Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Butterflies don't live to long about a week and sometimes a little more. Whats the point in a life that short? The answer is plenty! Butterflies like bees are an important part of the ecosystem and plant life. They are one of natures gardeners! They help pollinate flowers and other plants. They flit (butterfly version of flying) from one plant to another spreading pollination the life fuzz of plants. Pollen carries the plants male sperm cell. Once the pollen lands on the pistil the flower is fertilized. Butterflies are only active during the day time hours, unlike their moth cousins who primarily come out at night.
Butterfly farming has a history of over 20 years and its increasing all the time Butterfly conservatories will pay good money for butterfly pupa. They may pay $5.00 a pupa and possibly even accept upwards of 500 a week. Thats phenomenal. The wedding industry is massive. People spend thousands of dollars on their wedding so why not get a piece of that pie? Its becoming ever more popular to release butterflies at the walk out of the bride and groom in a wedding. Butterfly farming can be as small as someones back yard or it can be large with the use of greenhouses and acres of land. Many people have started butterfly farms all over the country. You can visit butterfly farms in every state. They are great places to take your family especially if you have small children. Kids are fascinated by butterflies and I’m sure you will be to. For one of the premiere butterfly farms visit The Butterfly Farm. If your not in Aruba or one of their Caribbean facilities then visit http://www.thebutterflyfarm.com/usa-butterfly-exhibition-0 and see a butterfly farm near you.
For more information on how to start a butterfly farm please see my site: http://secondthoughtfarming.com/ and my Hub Pages: http://seanfliehman.hubpages.com
At the premiere of human civilization all peoples were hunters and gathers. This means that they hunted their food or gathered it by finding it on bushes and trees. Once the food ran out they moved on to a new location. But then someone got the brilliant idea to plant and harvest their own food. Thusly they planted the seeds of the foods they were eating and the farmer was born. Some of the early foods that were consumed consisted of grain, barley and wheat. After that farming communities sprung up. Instead of aimlessly moving just to survive early man learned to flourish. They learned to settle communities and build towns and cities. Today there is a much different and more disturbing story.
There are over 313,000,000 people living in the United States in which less than 1% claim farming as a full time jobs. 45% of farmers claimed farming as their principal occupation and a similar number of farmers claimed some other principal occupation as of 2007. In all the number of farms in the U.S. stands at about 2.2 million. (http://www.epa.gov.) That is a significantly reduced number. Most of this is due to more people living in suburbs and cities rather than on the farm combined with the recent economic hard times the availability of locally grown produce has become scarce. In some areas even the availability of a grocery store is far and wide. This creates in urban areas a new problem called .
According to the USDA a food desert is identified by “low-income communities“, based on having: a) a poverty rate of 20 percent or greater, OR b) a median family income at or below 80 percent of the area median family income;In short this is an area without access to fresh local produce. In addition to that they go on to say the other identifying factors are “low-access communities“, based on the determination that at least 500 persons and/or at least 33% of the census tract’s population live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (10 miles, in the case of non-metropolitan census tracts).-http://apps.ams.usda.gov/fooddeserts/foodDeserts.aspx.
The solution is not really more supermarkets. It might be something more demanding and bold. The true solution lies in the philosophy of teaching a man to fish rather than giving him a fish. If you live in the suburbs or inner city you can start producing urban food. Most likely you don't have the land area to start a real farm and raise livestock. But can you use what you have? Do you own a backyard? You can plant a garden. You can empower yourself to have fresh produce. If you live in a apartment complex check and see if they have a place to have a community garden. Maybe you could take the initiative to start a community garden in your complex? Check with your landlord and work something out. Get your neighbors in on it and it will be fun! Urban gardening could be the wave of the future?! Think how much better meals will be with your own urban food! You set down at the table and eat some green beans and corn on the cob from your own back yard. Support a local farmer and buy some fresh farm products. Maybe they’ve got milk, honey, produce, fruit or some other item? If you have a large enough freezer buy a side of beef, pork or some chickens. Yet another great resource is Communitygardens.org.
The long and short of it is that their is not enough fresh food available for all and especially for those in food deserts. The solution is urban food. The solution is an empowerment mindset that you yourself can create a positive change. Urban food can the answer that is very sorely needed.
For more information on this subject please see my article on my site: http://secondthoughtfarming.com/ and my Hub Pages: http://seanfliehman.hubpages.com.
