Guide to Companion Planting

Companion planting is based around the idea that certain plants can benefit others when planted next to, or close to one another.

Companion planting exists to benefit certain plants by giving them pest control, naturally without the need to use chemicals, and in some cases they can give a higher crop yield .

Generally, companion planting is thought of as a small-scale gardening practice, but it can be applied on larger-scale operations. It has been proven that by having a beneficial crop in a nearby field that attracts certain insects away from a neighbouring field that has the main crop can prove very beneficial. This action is called trap cropping.

While companion planting has a long history, the benefits of companion planting have not always been understood. Traditional recommendations, for companion planting have been used by gardeners for a long time, but recent tests are proving scientifically, that they work.

Other ways that companion planting can be beneficial is to plant a crop like any Legumes, on an area where it will feed nitrogen into the soil, then it will not be necessary to use any chemical fertilizers for the next crop.

The African marigold, along with other plants, are  well known for companion planting, as they exude chemicals from their roots or aerial parts that suppress or repel pests and protect neighbouring plants.

Companion planting also exists in a physical way. For example, tall-growing, sun-loving plants may share space with lower-growing, shade-tolerant species, resulting in higher total yields from the land. This is called spatial interaction, and can also yield pest control benefits, for example, the presence of the prickly vines is said to discourage raccoons from ravaging sweet corn.

Another type of companion planting is called Nurse cropping, where tall or dense-canopied plants may protect more vulnerable plants through shading or by providing a windbreak. For example, oats have long been used to help establish alfalfa and other forages by supplanting the more competitive weeds that would otherwise grow in their place. In many instances, nurse cropping is simply another form of physical-spatial interaction.

Beneficial habitats-sometimes called refugia-are another type of companion planting that has received a lot of attention in recent years. The benefit is derived when companion plants provide a good environment for beneficial insects, and other arthropods, especially those predatory and parasitic species that help to keep pest populations in check.

Article written by Valerie Dancer, courtesy of Companion Planting

 

Now that you know about companion planting, learn how to keep your plants warm and extend the growing season: Cold Frames= Warm Plants
What plants do you like to grow together?

Making a Living on a Small Farm

Article by John Ikerd

In times past, forty acres, a mule, and a lot of hard work were all that it took to make a living on a farm. But those times are gone. A family could live well on a lot less money in those times, but hard work also was worth a lot more back then – regardless of whether it was done by a mule or by a man. The conventional wisdom was that anyone who was willing to work hard enough could make it on the farm. During the financial crisis of the 1980s, many farmers virtually “worked themselves to death” trying to save their farm. If they could just work hard enough, they could make it. But, they couldn’t  – they went broke.

Work simply isn’t worth as much as it once was – at least not on the farm.  Tractors took the place of horses and mules.  Other machinery and equipment took most of the work out of most jobs around the farm.   Physical labor isn’t worth any more than the cost of using a machine to do the same job – maybe even less because machines are less bothersome to fix or replace and far easier to manage than are humans.

Mechanization made farming easier.  Farmers became machine operators rather than laborers.  But a mechanized farmer could farm a lot more land or raise a lot more livestock than could a farmer doing everything by hand.  And farmers still had to expect to put in full-time on the job if they expected to make a full-time living.  So a full-time mechanized farmer had to have a lot more land and a lot more capital tied up in machinery and equipment just to make a living.  With mechanization, farms became larger and it became more difficult to make a living on a small farm.

Agricultural chemicals also made farming easier, taking some additional labor out of farming, but mostly, making a farm far easier to manage.  A farmer didn’t need to know nearly as much about maintaining the natural fertility of the soil  – they could take a soil test and apply the right fertilizers.  They could specialize in crops or livestock – they didn’t need manure to go back onto the fields to maintain fertility.  Farmers didn’t need to know how to till the fields to control weeds – they could spray with herbicides.  They didn’t need to understand how to use crop rotations to control weeds, insects and other pest – they could use commercial pesticides.  Livestock farmers didn’t need to know how to keep their animals healthy and growing, they had antibiotics and hormones to fill in the gaps in their knowledge.  Farmers now could farm by recipe.  As farms became easier to manage, each farmer was able to farm more land or raise more livestock.  However, a farmer still had to expect to put in full time on the job to earn a full time living.  So with increasing use of agricultural chemicals, farms grew still larger, and it became still more difficult to make a living on a small farm.

