alright, photo uploads cause me hardship so I split the post between Minnesota photos and China photos.
Here is China (please read the captions):
meet the energy behind Ping Ren Farm. He studied agriculture, worked for Anheuser-Busch, and now he’s taking stepping back (and a cut in his paycheck) to bring this 3 hectare strawberry and vegetable farm to life. he’s learning organic farming from the internet and has so much hope for the future of his farm and the organic farming movement in China.
this is a solar-powered flower that plays buddhist music to the plants as they grow.
the thick concrete wall on the left side of the greenhouse retains heat throughout the night and their is a large hay “blanket” that rolls up and down to cover the plastic for temperature control. these greenhouses enable a year long growing season during the cold winters in beijing.
applying fertilizer “X”… many villagers have a hard time recalling the name of the synthetic inputs they use.
a successful farm visit #1 in china
a hydroponic tomato greenhouse at an experimental farm supported by the chinese government.
the boss at Green Rich Farm
she picks out cabbage worms with chopsticks and feeds them to the chickens. plus she’s wearing sleeve protectors, pure brilliance.
the media loves us.
they do cabbage so well (and they know how to cook it too)
their hoes are an ancient chinese design, sort of like a triangular pick. and they are quite heavy.
Mr. Pang showing off his purple broccoli
The Gao family farm – a buddhist farm with three beliefs I need to experiment with; 1) if you play music to your vegetables they will grow better, 2) if you communicate with your heart you can ask insects not to eat your vegetables and they will listen, 3) companion crops for weed and erosion prevention (there was hardly any bare soil).
this is a torture device designed during WWII. they places humans in it and changed the pressure to test the limits of the human body (and kill). now it is used to store produce faster – way to recycle.
hoeing the rutabagas.
en route to Double Mountain Natural Farm. I have been informed there is a backpacking route up that mountain… if I can figure out how to get back there.
The crew at Double Mountain Natural Farm. Mr Jong is an ex-computer science engineer who left his job, read a bunch of ancient Chinese texts about farming, and now grows 90 mu of organic oranges, rice, and vegetables. He is busy setting up his “farming system” but once its in place he believes agriculture should be so integrated into the natural ecosystem that it requires very little human input. when asked about organic certification he said he follows the rules of nature and if you get certified you have to follow human rules.
a view of the organic vegetable patch at Big Back River retreat center – a center started by a cancer survivor that invites groups of farmers on retreats to learn about organic practices.
clearing the fields