground directly underneath, and as the drip tape falls on the rolled out paper, it is "cemented" in place by the little drop s of water left in the drip tape from initial firing.  This way, as fast as you can walk you can lay out a straight single line of TP across the seeds, lay the drip tape in the center of the top, and ready to go!

Who knew... Toilet Paper is the answer to growing carrots! At lease... our answer.

The rows to the left were laid by hand, before the tool

The last row on the right was with the tool perfected.