Category Archives: Farm News

A new (additional?) direction!

If you’ve seen the photos posted of the 80 acres High Desert Heirloom has, you’ve probably noticed that only about half the land is level enough for farming. The rest is hilly scrub brush land. That would seem like an obstacle but really isn’t. that hilly, rough, land can, and will, be used while preserving the natural lay of the land.

The question becomes, how to best utilize that acreage to our benefit and the benefit of others?

One idea that has come to mind is feral horse (wild horse) training and adoption! Here in Nevada, we have a huge “wild horse adoption center” managed by the BLM.

Sign at the Palomino Valley adoption center
Sign at the Palomino Vally adoption center

 

Wild horses waiting to be adopted
Horses in holding waiting to be adopted

In this facility, horses rounded up by the BLM, to manage herd populations, wait to be adopted. Sometimes, they are stuck here for years! Occasionally, a feral horse (wild horse) may never be adopted. Even more often, a horse gets adopted by a kindhearted soul who is not able to take that horse for it’s wild state to a trained horse. In those instances, the adopter might try to give the horse away and end up giving it to a buyer for a slaughter house. It’s a bad end for a horse that was the perfect blank slate but had the misfortune to not find someone willing and able to train it.

Putting a lot of thought into the issue of feral (wild) horses and how to be of some positive influence in preventing tragic outcomes, the thought of using our land comes to mind. These horses are, overall, great blank slates and, when properly gentled and trained, almost always turn out to be wonderful domesticated horses.

Horses brought out of the feral (wild horse) herds are blank slates in terms of domestication but, they are not TOTAL blank slates. They are highly experienced in SURVIVAL and interacting with other horses. They travel rough country and, as a result, are some of the most ‘sure footed’ horses one could possibly find. They thrive on a rough diet so that, once caught and domesticated, will do just fine on a diet of good grass hay. Due to the ‘wild life’ they are born into, these horses tend to be healthier than standard domestic stock as well.

Feral horses (wild horses) on the range.
Feral horses (wild horses) on the range.

Let’s not kid ourselves, these horses take total dedication, almost infinite patience, and lots of time to domesticate. They come off the range in a very wild state. They fear humans as much as they would fear a mountain lion in the wild. To the feral horse (wild horse), a human is a predator and they are the predator’s food source. They have to learn many things and the first thing they must learn is that the human is not going to try to eat them. Once that is done, they have to learn that the human is the leader and that they can trust the human’s leadership. Those are just the very beginnings of turning a feral horse (wild horse) into a great saddle mount.

So, we’re thinking of establishing a feral horse (wild horse) training and sale facility. Our land lends itself to that purpose because it has the land area, terrain for training, and the natural habitat these horses grew up in.

We can’t afford to just jump right into this project. In fact, if we managed to raise enough money via donations, that we would not be able to bring in our first feral horse (wild horse) until spring of 2018. that allows time to section off our land with fencing, build stables, build a training arena with round pen, install small ponds, get one or more wells drilled to ensure constant water supplies, and obtain tack and gear.

Before launching a major funding campaign, we’re publishing this blog in order to determine interest in the project. Perhaps you would be willing to make a one time donation of a few dollars or, you may be interested in adopting a well trained and gentled feral horse (wild horse). If so, please comment on this post and let us know what your interest is or any questions you may have concerning feral horses (wild horses) and the process of taking them from the wild state to trained domesticated horse.

A new retail business entity… High Desert Tobacco

As I posted before, I incorporated High Desert Heirloom LLC and had intended to use that business entity for online sales of whole leaf tobacco.

UPDATE- 4/30/2015:

The online store should be ready for business by the end of next week 5/8/2015!

Upon further consideration, I found that using the LLC for sales was not my best option so, I have established a new entity and associated domain, High Desert Tobacco. The domain and website is HighDesertTobacco.com but, the site is not live for use just yet! There is a lot of setup to be done before customers will be able to use the site to order their tobacco or accessories.

Please stay tuned! I’ll make a big announcement when the retail site is live and ready to use!

High Desert Heirloom LLC has filed Articles of Incorporation!

We have taken the first step in becoming a Nevada Corporation and filed our Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State in Nevada.

We’ve also purchased our business license so that we can start commercial operation right away.

Our first effort in retail operation is to sell one type of agricultural commodity. Unprocessed tobacco that can be used however the end user wishes to use it! We’ll be able to offer this, by the pound, to our customers at great savings. Initial pricing is looking like $15 – $17 per pound plus shipping.

In the near future, we’ll have pages set up so that the general public, over the age of 18, may see what we have to offer and make purchases online. We’ll also have informational pages about what uses the tobacco can have and how to do what you want to do!

Soon to be selling whole leaf tobacco!

