Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Mar 29, 2012 20:27:23 GMT -5
I rode both: Sunshine was easier to get a bridle on, Stormy was more spirited and funner to ride. The younger kids usually got the safer horse (Sunshine), leaving Stormy to me. Also their mothers Candy and Annie. Before them, we had a working horse, name long since forgotten. Only dad rode that horse. I was too small at the time to ride unattended.
Every cow we ever had was called "Soogie" I only learned after I was grown that I named them, because my daddy would say "It's OK" to the cow while he was milking, and as a toddler I thought it was the name of the cow. Except for one cow who we called Duns'l or worse...
Also the interview didn't capture our dialect... We lived in a li'l moun'n (little mountain) valley. We ate chik'n for supper.
Every cow we ever had was called "Soogie" I only learned after I was grown that I named them, because my daddy would say "It's OK" to the cow while he was milking, and as a toddler I thought it was the name of the cow. Except for one cow who we called Dunce'l or worse...
Great interview and the photos were fantastic.
Joseph, I think I remember you saying that you believed that milk was bad for humans. Do you think the milk was bad for your family when you were young and milked? Research has been done about the difference in A1 (Holstein and most milk today, at least in the USA) and A2 milk. We have not had our cow (Peaches) tested but we are fairly certain that she is A2 because people that are lactose intolerant, can drink her milk without any problems.
I'm certain that you have given this a lot of thought and research.
If you can change yourself, if you can make certain requirements of yourself that you are then able to fulfill, you have a reason for hope. Wendell Berry
Joseph, I think I remember you saying that you believed that milk was bad for humans. Do you think the milk was bad for your family when you were young and milked?
I intended "the milk is poisonous" comment as an example of risks that we routinely take and consider to be an acceptable danger... And perhaps GMO will turn out to be similarly harmful: To some or all of the population to greater or lesser degree.
Statistically speaking, most cow's milk is poisonous to most adult humans. I inherited the somewhat uncommon genes for adult lactose tolerance from both sets of grand-parents all the way around so it wasn't a problem for my family. The omega 3/6 balance is way messed up in commercial milk from grain/corn/soy fed cows. I think that is a bigger risk than the lactose intolerance risk, because people that are severely lactose intolerant avoid milk, but people don't get sick to their stomach if they eat too much omega-6 oil: They just get fat and inflamed.
If I were keeping a cow again, I would not feed her grain at milking time (or any other time).
Great stuff!!! Joseph, do you ever cross these highly adapted varieties with other varieties/species to reselect more adaptivars with greater genetic diversity?
I have a few different strategies for adding diversity to my landraces.
The first is the slow and steady approach. I plant my landrace (or if just starting out, a variety from a seed packet), and in the next row over I trial a small amount (around 10% or less) of a new variety. If the trialed variety does well, I may include it in the landrace when I collect seeds. If it does poorly, then it may contribute a bit of pollen to the landrace. I believe that small doses of outside pollen will not harm my landraces, and might be of benefit. I use this approach with all of my production vegetables: Things that I will be taking to the farmer's market, or that will be feeding my family next winter.
I maintain a couple of hybrid swarms: Inter-species crosses, and members of the same species that are so phenotypically different from each other that getting them to cross requires lots of effort. These are not useful as production vegetables, and they are too labor intensive to be economical to grow, but I might can use some of them at home, or as animal food. And something useful might emerge from them years from now. I place my attempt to grow true pollinated garlic seed into this category.
Most crops are somewhere between those two extremes. For crops that tend to do great in my garden (beets, chard, carrots, turnips, radish, peas) I go with slow and steady. For things that are way out of their comfort zone (squash, tomatoes, melons) I go more with hybrid swarm the first few years, and then convert to slow and steady once I get a genepool that will actually produce a harvest.
I make crosses sometimes. It's a lot of effort with no guarantee of success, so I do that during play time but not during working hours. I can play whenever I want, it's useful emotionally to separate the non-paying work from the paying work.
And then I plain old pay attention to what is happening in my garden... Highly inbreeding crops like tomatoes or peas have some small percentage of cross pollination (around 5% or less). Many of the crosses will appear almost like their mother so I won't notice, but once in a while I catch a new phenotype: For example last year I found a yellow podded shelling pea in my garden. I collected about 6 seeds from it that I intend to plant this spring. A yellow podded shelling pea could look really clever on my table at the farmer's market.
All of my shelling peas started out with white blossoms. I plant them in the next row over from the other peas which have colored blossoms. Eventually one of the shelling peas will have a purple or salmon colored blossom or pod. I'll snag it out of the patch, for further selection, because it will have arisen from a natural cross with a snow pea, a snap pea, a winter pea, or a soup pea. I grow around 5000 shelling peas per year, so even in the cross pollination rate is only 1 in 1000, eventually a cross will show up if I am paying attention.
Interesting pea plants marked with surveyors tape: Earliest flowering peas.