Today is the fest of October. Aka Oktober. Aka the Oktoberfest. Many people are not aware that Oktoberfest is actually celebrated in a middle European country named Germany in September. The name Oktoberfest is derived from the month after September, which is when the fest is a festival. This is confusing for many people, but since I have been to Germany once I feel empowered to impart this knowledge upon you, thine dearest reader. So it is said.
Let's review the agenda for today's post:
-> An update on the progress of farming the BOTL Farm.
-> A discussion of hydrology.
-> Some thoughts about putting honey into bottles.
We shall now call this blog post to order, so that we may begin to proceed through the agenda. Let us begin upon with the first item:
An update on the progress of BOTL farm
In the early 1900's, nearly every individual in the United States was a farmer. Sustenance farming was a way of life. As time marched on, farming became more centralized and large corporate farms took over. This is because feeding a world with 7 billion people is difficult to do with hand tools, and therefore tractor firmware needs to be closed source. Despite difficulties in maintaining modern tractors on small farms, we find that these large farms are the primary variety of farms that occupy the current US bread basket. Here at BOTL Farm, we are idealists that still believe the world can change. We believe that chest freezers don't have to be disposable, that wagons can be used to move heavy boxes, and that despite the Earth recently passing 400 ppm co2 atmosphere concentration, all hope is not yet lost.
All of that being said, we should clarify that paying off a mortgage is really hard. Some recent studies we've conducted by doing google searches indicate that only about 32% of the United States has paid off their mortgage, and most of those individuals are over age 65. In our age bracket, only about 11% of the population has paid off their mortgage.
A mortgage is no small commitment. In fact, it's a fairly large commitment, usually being omnipresent during one's life. When BOTL Farm bought the farm, we had intended that one member of our farming couple team would become a full time farmer and raise well loved pigs and bunnies, while the other would continue working a "normal" and "fruitful" job to pay the mortgate. Honestly, we also were pretty sure one of us were going to get fired, since we're hippy farmers and we don't fit super well into normal jobs. Shockingly, both of our employers have indicated an interest in keeping us on for several months, and since mortgages are big and scary, we have decided to delay the jump into full time farming and maintain our day jobs for a bit longer.
This is also convenient because our primary goal of becoming livestock farmers requires that we set up a lot of fencing to contain those animals, and trying to fence in 13 acres with a rabbit proof fence will yield some jaw dropping estimates from local fence installers here in CT. So the good people here at BOTL Farm have decided to keep our day jobs for just a stich longer (probably a year or so) while we purchase heavy machinery that can drive fence posts through solid rock, and research how to contain rabbits who want nothing more than to escape from a place where they are protected from predators and fed infinite amounts of parsley stems. Rabbits really like parsley stems.
A discussion of hydrology
Hydrology is the study of water, water modelling, water management, and the implications of hydrogen couples hooking up with oxy singles. Hydrology is also important to farming, because livestock and their food require water, and often a lot of it. To this end, BOTL Farm recently recruited a professional hydrologist to visit the farm, walk the land, and provide insight on the water movement and usage for the farm.
The results are astounding. Have you ever thought about water? I mean really thought about water? What is it you find most interesting about water? Personally, I find the water's transformation into beer to be fascinating, but I'm also interested in how to give a pig enough water to produce bacon, and how to feed a chicken water in the middle of winter with a system that won't freeze while I travel across state lines for Christmas.
BOTL Farm's new land has a stream that runs approximately through the middle of the property. The stream is about 10 - 20 feet across, and is generally about 1-2 feet deep. Our hydrologist consultant informs us that streams are organized into "tiers" based on size and water flow, and that the smallest streams in the country are called "Headwater" streams. Sometimes these are also called ditches. [Hydrologist/editor notes: this is not true]. Our stream is a little bit bigger than a ditch, but since it has no direct tributaries it is still considered a 'headwater'. This category of streams makes up the majority of streams in the world, about 60% in fact, but they are also the least studied type of streams. If you write a government grant to study the Mississippi River, you will get showered with money and high fives, but if you try to instrument a ditch with thermometers, you will get thrown from your tenure review faster than you can say "madden julian oscillation". However, as science becomes more enlightened, funding entities are realizing the importance of these smaller streams, and funding is becoming available to study them.
Therefore BOTL Farm is hoping for a collaborative effort between hydrologic modelling, farming, and sticking thermometers in our dirt [Hydrologist/editor notes it is called soil]. Collecting data on stream temperatures allows us to determine many interesting things about nutrient transport, biomass preservation, the water cycle, and the punnett square. We don't actually know what most of those things mean, but they're words we heard the hydrologist use. Stay tuned for BOTL Farm coming to a hydrologic journal near you. Also, did you know pigs can swim?
Some thoughts about putting honey into bottles:
The 2016 honey harvest is here! We would like to thank our bees for all of their hard work this year, all of their wing flapping, and their ability to carefully curate their honey to 17% water content before we steal it from them to sell to you. Contact us via the contact page, cell phone, txt message, email, the website contact form, carrier pigeon, or the bat signal if you'd like to purchase some locally farmed honey!
BOTL Farm is settling into our farm house built brand new for us in 1820, and we look forward to providing your sustainable farming needs for years to come, just as soon as we get fired from our day jobs and receive grant money to fly a drone over our stream.
Thanks for reading !