I’ve been reading in forums about the SmartLav – a lavalier microphone made by RODE that connects to your iPhone. Used as a backup or to grab audio from an additional person or source while filming, this sounded like a good item to have in my kit. But before spending the $60, I wondered what would happen if I connected my spare ECM-V1BMP lavalier mic to my iPhone. After installing RODE’s free app “RODE Rec LE” I hooked up the mic, pinned it to my lapel, and VOILA! Decent audio recorded in 44.1 kHz onto my always-with-me smart phone.
After the standing ovation Allan Savory received at his Tufts University presentation in January, 2013, an event on the following day was hosted and introduced by Seth Itzkan of Planet-TECH Associates. This panel discussion highlighted Allan Savory’s views on how to restore the vitality of degraded soils and their importance to the health of our planet. Professor William Moomaw of the Fletcher School at Tufts participated and August ‘Gus’ Jaccaci emceed the discussion.
During the HMI Future Farmers program, Ian Mitchell-Innes took a few minutes to share his knowledge about how Holistic Management Planned Grazing adapts the use of livestock to restore the diversity and vitality of soils. This removes carbon from the air and safely deposits it into the ground where the subsoil organisms thrive and plants increase in amount and nutrition. Grazing animals are allowed to consume this forage but they’re moved to allow the plants to fully recover before being grazed again. A hopeful approach to strengthen local farmers’ businesses, regional economies, and improve the quality of local food.
Ian Mitchell-Innes’ bio:
Ian Mitchell-Innes is a South African whose family has been on the same ranch since 1863. He has practiced many forms of ranching and farming: growing crops, feedlotting, conventional extensive ranching, irrigated tropical and cool season grasses. At the age of 48, he determined to practice Holistic Management, and completed the Certified Educators Program. Over the past 8 years, Ian has trained ranchers, farmers, families, businesses and communities in Holistic Management.
After taking Holistic Management Financial planning training, he turned off his irrigation pumps and has never turned them on again. He ceased all forms of farming (turning the soil). This amounted to a huge savings with no electricity, tractor, labor or fertilizer costs.
He reports that no dosing or dipping is done and as far as possible no chemicals are used. This past year the only supplementation given to all the cattle has been salt and bone meal (phosphate). No hay, bales or protein licks are used at all.
High Density Grazing and Holistic Grazing Planning have resulted in such an increased production and palatability of grass that half the ranch has been leased out for three years. This is despite the country being in the worst drought of 40 years. The utilization of the available grass has improved to the point of having to bring in more cattle to prepare the ground for spring.
Allan Savory, co-founder of The Savory Institute, has dedicated his life to finding ways to restore grasslands, even those that have degraded into deserts. Growing up in Zimbabwe, he has developed a method using livestock to stand in for the former massive herds of grazing animals that kept grasslands healthy. Called Holistic Management, farmers in environments ranging from dry and brittle to humid can increase the number of animals on their land (and their income) while sequestering significant amounts of atmospheric gases safely into the soil. Offering promise in a time of grim environmental news, Allan Savory’s message is hopeful and inspiring.
Question & Answer Session following Allan Savory’s presentation on January 25th, 2013 at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. Students, environmentalists, and concerned citizens posed questions for the co-founder of The Savory Institute.
Excerpted from Allan Savory’s presentation on January 25, 2013 at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, this segment highlights examples of how Holistic Management restores grasslands from land that’s degraded to desert. This innovative, natural, and simple idea mimics Nature by using careful management of livestock to stimulate the regrowth of grasses, animals, and puts large amount of greenhouse gases (GHG’s) from the air into the soil.
Event sponsored by The Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University, and Planet-TECH Associates of Somerville, MA. Videography provided by Local Flavor LLC.
Sorry for the cliche, but it’s actually true – farmers who use Holistic Management grazing planning can reverse global warming, raise healthier animals, and produce higher quality food. Just how challenging farming is was underlined in a meeting last Tuesday at Mt. Vernon Farm. Owner Cliff Miller and Manager Mike Peterson plus neighbor farmer Mike Sands joined Seth Itzkan and I to discuss how Allan Savory’s grazing methods have benefited their Virginia grass-fed meat sales. They’ve been using the technique of moving their livestock, which includes cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens around their extensive pastures. Although this may sound like the same old grazing planning, or rotational grazing, it’s actually quite different. You can learn more about this way of farming livestock by going to The Savory Institute.
The inventor of this counter-intuitive way to restore soil and ecological diversity is a man named Allan Savory, who just gave a Ted 2013 Talk – Allan Savory Ted 2013 talk.
Consumers who are concerned about eating healthy food and restoring our polluted environment can achieve both by supporting farmers who adopt Savory’s livestock methods. Buying Holistically Managed grass fed meat and dairy will enable farmers to run a successful business while at the same time making a big impact on reducing greenhouse gases.