In economic terms, there are only four basic factors of production, or four basic ingredients in any production process – land, labor, capital, and management.  Over time, machines, agri-chemicals, and other technologies have resulted in substitution of capital and land for labor and management.  Consequently, a typical full-time farm today requires far more land and capital today than fifty years ago.  It takes far more money to buy and operate a farm today because of high land and equipment costs and expenses for fertilizers, pesticides and other commercial inputs.  But, in a typical farm today, labor and management are far less important than fifty years ago.  If a farmer has enough land and enough money to buy the latest equipment and technology, they don’t have to work much or even think much – except about how to manage their money.

In economic terms, each of the four factors earns something in return for its contribution to productivity.  Land earns rent, labor earns wages, capital earns interest, and management earns a salary.  Profit or loss is the reward or penalty for taking the risk associated with investing land, labor, capital, and management in an enterprise without knowing whether the net results will be positive or negative.  Profit is the reward for taking the risk of farming rather than renting the land, putting the money in an insured CD, and working for someone else. In general, each factor of production earns a return in relation to its contribution to the production process.

As the nature of farming has changed, the returns to land and capital have grown and the returns to labor and management have declined.  It isn’t necessary to quote statistics; it’s just plain common sense.   Returns to labor and management are returns to the farmer – to the human investment in a farming operation.  The land and capital can be owned by anyone – increasingly by someone other than the farmer.  Actual farming is about working and thinking – labor and management.  And in general, the return to farming can be no more than proportional to the working and thinking done by the farmer.  If there isn’t much working and thinking going into producing a crop or a batch of livestock, there isn’t going to be much in it for the farmer – and it will be tough to make a living without a lot more land and capital. Farmers who don’t do much working or thinking simply can’t expect to make a living on a small farm.

The ultimate low-return agriculture is contract production.   Farmers are being told that the only way they can remain competitive in agriculture is by signing a comprehensive production contract with one of the giant agribusiness corporations.  But, farmers need to stop and think – who can logically expect to benefit from contract production?  Under most contracts, the corporation arranges for capital – mostly loans to be repaid by the grower. The corporation provides all of the technology – genetics, equipment, feed, health care, etc.  And the corporation provides virtually all of the management – the grower’s mainly do what they are told to do.  The grower provides the labor, but the highly mechanized operations require little labor.  Contract livestock or poultry operations require little land, although the grower is expected to find some place to dispose of manure.  In summary, the grower provides a small amount of equity capital, a small amount of land, and some low-skilled labor.  The corporation provides everything else. The grower gets a fixed amount per animal produced, regardless of costs or price, so the contractor even takes most of the risk.  So who is going to benefit from a corporate contract operation?  Certainly not the grower – the grower doesn’t do anything that would justify making a living in such an operation.

So what does all this say about making a living on a small farms?  It says small farmers have to put a lot more of themselves into their operations – a lot more management and labor – than do most farmers today.  It says a farmer can’t expect to make a decent living if someone else makes all of the important decisions and they only contribute some low-skilled labor.   It says that farmers must rely on management and labor far more and rely on land and capital far less if they expect to make a living on a small farm.  It says that the way to turn a small farm into a full-time farming operation is to find ways to substitute management and labor for land and capital.

There is a limit to how hard anyone can work or, more important, would want to work on a farm.  Working harder is still not the secret to making a living on the farm – even though most of us would be better off if we did a bit more physical labor and a bit less sitting.  However, thinking is potentially far more productive and is far less limiting than is working. So the key to making a living on a small farm is more intensive management mixed with an appropriate amount of skilled labor.  A small farmer has less land and capital so they have to do more thinking and decision making per acre or dollar invested – and they have to be willing to work when working is the logical thing to do.  They have to put more of themselves into it if they expect to get more for themselves out of it.  The successful farmer of the future might quite accurately be labeled a thinking worker or a working thinker – the key is to do both together, simultaneously, in harmony.

