Author Archives: Jeff Poppen

Harrow

A harrow is the implement we use after plowing to break up clods, level the field and prepare a seedbed. There are several different kinds of harrows. Which one to use depends on the soil type, and the specific goal … Continue reading

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Farmers Gamble

Farmers gamble. I’ve known that one day the Long hungry would rise up into our lower garden. For 14 years we have been blessed. No, I wasn’t surprised, or even sad, when four feet of water rushed over the carrots … Continue reading

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Nature’s Mysteries

Plowing is one of nature’s mysteries. I plow to fluff up the soil in the springs, but plowing destroys soil structure. This irony is hard to explain but easy to experience. I’ll try to explain my experience. Over the winter … Continue reading

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Spring Garden

April is the month of planting the spring garden. Onions go in first, and then potatoes. These are the two crops that the king’s deer don’t eat, so we don’t have to plant them inside the deer fence. All other … Continue reading

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Composted Chicken Litter

“Composted” chicken litter is not compost or a fertilizer. It is a toxic waste product from a horrible industrial process known as commercial chicken houses. The small and poisons create ill feelings with neighbors and it pollutes the land and … Continue reading

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Potatoes

The potatoes are tucked into the soft ground up on the Purcell Hill. We use potatoes to build better soil. This year we planted 1700 pounds of seed potatoes. The fields were well composted and turned last fall. The land … Continue reading

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Blueberries

Blueberries grow well in Tennessee. There is a big patch of Hwy 231 before the bridge over the Cumberland River, and one across from the winery in Macon County. We have a small patch for our own use, but just … Continue reading

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TLC for Soil and the Farm

When we’re sick we need a little tender loving care. A warm cup of tea, getting tucked under the covers, and a good rest can help us pull through a detoxifying process. Healing occurs when we strengthen our immune system … Continue reading

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Sleeping and Waking

Just as we wake and sleep in our daily rhythm, so does the earth in her annual cycle. A common conception is that the earth wakes in spring, is most alive in summer and then falls back asleep for a … Continue reading

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Health in the Workplace: The Farm

Health in our workplace, a small farm, abounds with contradictions. Webster’s dictionary ambiguously defines health as physical and mental well-being. With its many meanings, ironies and interconnections, this influential concept pervades society as an elusive goal, from corporate misnomers such … Continue reading

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Christmas Cows

Why does a farmer like to look at his cows? What is it about a pastoral scene that is so comforting? How did the domestication of animals affect the history of civilization? What role will livestock play in the farms … Continue reading

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Spinach & Onions

Spinach and onions love cool weather. Every year in early spring I’m anxious to get them planted. Warm temperatures make the spinach bolt, and as it sends up its flower and seed stalk, it quits putting out leaves. Onions also … Continue reading

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Variety Seeds

Variety is the spice of life, so how will we season our garden this year? I’ve been very happy with Romano and Blue Lake bush beans and believe I’ll try Improve Wax for a new yellow one. Shumway’s is the … Continue reading

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Garlic

Old habits are hard to break. Although, I no longer market to stores and don’t really need as much garlic as I’ve been growing, we still planted the same sized patch. Gotta keep those vampires at bay. It took me … Continue reading

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Kittens

Kittens have entered my world once again. I’ve managed to remain catless for a few years, but noting remains the same. I was plenty happy feeding mouse traps, and drinking my coffee on the porch alone. But them I had … Continue reading

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Sourcing the Course about Forces

Are the foods that we eat providing us with the proper living quality of forces? The greater part of what we eat daily is not there to be received as substance in the body, but to give the body the … Continue reading

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Biodynamics

Biodynamics has an organic farming method, born in 1924, which suggests that the use of artificial fertilizers will have a detrimental effect on our soils and eventually our human spiritual development. It appeals to me because it values old-time farming … Continue reading

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