High Desert Heirloom is purchasing a small order of three varieties of whole leaf, straight from the farm, tobacco to sell. We’ll make an announcement here when the tobacco is ready for sale and we have an ordering system in place. Only persons over the age of 18 may order!!!

These tobaccos can be used to make your own blend of cigarette tobacco or pipe tobacco. Heck, you could even use it to make up some interesting chew!

 

The three varieties will be:

Virginia Bright leaf:

A mild, flue cured, tobacco
A mild, flue cured, tobacco

This tobacco is a mild, flue cured tobacco. It’s nicotine content is not considered to be strong and it has a mild, pleasant taste when smoked. It is usually used by American tobacco companies as about 70% of the tobacco blend in cigarettes. The leaves are large and the center rib should be stripped out prior to shredding for use in either pipes or cigarettes. Those center ribs can be used for other things!

Tennessee Burley tobacco:

A strong, air cured tobacco
A strong, air cured tobacco

Tennessee Burley tobacco has a strong flavor and higher nicotine content. It usually makes up about 15% of American cigarette blends. Like the Virginia tobacco above, it has large leaves with a large center rib that should be stripped out prior to shredding for use.

Oriental (Turkish) Prilep tobacco:

A mild, lower nicotine, tobacco.
A mild, lower nicotine, tobacco.

Oriental (Turkish) tobacco is air cured and has a very mild flavor and lower nicotine levels. In regular American cigarettes, it usually makes up about 15% of the blend. This variety has smaller leaves and can be shredded whole without removing the center rib.

We are going to offer all three varieties at $17 per pound with free shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 states. The minimum order will be 2 pounds.

Packaging will be in one pound, vacuum sealed, bags to preserve freshness and moisture content.

 

Why are we selling this and why are we only selling it in whole leaf form?

High Desert Heirloom farm is going to need more capital in order to get up and running. Tobacco is one of the cash crops we will be raising and selling so, it makes sense for us to use tobacco as our first effort at raising funds.

As for the whole leaf form, THAT is to keep costs down for EVERYONE involved! You see, tobacco that is still in the whole leaf form is not subject to the taxes imposed on shredded, or otherwise processed, tobacco meant for end use. It’s a simple agricultural product.

Why shouldn’t you simply go down to the store and buy pre-shredded tobacco if you want to roll your own cigarettes?

If you don’t mind paying upwards of $30 for only six ounces of tobacco and you don’t want the hassle of shredding your own and you are fine with the blends you’ll get, then buying the pre-shredded rolling tobacco makes sense! That will work out to about $30 for a carton of cigarettes.

However, If you want to lower your cost, have total, control over the blend of your tobacco, and don’t mind shredding your own, you can get the cost of your carton of cigarettes down to about $8.50! That’s much less than 1/3 the cost of rolling your own with pre-shredded and processed cigarette tobacco and less than 1/4 the cost of pre-made cigarettes!

Other advantages are mostly over manufactured cigarettes. It is semi-illegal for anyone to say that any tobacco is ‘healthier’ than any other tobacco so. we’ll just run through the differences between what we’re selling and what you get in that pack of manufactured smokes.

Manufactured cigarettes contain a whole host of chemicals that come from the process used. Cigarette manufacturers have found that they need a very uniform and consistent shredded tobacco in order for their machines to run in peak form. In order to ensure that consistency, they first blend the varieties of tobacco as pieces of leaf. After that, they pulp the entire mix into what is best described as ‘tobacco paper pulp’. Also during this process, the nicotine levels may, or may not, be ‘adjusted’ by the tobacco company.

Making the tobacco paper pulp and getting it ready to become a thin sheet of tobacco paper requires a bit of chemical help. those chemicals do not get washed out!

Once the sheets, rolls really, of this processed tobacco is ready, then it is run through the shredding machines and stuffed into cigarette tubes.

With whole leaf tobacco, YOU do the shredding and no chemicals are added! You also have the opportunity to flavor your tobacco is you wish to do so. It’s not difficult! You also have total control over the kind of blend you want… more flavor… less nicotine… less flavor… super strong… super light…

Check back often to see when we announce that sales are starting!

For healthier food, freedom from “Frankenfood”…

For the last several decades, huge agricultural giants such as Monsanto,Archer Daniels Midland, Tyson, and a host of huge corporations and conglomerates have been pushing what many have termed “Frankenfood”. These are Genetically Modified Organisms or, GMO varieties of plant and ANIMAL foods.

There has never been any meaningful, long term, testing of the effects the laboratory modifications to these plants and animalsĀ  has on the human body. Right now, many strains of plants, corn in particular, have been modified so that the plant produces its own insecticide! We are supposed to believe that these toxins somehow magically degrade or disappear when the crop reaches maturity and is harvested… really?