It takes more thinking to work with nature to reduce costs of inputs and increase profits while taking care of the land  – more eyes per acre as Wes Jackson says.  It takes more thinking to find and keep customers who want, and are willing to pay for, the things a small farmer can produce in harmony with nature – relationship marketing as Joel Salatin calls it.  It takes more thinking to fit your unique talents and skills as a farmer to the needs of your land, to your particular customers and your community – linking people, purpose, and place.  Literally thousands of these thinking workers are on small farms today all across the land – putting more of themselves into their operations and are getting more for themselves in return.  Each is doing something different, but one by one they are finding ways to make a good living on a small farm.

Link Photo by Robert Moore

 

Take a peek at some of the Farm Masters content with this awesome video with Fred Mertz about a new way of farming.

Do you live on a small farm? Share your story!

 

 

Homesteading Tips

Alderman Farms is a small homestead focused on self-sufficiency and thriftiness. Located in Brookhaven, Mississippi their desire is to promote good old-fashioned methods of small farming, using traditional American skills and “know how”.

Their values are evident on their website, blog and social media where they share their homesteading tips, and everyday farm life with us. On their different online media you can follow along as they investigate inspirational techniques such as Back to Eden Gardening, creating a sustainable permaculture, raising critters humanely with loving care, and preserving the heritage of homesteading for future generations.

Below are just 2 of the great videos they have created to share their experience and knowledge with others. Check them out, because who hasn’t needed to stretch a fence at one time or another with only the pliers in your back pocket?

Happy Homesteading!

How to tighten fence with nothing but pliers

How to set a corner post without concrete

 

For more homesteading tips check outDIY Powdered Laundry Soap andDIY Wood Pallet Shelf

Do you have any homesteading tips?

DIY Wood Pallet Shelf

Learn how to make a DIY wood pallet shelf. It’s super easy, just follow the steps below.

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1 wood pallet Chainsaw or Skill Saw
Drill Screws
Paint or Wood Stain Sand Paper
Paint Brush or Rag Hammer
Scrap piece of wood (optional) Stencils, Acrylic Paint & Varnish (optional

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Lay your pallet on a flat surface
Cut the inner 2×4’s across the top of the second 1×6 from the bottom

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Now that you have the outline of the shelf we need to put a base on it. You can either use a piece of 1×6 pulled off the MIDDLE of the pallet (that way you still leave wood for a shelf from the opposite end of the pallet) or you can use any scrap of lumber that cover the gap at the bottom.

Stand the shelf so that the bottom of it is facing UP and lay the board you are using for the bottom on top of that. Hold securely and attach the bottom board with about 3 screws on each end, and 3 into the middle 2×4. Remember to make sure your board is flush with the wood on the side of the shelf that goes against the wall or it won’t hang right.

If your board is longer than the shelf now is the time to cut it off. If the board you used for the bottom is wider than the shelf you can either leave it as is or trim it off with your saw.

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Now, just like that we have our shelf. Round up a scrap of sand paper and give the rough edges a bit of a sanding. I am going for “rustic” (or lazy) here so I just cleaned up anything that would leave slivers!

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Using either left over wood stain or paint give your shelf some color using a paint brush or a rag depending on the product. Let it dry.

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After the paint/stain is dry if you want to spice it up a bit you can add just about anything you like to the front of the shelf. For my own shelf I chose to do a quote with a simple graphic done in acrylic paint.

To finish it off, I recommend giving it a coat of a varnish or clear acrylic sealer which is available at most craft or hardware stores. This way the paint doesn’t bleed and you can wipe the shelf down as needed.

