Category ArchiveMeet the Sabos
When we purchased the 6000+ acres of ground in 2004, it had been over grazed for decades. Nothing but a sea of grass. The border of the Lake, a significant stopping point for migratory waterfowl, was seamless grass- no cover, no willows, no cattails.
Mark and I gave the land a year of rest, then started to manage grazing to keep livestock OFF the lake borders. $2000+ in materials, hours of permanent fence creation, and many more hours of erecting electric fence to control access to the Lake shore has born fruit.
The cattle stay within the borders of the water gap (you can see where the few willows within the gap have been avidly browsed by the visiting cattle), and the willows and trees keep growing around all borders of the Lake.
Migrating waterfowl and other birds LOVE the border zone! Coots and greebs use the submerged willows early in the summer as protective cover for themselves and their chicks. Yellow-headed Blackbirds nest by the hundreds in the willows at the shallow end of the Lake, suspending their pendulous nests safely above the muddy waters.
Many of us dislike glyphosate, found in RoundUp and other herbicides. One of the things it does is to block the absorption of MANGANESE from the soil. It blocks other minerals’ absorption also, but here’s some farming information about manganese that might be interesting to both farmers and livestock producers.
Manganese is high in the seed heads of grasses- livestock and humans need manganese to produce eggs and sperm. If we breed our Montana livestock back in July & August, when seeds are being produced by native grasses, we take advantage of naturally occurring higher levels of manganese in forages- for better breed back and pregnancy percentages!
“…Carbon determines the depth of the magnetic field across an acre of land. The next item of importance to maintenance of a basic electrical field is manganese. If manganese is not present, seeds will not sprout….Manganese is one of the heaviest elements essential for crop production…. It take at least 12 atoms of nitrogen to capture one of manganese. (hence the importance of adequate nitrogen in our soils! emphasis mine) Nitrate nitrogen is one of the main negatively charged elements in the soil, the other chief ones being calcium, atomic weight 40, and potassium, atomic weight 39.102…. If each calcium atom gave up all …units of energy, only four atoms would be required to capture one atom of manganese. No element will give up that much of itself, therefore a great many more than four will be required to capture that single atom of manganese. It may take as many as 15 or 20. If we have one pound of manganese per acre, it might take 500 pounds of calcium to serve up the energy needed to capture that manganese. A low test weight on a crop means that the soil was not working correctly to capture the necessary manganese. Certain symptoms can assist the farmer in reading the situation. If the soil is sticky, it may be so hungry the calcium can give up very little of its energy to capture the manganese. Soil that isn’t trying to grab the boot off your feet will give up calcium more readily.” p. 47
“Mainline Farming for Century 21” Dan Skow DVM & Charles Walters
Do any of us know that grains such as wheat, barley, etc, should have SOLID stems- indicating adequate calcium?
I always thought that wheat should have a hollow stem. That cool hollow tube of a wheat stem is actually an indicator of ill health and inadequate mineralization and an incomplete food for wheat’s consumers.
Kiril Sabo is our pastured poultry specialist at Sabo Ranch. He cares for our laying hens and ducks every morning before school or church- often in the dark!
His eggs feed our FAMILY, GROWING CHICKS, GROWING HOGS, and our ranch CATS and DOGS.
There is a lot of debate these days about HEALTH CARE, when we are actually debating ILLNESS CARE, and usually CHRONIC illness care.
Mark and I discuss with visitors and friends the issue of cheap food equalling cheap nutrition all the time. Its just part of our lives now. I attend Weston Price meetings to learn, and also with my marketing hat on- so people who understand what we’re doing know that we exist.
We recently hosted and enjoyed a wonderful visit with Francois-Xavier, Cecile, and Emma(age 6) Delemotte, originally of Montreal and now total nomads (www.nomad-dream.org). Having sold their home and possessions, the family is cycling around the world for 3 years, and stopped by for a couple of weeks of WOOFFing to experience farm life and rest after they started cycling 2-1/2 months ago in Vancouver.
Emma milked cows, patted pigs, caught chickens, chased ducks, ate good food, taught Little Anne, our 24 month old Border Collie, good “child manners” (i.e. submit to ALL hugs, at any time!), and gave the tooth fairy reason to visit the ranch on her first night here. Cecile helped immensely in the kitchen, and used her strong rock climbing hands to ably milk the Jerseys with Jenny. F-X picked Nanking cherries until his hands turned red, photographed everything, and helped with everything from moving and sorting cattle to taking 10 year old Kiril Sabo on a 16 mile bike trip south to Norris, MT at the Delemott’s departure!
We encourage other farms to host WWOOFers and wonderful visitors from abroad. Our time with the Delemottes was filled with children playing together and finding a common bilingual language, discussions about farming, and parenting, and concerns about the future of the environment that supports us all. This planet is truly small and precious, and opening our home to such wonderful visitors, such great new friends, reminds us that wherever we have been born, whatever language we speak, we are the same in our hearts.
This is my first day on the Sabo Ranch and these are a few of my first impressions. Only some things are consistent. The cows and chickens need to be watched on a daily basis. The way in which the runts interact with the other animals effects the way the feeding is done. The overall rhythm of things is considerably consistent, every morning the cows and chickens are fed and checked on.
The family is very much just a family with a significant amount of chores that need to be done. Kiril (age six) and Riley (age nine) help, play or work all the time. Riley seems to know everything there is to know about his ranch. Kiril is still learning the way things work from his brother. Both boys have their own set of things to do around the house. Every evening someone goes out to the chicken coup to collect the eggs.
The family could not have been more welcoming or better teachers. I look forward to more days of work and learning with this kind family.
Sabo Ranch remains fully committed to helping high school and college students experience life on a Montana cattle ranch.
Jules Feeney will try his hand at driving the ranch pickup for feeding cattle, loading bales, milking cows, tending chickens and ducks, living off-the-grid, and eating in season in a Montana winter. He will also attend a Bozeman Winter Farmers Market (as a farmer!), and watch a grassfed beef getting butchered, and cut up, at our local butcher “Montana’s Best Meats” for steaks and burger.
Before leaving- Jan. 26, 2010
by Jules Feeney
When I first decided I wanted to spend my winter internship in Montana at Sabo ranch I was expecting to do a few thing around and help out. But as the weeks went on and the time for me to leave came closer I realized I would be a real ranch hand doing everything and anything. So out of everything I want to learn to ride a horse because I’ve never actually ridden one before.
What I remember from the last time I was out on the ranch was the horse pulled sled riding. This a fond memory but not the driving force that has me returning as an intern. My dad has been encouraging me to get out in the world and work. We had talked about doing this in the summer but the time was never right. But when I had this opportunity with my school I decided this was my chance.
It’s had to say what I want to bring home with me before I’ve even seen what’s up for me to take home. However a sense of accomplishment and support that I can then provide for my family back home in the city life is something that sounds appealing.
The preparations were mainly thinking about my trip and preparing for the cold but also making sure I had the right clothes for the weather was another big part. But from what I’ve done in the way of packing and preparing I feel safe and ready for another learning experience.
Sabo Ranch has space for one Intern Sept-Dec. 2010. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 406-685-3248.
Meet the Sabos saboranch on 18 Dec 2009
When a farm kid plays at home, he knows what he’s doing when he reaches into the box of toys and animals! Kiril, age 6-3/4, built and photographed this, and wanted to add it to our website, so here it is.