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  1. Lee Rinehart

    On mimicking nature We can shoot for mimicking nature, but the idea that we can achieve perfect replication is a fallacy. I think one of the most important lessons in indigenous epistemology is that natural systems have unknowns...
  2. Lee Rinehart

    Reflections on Green Manure

    Spring is really not that far off. Next month I’ll be planting starts and getting ready, and then the soil will warm and the fall planted covers will put on all their growth. When they are ready, I’ll cut them and till them into the top three inches of the soil to fertilize summer crops. As I...
  3. Lee Rinehart

    Managing for Grazing in Wet Areas

    Since mud season is just around the corner I thought I’d share some ideas I’ve come across. Grazing wet areas is always a problem. Many times, the animals just avoid the area if there are better forages on the dryer sites. You can play with this a little and observe how the animals behave by...
  4. Lee Rinehart

    Compost Tea question

    Thinking about this... and the main issue that comes to mind is pathogens. Fully composted material has been, if temperature and aeration is maintained, brought to temps to eliminate pathogens. I am not sure the process of using the feedstocks you mention and making a tea would ensure this. If...
  5. Lee Rinehart

    Mountains to Bay grazing resources from Chesapeake Bay Foundation

    Jenna Schueler of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Mountains to Bay Grazing Alliance sent me this newsletter and it has LOTS of good articles in it by some great farmers and educators in the Bay region. Check it out... especially Justin Proctor's Working Alongside Farmers to Bring Back Our...
  6. Lee Rinehart

    Rotational grazing on public lands

    Thanks Stan, your suggestion of using herding is a time-honored tradition. I remember a friend of mine in graduate school... he was from Utah and his summers were spent astride a horse herding cattle from pasture to pasture and he had lots of stories, reminiscent of Michael Martin Murphy's...
  7. Lee Rinehart

    Rotational grazing on public lands

    A question from the Sep 15 webinar with Dale... What's your experience with ranchers on public lands? In your experience, what's been the BLM's / Forest Service's appetite for permittees/allotment owners moving hot wire and installing more drinkers to facilitate grazing of paddocks vs...
  8. Lee Rinehart

    Resources for retaining water on hilltops

    One idea I have come across is tip grazing... running the stock through to graze the tops and move them off. By keeping alot of standing vegetation for cover this might help maintain cover and water holding on thin soils. I'm still looking into various ways to use Dale Strickler's ideas of water...
  9. Lee Rinehart

    Thoughts on reducing hay feeding in the winter

    MCM writes: I really want my animals to be grazing as mush as possible in the winter. The hay producers all around me use Grazon, which essentially destroys the animal manure as a fertilizer for my garden. I want to keep grazon hay off of my farm, but it is nearly impossible to find unsprayed...
  10. Lee Rinehart

    Traditional Fertilizers Beat Out Industrial Chemicals in Soil Health Test

    @HernanC, I think the Penn State Research is interesting and a lot of good info can come from it. I also think the Bayer microbial engineering is well-intentioned (I want to assume good things) but altogether unnecessary. Read Christine Jones, from her Nitrogen: the double-edged sword: "On a...
  11. Lee Rinehart

    Resources for retaining water on hilltops

    @HernanC, I think that whether you water frequently or less frequently the main goal is deep watering. This depends a lot on soil quality of course, namely creating a soil sponge through the 5 Soil Principles. On hillsides, especially on a steep slope, less frequently may be an option to prevent...
  12. Lee Rinehart

    What is the best forage mix for pastured poultry?

    KM wrote to me recently after attending session I of the Advanced Grazing webinar and is interested in the percentages of each forage species that should go into a pasture mix for chickens on pasture. I put together a letter and thought Soil for Water folks might be interested as well... The...
  13. Lee Rinehart

    Regenerative Grazing Revolution Is Taking Root in the Mid-Atlantic

    Oh yes! And recently, we posted ATTRA's 250th podcast on Practical Steps for Reducing Synthetic Fertilizer Use. I spoke with Emilie Saunders, NCAT Communications Director and Nina Prater, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist about the new toolkit, and the easy-to-follow steps for...
  14. Lee Rinehart

    Grazing on small acreage farms - a resource list

    TK is an Extension Educator interested in resources on small acreage rotational grazing and weed management in pastures that she can share with the small scale farmers she works with. We exchanged a few emails and then I followed up with further information on funding sources for rotational...
  15. Lee Rinehart

    Regenerative Grazing Revolution Is Taking Root in the Mid-Atlantic

    Fantastic! Ron Holter's Maryland farm was highlighted recently in NCAT's new toolkit How to Reduce Synthetic Fertilizer Use, where its mentioned that he manages his 150-cow seasonal dairy on grass alone, with no supplementary grain, and has been free of synthetic fertilizer since 1995!
  16. Lee Rinehart

    Traditional Fertilizers Beat Out Industrial Chemicals in Soil Health Test

    Fascinating. I love it that more studies are validating soil practices that foster biological activity provide better results than artificial chemistry. I sat through a soil health tools meeting that Pasa gave the other day, and Chris Lawrence, NRCS in Virginia, pointed to a study by Alan J...
  17. Lee Rinehart

    Compost Tea question

    Hmmm interesting!!! Ok I've stopped laughing now. I think the sloshing would certainly provide mixing... but how to introduce air into the barrel? Maybe a big scoop make of sheet metal (from an old barn roof maybe) riveted to the roof of the truck and funneling air into a dryer vent hose that...
  18. Lee Rinehart

    Compost Tea question

    Thanks Darren this is great, I appreciate having a basic recipe to disseminate. I will send it to DK, who contacted me requesting some basic information as you have provided. Below are other resources I found on compost tea I sent to her: Dear DK, I have sifted through some resources on...
  19. Lee Rinehart

    Compost Tea question

    Does anyone have good resources on making compost tea? A generic formula to start with? How much compost, how much water, how long to aerate, rate of application? Thanks!
  20. Lee Rinehart

    What is the least damaging to the soil microbiome- light tillage or herbicide?

    We know the soil microbiome is a complex community, and species may react differently to various treatments. For instance, under tillage, fungi mycelium can be compromised with a reduction of activity, and it takes time for them to re-establish. Some studies have shown that tillage is far worse...