The Principles of Organic Farming

Article by the Organic Farming Blog

Since the 90s, marketing organic produce has been growing so fast. It averages 20 to 25 percent each year, reaching $33 Billion (American) in 2005. The demand to manage farmlands is also increasing in percentage. Now, there is about 30.6 million hectares around the globe which are farmed organically—that’s 2% of all the farmland in the world. Why is this so? It is because of the many benefits a farmer can get from organic farming. Here are some of them:

  • Organic farming supports higher level of wildlife. Animals can freely roam around. Actually, it’s not only the wildlife that is being supported but also the whole ecosystems.
  • Organic farming methods can reduce production cost by more than 25%. It is because these methods shun the use of pesticides and fertilizers—these minimize soil erosion by over 50%.
  • Soils in organic farms are rich in micro nutrients which can last for decades and grow crops for a long time.
  • The products of organic farms are better than conventional foods because they are healthier and they taste so good.
  • Organic foods promote healthy living. These reduce the risk of having strokes, heart attacks or cancer.
  • More and more consumers are shifting to organic diets and year after year their numbers are growing. Thus, the profit in this business is huge.

However, to sustain these benefits, you need to follow some principles and ideas. Here are some of them:

  • Produce food of soaring nutritional quality in adequate quantity
  • Interact with natural systems in a constructive and developmental way
  • Encourage and develop biological cycles in the farm, always involve micro organisms, plants and animals, soil flora and fauna
  • Conserve the soil and water
  • Improve the soil quality and amplify soil fertility
  • Promote the proper care and the good use of water, water resources and everything in it
  • Use nutrient elements and organic matter
  • Work with substances and materials that can be recycled and reused
  • Let the livestock such the fishes, poultry, fishes, and other farm animals to perform the normal aspects of their natural behavior
  • Maintain genetic diversity of agricultural system which includes the protection and guarding of wildlife habitats and plant
  • Minimize forms of pollution which can lead to chaos
  • Promote the human rights of all involve in the organic production and processing
  • Foster ecological and indigenous production systems which will make sufficient, safe and healthy food for your local communities

 

Link photo by Suzie’s Farm

Now that you know the principles of organic, do you think organic farming can become mainstream? Read “Can Organic Farming Become Mainstream?” to find out more.

Do you have any other principles of organic farming that you think should be included in the above list?
You might also like:

Worm Factory 360

Worm Factory

Zero Tillage a Cornerstone of Healthy Soils and Healthy Food

Zero Tillage

Not Enough Time? It’s The Easy Excuse

Ever hear (or think) these statements?

“I’d really like to get out of my office and talk to our employees, but I just don’t have time.”

“It would be great to get together and reconnect, but I don’t know where I’ll find the time.”

“We should do more fun things as a couple.  But with our schedules, there’s no time.”

“I know I should start going to the gym.  I’ve got to free up some time.”

Aren’t you glad your name isn’t Time?  It would be a demanding and thankless role.  Most people want more of you everyday, yet they blame you for all of their incompletions, inefficiencies, lack of production, lack of happiness, and broken relationships.

“I just don’t have enough Time.” It’s more common than the common cold.

Quite frankly, I think time is an easy, societally accepted, BS excuse.  I fall into the trap of using it sometimes.  What about you?

So, if you use time as an excuse, here are your challenges (should you choose to accept them) – only two things and they won’t take much of your time:

1. prioritization of what you do with your time, and

2. ensuring what you do creates happiness.

1. Prioritization – aligning your activities with your values.

In other words, what’s most important to you?  In her transformational e-book, “Creating the Life You Truly Desire: A New Approach to Goal Setting,” Theresia LaRocque has a series of powerful exercises to help you identify and clarify your most important values, and set goals based upon those values.  Here’s a really short version.

I invite you to grab a coffee, some high-tech instruments (paper and pen), and write a list of what is most important to you. Examples: family, work, money, physical health, mental health, relationships, research/learning, recreation, community, etc.

Put a check mark beside six or eight that are most important to you.  As you ponder on those, you’ll likely find that they are only a “means” to an “end” – to something that is deeper and even more important.  What are those ends values for you?  i.e. Family is a means to what deeper value?  Work is a means to what deeper value?

