Appreciation for soil in western NY
This week, we left the blazing heat of the Pacific Northwest for the cool, wet Western New York area to visit family and get a glimpse of how other farmers in different areas are doing in their season. It is as if we picked up Seattle in spring and brought it on our backs with us. The weather is in mid 60’s, rainy, overcast and generally, very pleasant. It is a welcome feeling from the incredibly dry heat at home and it is lovely to see farmers in this part of the country having damp and drizzly summer days with a sigh of relief. They are not overwhelmed with fires or heat exhaustion or irrigation woes.
Their soils here in Chautauqua County are deeply moist, rich and happily growing tons of delicious vegetables with very little human input. Soil fertility and health analysis are key to growing and many local farmers will use Cornell Soil Health Testing or Dairy One in Ithaca for analysis. One fantastic grower, Green Heron Growers, have a progressive “no till” utilizing management intensive grazing (MIG) practices for their Red Devon Cattle. This allows for sustainability through daily rotational practice to ensure that the pastures have time to regain nutrients and vitamins, necessary for optimal grass re-growth, nutrition and digestion. As their cattle graze on certified organic pastures of grasses, legumes, hay and balage, studies have shown that omega fatty acids 3 and 6 are more healthy in ratio. The appreciation for soil health is very tangible out here and it re-affirms the need for all farmers to do annual check-in on their soil, the heart of the farm.
A note to farmers and residents in California, now in their scariest season, where the nightmare of the largest fire in state history burns out of control, where Yosemite Valley is closed indefinitely, and where Death Valley has just registered hottest month in American history for the second year in a row, we are wishing leaders will do more than just talk. We are writing and pushing them to act on many fronts. Please stay educated, informed and active. We urge all of us to look to organizations like 350.org for answers at the grassroots level on how 100% clean energy solutions can be met to help climate crisis issues mounting across the globe. We need to all play our part in continued support of local, sustainable, healthy food, air, water and land.
Don’t forget to find us on Instagram @fullcirclefarms.