The Lama glama commonly known as the llama can live between 20 and 30 years and is used by the natives of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile like we would use a donkey; a beast of burden, a pack animal. They can be used for food, their wool for clothes, their hides for shelter, the tallow for candles, and dried dung for fuel. But the primary usage is for their wool otherwise known as fiber. There will be more on that in a little while. The Llama was first introduced to America in the 1900’s. They were introduced to the American West as a “guard dog” for sheep and goats in the 1980’s. Llama’s have heightened sight, smell and hearing to alert them of approaching predators such as coyotes and wild dogs. The llama can be an aggressive protector and will chase away predators. The llama is a bigger animal and can grow to be six feet tall at the head and weigh between 240-450 pounds! hey may spit, ram or kick their agitator. A llama will bond well with the livestock and take responsibility upon itself to protect the flock against predators. Beyond even the safety of the flock they may even become the “boss” for all intents and purposes. They can take full responsibility of the livestock and make sure they stay together and even lead them to food and water.
A single llama is suggested because if you place two male llamas together they will buddy up with each other and may ignore the flock to its detriment. It is possible to use a few female llamas in a small flock of sheep or goats but most results say that a male llama is more effective in this 'guard dog’ role. Its also noted that the farmer must use a llama older than 1 year as a guard. It is a good idea to first introduce the llama to the flock while they are corralled in, so the two animals can get accustomed to one another. This really assist in bonding between the animals. Another piece of advice is to use a gelded llama. Otherwise an unfixed male llama might attempt to breed with the ewes and can cause harm to the sheep or goats. Raising llamas as a guard for sheep and goats is one reason for starting a Llama farm.
Another reason and the primary reason for starting a llama farm is for the llama fiber. The llama should be sheared once a year. Llama fiber can be made into jackets, clothing, blankets or used as stuffing for stuffed animals. Llamas are beautiful animals and their fiber comes in a plethora of colors such as white, gray, black or brown and comes in a variety of patterns. Llama wool is a superior quality to sheep wool. Llama fiber was created for the animal to live in the Andes Mountains which means they need to be able to live in a large swing of temperatures. There can be a difference of 50 degreesof comfort in llama wool jacket. Even a single layered jacket can be comfortable in summer or in winter. Llama fiber is hallow making it warm yet light. Sheep wool is a solid so it is always hot and itchy. Yet another plus to llama fiber is that it is a natural rain and snow repellent, and also fairly wind resistant. As if there weren't enough good things to say you can add fire retardant to the list. It is naturally soft though a little more coarse than alpaca fiber. It has low static electricity so it does not collect dirt and lint as easily as sheep wool or other materials. Finally and maybe most importantly it shrinks much less than what sheep wool does when washing! If your going to start a llama farm, raising them for their fiber may possibly be your biggest and most financially rewarding venture.
For more on llamas and how to raise them and keep them on a farm please see my site: http://secondthoughtfarming.com/ and my Hub Pages articles: http://seanfliehman.hubpages.com.
An alpaca (Lama pacos) is an animal in the camel and llama family. They live naturally in the Andes Mountains in South America in such countries as Bolivia,Chile,Peru and Ecuador. The alpaca has a quiet, friendly, sociable personality. They enjoy the companionship of people and other animals. The noble alpaca has a long neck and legs and have rounded faces. The alpaca lives for 15-20 years and weighs in at 120 to 185 pounds. Because of this lighter weight the alpaca is not bred for being a pack animal. Instead they are primarily bred for their wool otherwise known as fiber.
Domesticated alpaca farming is in business due to the plentiful need and uses for alpaca fiber. Alpaca fleece is truly dominant to sheep wool. In fact is belongs to a category known as "specialty fibers" which means that the fiber is rare and extremely fine. The fiber of the Suri breed of alpaca can be very glossy and fine to the touch. It mostly lacks the prickle and itch of other similar wools. The fiber of the Huacaya alpaca is shorter and more coarse in comparison. But both are immensely strong and the alpaca fiber is nearly
indestructible. Indestructible may seem like a strong world but an alpaca garment was found in a Peruvian ruin dating back almost 2,500 years! Alpaca fiber is naturally resistant to rain and snow, remember they live in the harsh environment of the Andes Mountains. There it can be freezing cold or searing hot. The alpaca coat can come in 22 natural colors which reduces the need for dying. Colors can include black, brown, a variety of grey, pale yellow and white. Not dyeing the fiber protects and enhances the resilience, softness and flexibility qualities of the wool.
Alpaca fiber grows up to 12 inches and when sheared supplies upwards to10 pounds. Though more conservative estimates are 6 pounds a year. Depending on whom you listen to and your conditions the fiber needs to be harvested two times a year. As an alpaca farmer can sell your supply of fiber to the local private hand spinners or the national alpaca fiber coop. If you can produce high clean fiber and sell it then you can get an average price of $3.00 to $5.00 an ounce. Thats a fantastic yield! An average alpaca fleece can make up to $500 every sheering.
For more information on alpaca farming please see my article at:http://secondthoughtfarming.com/alpaca-farming/ and my Hub Pages at: http://seanfliehman.hubpages.com.