I invite you to make another list, and it could be 10 to 20 values.  Examples: achievement, affection, balance, environment, contribution, love, fun, recognition, security, connection, spirituality, etc.

Rank each of these on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not important, and 10 being extremely important to you.

Now I invite you to choose 3 that are the most important to you.

When you think about the activities and tasks you do, which ones align with 1 or more of those values?  And how do you feel when you are doing (or have done) those activities?

2. Creating happiness – planning your activities to align with those values – at least most of the time.

You might be thinking, “But I hate my work and it doesn’t leave much time for things that are most important.”  In very extreme cases, a change of career may be appropriate.

To experience happiness in our activities, it requires a choice of attitude and a loving approach to relationships.

I really don’t want to take the time to change oil, rotate tires, or clean our vehicles.  I don’t want to take the time to write marketing material, make phone calls, or update our websites.   I don’t want to take the time to dispose of garbage, mow grass (or shovel snow), or clean toilets.  But those are tasks that allow us to live comfortably, and allow us to help others enhance their lives through the work we do.  So, I choose to see the value and I decide to enjoy them.  And I know I’m far more effective and productive when I make that choice.

Where in your life, can you choose a more positive attitude toward your tasks?

I invite you to think about some upcoming tasks that may not be your favourites.  We all have them.  Imagine what it can feel like by choosing to see the benefit you are creating for yourself and others.  In your positive state of mind, how can you make your contribution the most valuable and effective?

It’s an easy choice that doesn’t take much time.

And how can you approach your relationships with yourself and others in loving way, in every thought, word, and interaction, regardless of the task?

In the work Carol and I do with corporations, and the coaching we do with individuals and couples, we have never seen or heard of a problem that was anything more than a relationship problem at its core.

Sure, there can be mechanical and technical challenges, yet the most effective resolution is always based in healthy, loving relationships.

Relationships may seem complex, yet the foundational choice is very simple – love rather than not-love.  Yes, even in a work environment.  Love includes attributes like: kindness, compassion, trust, and respect.  I believe we need to make love an integral part of everything we do.

It’s an easy choice that doesn’t take much time.

You and I have exactly the same amount of time each day.  I don’t know about you, but from here on, I’m choosing to do just 2 things with my time: 1) prioritize what I do with my time, and 2) experience happiness in everything I do.

What choices are you making NOW?

Interested in reading more from Dan Ohler, check out his article titled “Want to feel stress-free positive results?”

Planning to Succeed – Small-Farm Entrepreneurs Create Success

by Hugh Maynard, courtesy of Farm Credit Canada

Swimming against the tide is not always the easiest way to succeed, but that’s just what some small farms in Canada are doing.

One trend has been to get an off-farm job to stay in business. Farmers in some developing countries are leaving the land in droves. In fact, 2007 was the first year in human history when more people lived in an urban rather than a rural setting.

The contrarians are a new breed of urban and semi-urban farmers who have jobs or retirement packages and are taking on farming as a sideline or as a developing business opportunity. Postmedia News reports that women now make up 30 per cent of organic farmers. They often cater to families through community-supported agriculture and report sales of under $50,000 a year.

The urban agriculture venture Sandy Aberdeen of Calgary, Alta., started with his son began after he was given the bronze parachute by his company. They convince developers with unused land to let them turn it into vegetable gardens. The developer gets goodwill from being community-minded and green, while they get free land. From rooftop gardens to back porch greenhouses, small-farm entrepreneurs can be found across the country.

There are, of course, limits to this trend. The largest 20 per cent of farmers will continue to produce 80 per cent of the food for the foreseeable future, and these types of small farms are not going to thrive without access to a committed and reasonably well-paid urban clientele. Yet there’s lots of potential for agriculture ventures in niche markets such as tourism and specialized restaurants.

Women now make up 30 per cent of organic farmers

Despite the contrast with a typical small farm – 50 head of cattle on an open range – the same rules for any small business will apply: get up early, keep a sharp pencil (actually a good computer would be better) and plan before you plant. Make allowances for the weather, use debt for investments rather than expenses, and get as much good advice as you can.