Owner Cliff Miller took me on a tour of Mt. Vernon Farm’s renovated barn for weddings and events. It’s a huge structure and you have to see it with the lights on at night to appreciate how magical it looks. Mt. Vernon’s web site is here. Be sure to check out the animal gallery – Molly Peterson is a truly gifted photographer.
Stopped off to see manager Mike Peterson and bought some hamburger, skirt steaks, and stew meat. They also have lamb, pork, and Ayrshire Farm organic chickens. The remarkable thing about Mike and Cliff’s approach is that they feed their sheep and cattle NO GRAIN. They also don’t use chemicals, antibiotics, vaccines, or hormones. Not many people know how rare this is – the cattle and sheep eat grass, period. Plus, they manage the pastures holistically which is great for the environment. The meat tastes absolutely delicious, it’s affordable, and we’re lucky to live nearby.
I couldn’t wait to put my new camera crane to work on shoots, but I really didn’t like how wobbly my IndiSystem AirjibXL felt on my budget video pan head. The jib, loaded with my DSLR and counterweights just felt too heavy; to avoid unwanted drooping of the jib I had to tighten the tilt adjustment so forcefully I worried that it would eventually break. Plus, sliding the quick release plate with crane attached on and off the head was ungainly and awkward, and, I have to admit, swearing often occurred.
There had to be a better way, so I hunted around on some forums and found ProAm USA’s $59.00 360 Degree Panning Bearing Mount to 3/8″ Tripod Legs. I ordered one and because it was designed for a ProAm USA jib, my crane’s base was too thick to work with the provided bolt and bearing. I found a longer 3/8″ bolt and a Grainger thrust bearing laying around and Voila! my AirjibXL now mounts easily on my heavy duty Bogen tripod and spins smoothly 360 degrees with only light finger pressure. Problem solved!
Video for Alex Sharp of Thomas & Talbot Real Estate
Video for owner of cabin in the mountains above Luray, Virginia
You hear people calling for a return to the “good old days” when most of our farming was done on small family farms. Unfortunately, those days of small and medium sized family farms are gone, baby gone. At the end of World War II, nearly half (47%) of the U.S. population lived in the country. Farms were able to make a living by selling to their neighbors.
Today, only 14% of Americans live outside urban centers, and small farmers have few local customers to buy their products; they have to drive to the city to sell direct at farmer’s markets. Recently, Food Hubs, CSA’s and some buying clubs are helping farmers get products to customers, but most small to medium-sized farmers have to take time away from growing food to sell retail.
The demand for local food products is increasing, but smaller farms are hard-pressed to make a profit. Many have a day job. Cost of equipment, fuel, land, seed and animal feed eat into profits. With prospects for making a living on the land being so poor, it’s a wonder that anyone chooses to go into farming at all.
Ayrshire’s heritage cow/calf herd is made up of a number of breeds, including Ancient White Park (white body, black noses) and Highland (fuzzy forelocks and wide horns). Early on a spring morning looking at the Blue Ridge in Upperville, VA. at Ayrshire Farm.
Holistic Management International is presenting the results from its first year program working with Rappahannock County farms at a Town Meeting on May 31st. Cliff Miller (owner) and Mike Peterson (Farm Manager) discuss how HMI’s Future Farms Program has improved the productivity of one of their pastures.
David and Wooz Schumacher raise Devon cattle on their pastures. David tells how the methods for planning, managing and measuring results taught by Holistic Management International has helped he and Wooz run their farm.
Mike Biniak talks about how his participation in the first year of the HMI Future Farms Program Holistic Management Intl has helped him increase the productivity of Belle Meade Farm, Sperryville, VA a multi-species farm.
Erin Pearson raises horses, cattle, and goats on her beautiful farm. After a year she explains how the HMI Future Farms Program Holistic Management Intl. has taught her better ways to manage her pastures and animals, cut costs, and plan for the future.
Found in the text of Ian Fleming’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is James Bond’s only recipe – for an at-table salad dressing. Brian Lichorowic shows how to whip this up and put it on some salad greens and The Home Farm Store’s Turkey Kiev.
This quick spot is online and looping on a TV in the Home Farm Store in Middleburg, VA. The organic seedling boxes come in three sizes for small, medium and large-sized gardens.
Brian Lichorowic and I finished this video in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2012, and I’m a little slow in posting it here. At the end of the shoot, we sampled the corned beef (and it was very good) but the corned veal is amazing – tender, subtle, and delicious. Ayrshire Farm raises veal calves they get from dairy farms (the calves normally go to feedlots) and puts them out on grass. Not your father’s veal, you can get it at the Home Farm Store in Middleburg, Va.
Filmed the Hazzard Homecoming festival held last August in Sperryville, VA – the DVD is released and is on sale at Cooter’s Place. Lots of great people, cars, music, food and Dukes of Hazzard fans! Yeehaw!