COMMENTARY

Readers helping readers
These New Farm fans respond to and have some advice for our writers and other readers who've written in recently. Share the knowlege... 

March 17, 2005

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NF


Joint problems in broilers

Regarding joint problems in broilers: We have found that proper mineral supplementation (we use kelp and Live Earth) makes all the difference on our farm, even when we have less-than-perfect weather for the broilers. We are in far northern Michigan, so we occasionally have to keep birds in less-than-ideal conditions. Deep bedding with hay or straw (even outside) helps also.

Cindy Dutcher
Michigan


 

Feeding organic seedlings

To add my response to the question about feeding seedlings organically: Grow seedlings in sterile mix to first true leaves, transplant into mix with added compost (best made with 2-year-old, vegetable-only compost), use Kelp and herbal teas to nourish. Go easy on the fish (mostly for heavy feeders only).

Sharon Carson
Delaware


 

Being a new farmer

Reading Kristen Kimball's farming story reminded me of mine. I didn't go looking for a farming career either. After meeting my future husband, Oleh, on an overseas trip, realizing that various members of our respective families had known each other for years and that we had unknowingly spent our childhood summers just two miles from each other, I was introduced to Oleh's "weekend farm". The small backyard plot began to grow larger each year, the barn grew to bursting with equipment purchases, weekend getaways from Manhattan's suburbs became workdays, and before I knew it I was driving around with a trunk load of beautiful veggies hoping to sell them just because they were gorgeous and yummy and organic and we had grown them ourselves. Now, all these years later, having finally moved to the farm, we're enjoying our fulltime farming lives, having our kids around us, the freedom of working for ourselves, and the knowledge that we're providing folks with a basic need. Despite the hard work, and the ups and downs, it's a good life for us. Our lives reflect the seasons of nature as we gear up now for the coming spring and life outdoors again.

Nadia and Oleh Maczaj
New York


 

Saskatchewan network at work

Re: “Sleepless in Saskatchewan” from a recent classified ad. I just wanted New Farm and “Sleepless” to know that we are circulating her SOS around the province of Saskatchewan and beyond. We are very interested to know if she ever finds her man....please let us know! Thanks.

Elaine Hughes

Editor’s note: Okay, Elaine, but if this story ever makes it to the big screen, we hope that New Farm gets its props.


 

Micro-loans for Santiago Atitlan

Re: “The widows of Santiago Atitlan”, I visited this area back in 1962 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. I am saddened to see that you report Americans are still donating money for food to these beautiful people. Although generous and well meant, it does nothing to maintain their Mayan pride and self respect. The money might be better spent to introduce the micro-loans made to women to help them buy the materials for weaving and establishing their own businesses. Every one of them in the picture was better dressed than the average gringo tourista. The micro-loans are made to cooperative organizations and with this system they might have a chance to purchase small amounts of land and become land owners again, raising their own food.

Beverley Tisdell
Florida