This last point is particularly important given that there’s not a lot of expertise out there to support these new farming entrepreneurs. Make sure your venture has a chance to succeed before you make it your only job.

Want to read more real-life farm management stories? Visit Farm Credit Canada and subscribe for free.

Link photo by Elliot Gilfix

 

Learn how to succeed by leaving the past behind, watch Kevin Gangel explain how leaving the past can help you build the future in farming:Building the Future: Leaving the Past

Do you have any secrets of success? Please feel free to share any tips you might have to help farmers succeed.

 

Gatorade for Calves

Home Remedy for Calf Scours

There are few things worse at calving time than the dreaded “calf scour outbreak”. While prevention is key in managing the health of young calves, there will likely be times when you need to rehydrate a calf.

Below is an excellent excerpt from an article which tells you how in an emergency you can make your own electrolyte remedy for calf scours with ingredients often found in your household.
“Although making your own oral rehydration solution for calves can be relatively simple if all the ingredients are available, it is easier to buy one that is already made up correctly. If you are in a bind and need to make your own, remember not to use table sugar for the glucose portion of it. Table sugar, or sucrose, is a carbohydrate that cannot be metabolized by cattle because they do not have the enzyme to break it down. Adding sucrose may actually increase scouring and worsen dehydration.

Feeding calves plain water does not work either when the calf is infected with a virus or bacteria that have affected absorption in the intestine. Water “follows” sodium into the intestine and therefore, both sodium and glucose need to be present for maximal water absorption. It is always best to have an oral rehydration solution on hand to treat scouring calves.”

Homemade example for an oral rehydration solution for calf scours from “Feeding the Newborn Dairy Calf” (1984):

1 tsp. low sodium salt

2 tsp. baking soda

1 ¾ oz. (1 packet) fruit pectin

1 can beef consommé

Add water to make 2 quarts. Feed at the rate of 1 pint per 10 pounds of bodyweight 3 to 4 times a day. Feed milk 2 to 3 hours before or after due to bicarbonate content.

Most resources show that pre-made electrolytes are likely your best option for treating calves with scours. One thing to note is that not all electrolytes are rated for treating calves with diarrhea. Products should state in their indications section of the label that they are intended to replace the salts and water that are lost in calves with diarrhea.

Here is a link to help you decide on which electrolytes in Canada are indicated for use inscouring calves. Of course there is nothing better than calling your veterinarian or asking their treatment advice, especially if you have multiple instances of scours during your calving season.

Do you have other resources, advice or personal experience to share on treating calf scours?

Want To Feel Stress-free Positive Results?

Ahhh yes, multi-tasking – the esteemed strategy of the over-whelmed, over worked, and broke.

Yup – it’s true.  I know from personal experience.  Go ahead and react if you want.  But honestly evaluate your results from multi-tasking before you choose to do it – or not.

Ever experience this?

You’re talking to someone on the phone, you can hear the clickety-clack of their keyboard, and then they ask you to repeat what you’ve just said?

Or, you’re explaining something important to your life-partner, he/she is facing you, nodding, but you can see their eyes are focussed on something else (the TV screen or a magazine)?

Or, you’re doing 3 or 4 tasks at the same time, the phone rings, you answer it as you head to the bathroom, and agree to send some information to them within the next few minutes?

That’s multi-tasking.  It destroys trust, which is the most foundational component of a relationship.

I’ve interviewed thousands of people who have indicated that multi-tasking is directly related to feeling rushed, anxious, and stressed.  Does it affect you that way?  These emotions negatively affect self-esteem, which is trust in your most important relationship – the one with self.

Here’s my perspective and some tips to say, “No” to multi-tasking.  Whether you agree or not, I’d love to hear your perspective.  Please send me a note.