In addition to genetic modifications done in laboratories to the plants themselves, crops raised by these huge companies are treated with a wide variety of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. These chemicals DO make it to you table! No amount of washing will get rid of all of it and trace amounts, at the very least, remain on it when you consume the produce.

These mega-corporations in the agriculture industry are waging a constant and horrific battle against small growers who refuse to use their “Frankenseeds” or their chemicals. More than one farmer with the misfortune to be planting within pollination range of any “Frankenfood” crop has been taken to court in order to force them to give up their crop and prohibited from saving their own seeds for planting the next year.

Here is just one example: Supreme Court Sides With Monsanto, Against Organic Farmers.

One of the major goals of High Desert Heirloom Farm is to enable individuals so that they can grow their own, healthy, food. Whether it be a tiny apartment balcony planter or many acres of farm land, each individual should be able to access the knowledge and materials to grow their own food.

High Desert Heirloom Farm will NOT use any laboratory produced GMO plant varieties…ever! Nor will we use hybrid strains since those do not produce viable seeds for other people to plant but require a cross pollination each and every year.Our seed stocks will be true seed stocks that can be distributed to everyone.

In order to ensure the purity of our seeds, only one variety of vegetable or herb will be planted each year to begin with. This will ensure that the bees and other insects do not cross pollinate our crops. In future years, we plan to have screen type enclosures that will tent each planting area so that we will be able to grow several strains each season and still have pure seed stock to distribute.

At High Desert Heirloom Farm, only natural fertilization methods will be used. that means that various manures will have to be composted and worked into the soil. We’ll also be composting all of our plant matter from clearing brush and that left over after the harvest.

Pest control is always a farmer’s or gardener’s big worry too. For each problem, there are multiple methods to naturally deal with it. We’ll be investigating pesticides and deterrents made from only natural materials such as nicotine, lye, and other substances. Another avenue of pest control, or bug control, will be using chickens in the planting areas…dual purpose birds they are! Bug eaters and ground fertilizers in one feathery package.

Another area of pest control that many people face is the wide variety of animals who know a tasty meal when they see, or smell, one! Our planting areas will be surrounded with fencing designed to keep out a wide variety of furry raiders.

Within five years, we at High Desert Heirloom Farm hope to be distributing a wide variety of seed at minimal cost to the purchaser. The information we develop in the way of “How to” knowledge will always be free to the public via our website. DVD tutorials will also be produced and sold at the lowest cost we can manage. There may be printed books in the future as well.

During all of this, High Desert Heirloom Farm will be offering a large portion of our crop free of charge to food banks for distribution to needy families and individuals.

Some portion of every crop will be sold to cover operation and development costs too. There is a good chance that one crop will be designated as only a cash crop. That decision has not yet been made but the idea is being looked into.

Thank you for reading!

High Desert Heirloom Farm

Welcome to the first post for High Desert Heirloom Farm!

transformation

High Desert Heirloom Farm

80 Acres of Northern Nevada High Desert outside of the town of Winnemucca NV.

  • Only natural farming methods.

  • Heirloom vegetables and herbs.

  • A minimum of 10% of each planting reserved for seed production.

  • Minimum of 50% of produce and herb crops donated to food bank.

  • Remainder of crops sold to sustain and grow the farm.

  • Bees will be relied upon for pollination. Honey will be sold as a cash crop.

  • No GMO varieties.

  • No hybrid varieties.

  • No chemical pesticides.

  • No chemical fertilizers.

  • Daily updates on the blog. Information, lessons learned, for anyone to use for their own garden or farm.

Projected start of farm operations will be April 01, 2015. This will allow for starting some seed stock 8 weeks prior to the last frost of the year and for planting started plants in time for an initial crop.

In order to get there though, a few things should be done. The following is a list, in order of importance and need, of what this funding campaign is designed to help with.

  • Irrigation well. This well will provide water to irrigate the farm.

  • Irrigation piping and installation. Drip irrigation and subsurface irrigation will be used.

  • Fencing to protect crops from wildlife damage.

  • Greenhouse structures. This will help in starting plants prior to the last frost date.

  • Solar and wind power generation. The land is not serviced by public utilities.

  • Equipment for cultivation.

We are looking for $20,000 in funding to get this project started. That amount will guarantee a start for the 2015 growing season.

All contributors of $100 or more will share in the first season’s seed production to be distributed by December 01, 2015. In addition to that, our first educational DVD will be sent to each contributor of $100 or more as soon as it becomes available.

Our funding campaign can be found here: High Desert Heirloom Farm funding.

Continued funding to operate and grow the farm will come from cash crops as outlined above.

Check back to our blog often for updates! We’ll be adding pages to the blog soon further detailing the operation.