The Grazing Adventures of FarminMike

Sacred Arts Farm
December 27, 2010, 6:34 pm
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I have started a new blog as a focal point for my ideas. If you liked this blog of my work with Central NY RC&D, please feel free to check out my new blog…


Morrisville Fence build
April 26, 2010, 1:18 pm
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Troy Bishopp was commissioned to instruct some morrisville college students in the finer points of hi tensile fence building. It was community service day and we were building the fence to exclude some animals from some public land.

A great learning experience for sure… I don’t remember doing anything like this back when I was in school…

More Fence
April 20, 2010, 11:15 am
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Another fence building project this week… even though my time is dwindling down I still find myself busy as ever…

There are very few “straight” posts that can be made from the black locust tree, but as a hard wood that resists rot they make excellent posts to build fence from! and they look superb… almost like a living fence!

I had worked on this farm once before, back in December, you can see that post here.

Eastern Youth Poultry School
April 20, 2010, 9:19 am
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A good friend of mine, Erika Marzak, ran the Eastern NYS Regional Poultry School Show in Voorheesville on Sunday April 18, with the help of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Schenectady Farm Bureau, a few area farmers who donated birds so that kids could learn to show. Presenters included Dave Hillmann who gave a talk about Incubation and Embryology.  Jamie Matts gave a talk on what he is looking for as a judge for poultry. Erika gave a presentation on how to select which breed of chicken is right for you.

It was a great show and lots of young kids holding cute little chickens!

take a look at a few of these pictures…

Counting down the days…
April 16, 2010, 4:33 am
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Well I haven’t been posting much in the past few days… I will be finishing with this position at the end of April, so I don’t really have too many major projects going on… I am mostly just tying up some loose ends. Cleaning up my apartment so I can move out on time, etc. Working on the Annual report in Norwich, finishing up my grazing plans,

To the readers of my Blog: Many Thanks for following me… it has been a great year hasn’t it… It has been fun to create this record of my accomplishments.

what’s next for me? I am evaluating my options right now, If anyone here who has been following this blog wants to contact me about possible employment (since you already know what I am capable of…) please contact me via email:

Just a few weeks left!

Otsego County Fence Build
April 5, 2010, 3:56 pm
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April 1, 2010

Otsego County Soil and Water in cooperation with Graze-NY, the Upper Susquehanna Coalition and GLCI hosted a hi-tensile fence seminar on Thursday April 1. About 20 local area farmers came to learn about hi tensile fence. Troy Bishopp, aka the “grass whisperer” came to build a corner for a hands-on demonstration. The Farmer was gracious enough to lend his garage and some heavenly tasting donuts for the meeting. Troy  offered a wealth of knowledge about what it takes to build a quality hi tensile fence: Everything from the quality of the post, down to the angle of your brace wires and the height of the brace rails; Troy brought an example of an inferior post and explained that just because the post is green on the outside doesn’t mean it won’t rot… it has to be pressure treated all the way through to the heartwood. He likes yellow pine better than red pine or if you don’t want a pressure treated post, you can use a hard wood like Larch (Tamarack) or Black Locust. After the presentation, we lined up using a post driver to get an on the ground demonstration. Everyone huddled around to see the mastery of how these posts get set into the ground. Troy mentioned during his talk “animals dig holes, farmers pound posts” and there was no auger required to get these posts into the ground. One participant decided to try his hand at driving the posts. The Farmer mentioned how they had rented this pounder before and managed to drive 400 posts in one day. On top of this Otsego County is hoping to host more events of this kind in the coming months. If you are interested in learning more about grazing in Otsego County, please contact Otsego County Soil and Water at (607) 547–8337 x4 to schedule an appointment.

Candor Grazing Meeting
April 5, 2010, 11:17 am
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March 30

Cornell hosted a grazing meeting in Candor NY on Tuesday March 30th.

Fay Benson of Cornell Small Farms Program was there to run the show…

Bob Schindelbeck from the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Cornell University presented on the Soil Health Test. In these next few pictures he is demonstrating about how capillary action works, likening the soil is like to a sponge, and gravity is what draws water downwards, it empties the larger pores first, he used a sponge as an example…

when the sponge is held this way, the water is held in the sponge pretty well,

but when you turn the sponge this way, the water at the top drains out of the large pores… much the same way that tile drainage drains the soil… leaving room for air… drainage is important because the soil microbes need air to breathe!

The talk was interesting and thought provoking, he had hoped to demonstrate the aggregate test outside with their rain water simulator, but it was already raining pretty hard and we decided not to… irony?

Dave Mattocks Brought a movie about the life in the soil to watch… it was compelling and thought provoking… there are more organisms in a teaspoon of soil than there is people on the planet earth!

Lunch was delicious, meatloaf and macaroni and cheese from a few local farms… MMM!!

After lunch Karen Hoffman, gave us a demonstration about how to use the GLCI Grazing Stick, a tool developed by Darrel Emmick to estimate the amount of forage available for grazing using the grid and ruler on the stick… its a very useful tool for the beginning and experienced grazier to help take a little bit of the guesswork out of grazing.