Tips to build trust:

1. Make a list, before you go to bed tonight, of the prioritized tasks you will do tomorrow.  Use a high-tech piece of paper and a pen, so you won’t be distracted by fonts, formats, text messages, or other bells ‘n whistles.  Besides work, include self-full tasks such as exercise, family time, healthy meals, meditation, and reading. This pre-planning gets the brain engaged and working at an unconscious level, even before the tasks begin.  Plan for success by listing no more than what you know you can easily do.

2. When the day begins, focus on one task at a time.  Be totally present and intentional and notice the feelings of accomplishment as you knock tasks off your list – trust increases.

3. Allow the phone to take messages and the inbox to fill.  If you are expecting a call and the phone rings, mentally stop your current task and give your total attention to the caller.  Ask clarifying questions, listen carefully, and respond thoughtfully – trust increases.

4. Check and respond to phone messages and emails only at planned specific times – no more than once or twice per day and for a pre-determined time (i.e. 30 minutes).  In your responses, be very specific and concise about when you will call/respond and exactly what you want to talk about.

5. Learn to say “No” to the unimportant.  Learn to say “Yes” to the important and give yourself freedom to do those tasks in an intentional way.  For example, when asked to do a task or provide information, say, “Yes, I’m happy to help you and I’ll get that to you by tomorrow at 2:00pm.”  Then schedule that task for tomorrow and keep your commitments to yourself and others – trust increases.  Strive to under-promise and over-deliver.

6. When you eat, focus on what you are eating and any conversations at the table.  Avoid reading or watching TV while eating.  Be conscious of what you allow to enter your body and brain because input affects output. Garbage in; garbage out – trust decreases.  Healthy in; healthy out – trust increases.

7. When you exercise, focus on your movements, breathing, positive self-talk, and sensations – trust increases.  Avoid distracting and negative thoughts about work, economy, relationships, etc.

8. When with your life-partner or family, be totally energized and present for yourself and them.  Think, speak, and act in ways that build trust in those relationships – coming from love, rather than not-love.  If you need to vent about something, ask for permission.  If granted, be specific, concise, get it off your chest, and let it go – it’s done.  If permission is not granted, let it go and focus on the positives now.  Face it; others don’t care about your BS stories and grievances, they’ve got their own.

9. Learn to forgive yourself for your unloving, unproductive thoughts, words, and actions.  You can’t change the past.  Understand there is a lesson in every experience.  Use the lessons to move forward in a focused and effective way.

Since this is the time of the year for resolutions and commitments, why not commit NOW to applying these tips and replace multi-tasking with a focus, productivity, and love strategy?  Do it NOW.  You’ll see, hear, and feel the results you like.

For me?  Ahh, it feels great to complete this.  Next task?  Kayaking down the toboggan hill.  Yahoo!!

Article by Dan Ohler. Chech out his blog Thinkin’ Outside the Barn

Link Photo courtesy of Jeremy Price

 

 

In A Minute: The Entrepreneurial Hack DIY

We know how busy you all are and how you sometimes just don’t have a lot of time to take in the business information you need. Well have we got a solution for you, we introduce “In A Minute” the business advice section that will take you no longer than a minute to read!

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In this edition we asked two of our expert guides:

What entrepreneurial hacks have you developed to stay focused and productive in your day-to-day?

Kevin Kossowan

“Heavy reliance on synched calendars across devices, for one. Allows our family to stay on the same page, make calendar changes wherever we are, plan, and generally keep our act together. May sound small, but it hasn’t been. We use apple’s standard iCal.

The other for me lately has been choosing projects that I’m passionate and excited about. That way, when my toddler gets me up just before 5am, rather than loathe getting to work, it’s actually the first thing I want to do with my day. That’s a winner for keeping one productive.

Oh, and really good quality sound-ommitting headphones if you have little kids.”

Check out some of Kevin’s videos here.

Ernest Barbaric –  

“Every morning I make a list of items that are both outstanding (a running list of tasks) and ones that have to be competed that day. I’ll pick three to five to finish that day and not leave the desk until they’re done.”

Check out some of Ernest’s videos here.

Do you have any tips for improving your farm business?