welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

tour of BIGGEST little farm

the name of the farm is apricot lane farms
when you see the movie biggest little farm you will understand where its name comes from
one of the stars of the film is emma pictured just above
yes i saw emma and her daughter pictured at the top of the blog

after seeing the movie twice and once listening to a q&a with the farmer and his wife i knew i had to go visit this place on one of their tours
my wife she saw it 4 times since different folks wanted her to go with them
so she did
as she says id see it again
she plans to order the dvd so that ms b can watch it
warning though this is a real farm and real things happen sometimes on the farm that a 4 year old might not understand
its called the circle of life on the farm and ranch

so it took us two months to get tickets for the tour of the farm
there were so many folks trying to go it crashed their website two months in a row
they now have a website that is upgraded and works better

so my wife she actually sat and refreshed her order for 2 hours
even then she wasnt sure she had tickets until the bill came up on our credit card
i emailed the farm and yes they verified that we had won the farm tour lottery

we got 4 tickets not 2 tickets
so we invited two relatives to go with us

i must say i was excited
i even skipped my daily nap ritual that day
i was wide awake and alert throughout the tour

you can click on their website to access their dvd and more information and to see an aerial view of the farm

this regenerative farm when it started was dry hardpan soil with no life in the soil and no greenery
when you look at the aerial view you can see how much it has been transformed
they had to use rock bars and digging equipment just to dig the soil
there was no water on the property
when it rained it was like a flash flood as it ran off their hilly terrain rapidly down eventually going to the ocean carrying all kinds of top soil and debris with it

it the rainwater mostly stays on the farm soaking into the renewed soil and the large pond that is now on the farm
the pond and its surrounding greenery has bought all kinds of life to live around it

the first part of the tour is the worm composter
it is about 8 ft wide x 40 ft x 4 feet deep
they use the worm compost to make compost tea which is spread out on the crops and pastures and fruit trees

it is the lifeblood of the farm
it was the first thing that was built on the farm

there is a rule
you take a $5 tree and put it in a $50 hole
thats what they have done
they have a long term plan to build up the soil to the point they can have a profitable sustainable farm

during the tour i was reminded of the tour of the bamberger ranch near san antonio where they did something like this on a depleted old cattle ranch
in the orchards they use cover crops in between the rows of fruit
now in this picture above they have stopped watering the crops so the cover crops have died down but will return when the fall rains start
we can go for 6-8 month without rain here
they do have ground well water they can access but during droughts its use gets limited
the sheep come through and eat the cover crops and deposit their manures to fertilize the fruit trees
when the snails come through attacking the trees they release the ducks into the area and the ducks remove the snails

they have over 750 laying chickens and 250 fryers who live in portable large chicken tractors
that they move from pasture to pasture
at the farmers market all their eggs are gone in less than an hour

they take the cattle and run them in small pastures for a few days
then they move the cattle over to another small pasture
they then let the chickens in the first pasture to eat all the fly larva and any insects on the pasture and scratch around in the sol
when its all cleaned up that area is rested so the grass can regrow
the chickens are moved then to the second pasture

the cattle are harvested eventually as free range grass fed beef

they are gradually expanding their veggie gardens
i was interested in how they did their rows
3 ft rounded beds
3 lines of drippers with drip holes every 12 inches
mulched heavily between the beds which were only 1 ft apart

this row of green beans had the darkest greenish leaves ive ever seen on a green bean vine
it made my green beans vines look so faded looking

they use compost and or compost tea on their beds

to control their rodent population they
use owl houses full of owls
provide habitat for hawks
so they have some control of the gophers and rats and mice

 i must say i was awestruck touring this farm

the last stop was climbing up the hill to the top named for alan the guy in the movie who was the brains behind all this
he later died from cancer

we were asked to stop under the shade of the trees with a nice breeze blowing over the hill
we were asked to stop and be quiet for a minute to listen to all the sounds and look out over the farm

of course my brain was on overdrive as i thought of all the things i could do in my small 400 sq ft garden and our community garden

i would suggest if you like a good feel good story and or interested in growing food the right way that you try to see this movie at a local theater if it comes to yours or get the dvd online at this link
apricot lane farms

the organicgreen doctor

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