My recent research on the viability of using velvet bean as a cover/grazing crops for the rabbits has made me realize how mechanized farming has become. If seeds cannot be extracted from pods easily, then the seed is not readily available. When a seed is not readily available, then it is not used. Velvet bean is an example of that. It is a great cover crop and will likely work very well for feeding rabbits, but getting seed has proven difficult. Apparently, harvesting the beans from the pods is extremely labor intensive, can cause intense itching (velvet bean is also called cow-itch) and the pods are very hard and difficult to open.
Velvet bean is extensively grown in other countries, but not in this highly industrialized country.
I am still going to grow some seed, but it may not be viable as a pasture crop.
Like with so many things involving farming, if it does not grow fast, on minimal feed, is not able to be harvested in a mechanized manner, then it is no longer grown in this age of industrial farming. It’s a shame really because we are missing out on so much, primarily, biodiversity.
At Spellcast Farm, we maintain several breeds of heritage animals and plant only open-pollinated, non-GMO seed. I wish physically I had started this journey 20 years ago, but 20 years ago, I lacked the maturity that I have now.
If you are reading this, say a little prayer, cross your fingers, knock on wood or something that I pass the math test. The first half of the test is today, the second tomorrow. The math is ridiculously simple, but the terminology is hanging me. I look at a problem and say to myself, I know how to do this … I think … Frustrating!
Until later …