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Category ArchiveMeet the Sabos

Articles &Meet the Sabos &Soil and Forage &Sustainable Agriculture saboranch on 09 Apr 2014

The importance of CALCIUM & MANGANESE

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.

The first step in making CHANGE is to NOTICE. This corn dolly made from our grasses shows that indicative hollow stem- our cattle's demand from the minerals tubs have shown that our hay is still lacking in calcium. This year, again, we are mineralizing our fields- an effort to move the available minerals into a more bioavailable form than the ground-up rocks in the mineral tubs. Those have worked for 5 years and that method is slowly remineralizing our fields through the cattle. Now it's time to ratchet up the process and put the minerals onto the fields!


Meet the Sabos &Sustainable Agriculture saboranch on 15 Feb 2014

Kiril Sabo’s Pastured Poultry activities

Kiril's pastured turkey fed us at Thanksgiving!

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.

Kiril caring for spring chicks in our greenhouse

A few of Kiril's heritage style Rhode Island Red chickens

Kiril's autumn pastured turkeys, half grown and eating LOTS of green grass.

Articles &Intern Diaries &Meet the Sabos &Sustainable Agriculture saboranch on 25 Nov 2013

Health and Responsibility

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.

Kiril Sabo raising organically fed, pastured turkeys this autumn.

I write a lot, and we host visitors a lot, to keep educating, to keep sending on information about how to find good health and good food.  We all want simple lives, but good food/good health in America comes by searching out the complicated issues and understanding them. Our customers are a tiny percentage of the whole– educated, thinking, questing, never satisfied with the easy answer.
We can raise livestock because they, like us, enjoy the easy answer– feed me your choice, my stomach will be full, and I’ll stay here until you butcher me……..  It’s a rather grim view of the world, but…!
That’s why this American health care issue works– the public is asking the “health care system ” to help them past their own terrible health choices, agreeing to follow you (the Feds & the conventional drug based medical system) and pay you (the health care system) the bulk of their lifetime earnings by the end.

The first litter of Sabo Ranch American Guinea Hogs- the perfect grazing hog- gentle, excellent mothers, easy keeping.

With 80% of health care costs taking place in the last month or two of life, many Americans are leaving this world far poorer than they or their families would wish.  Many Americans are also living a life of pain, with sore digestive tracts, sore joints, sore hearts, sore backs, and fuzzy minds– all due to their dietary choices.

All Sabo Ranch cattle are GRASSFED/GRASS FINISHED, for heath of cattle AND human consumers!

The life that we are leading requires personal responsibility, responsibility every day of our lives as we choose what to eat, how to live, how to raise our children in that responsibility.  It’s hard work.  Many rewards, but harder.
If we choose pastured meats, nutrient dense vegetables and fruits, and eat fermented grains in moderation, we can ameliorate a lot of our chronic illnesses such as arthritis, attention deficit disorders, allergies, heart inflammation, and even autism can often be ameliorated with responsible nutrient dense food choices.
I admire what all of you who are producing quality, nutrient dense foods are doing, and if you can stay the course, you will find that people start to depend on what you produce, because they are also making the hard choices and can’t raise all their own food, but want good food!

Intern Diaries &Meet the Sabos &Sustainable Agriculture saboranch on 02 Feb 2010

Sabo Ranch Internship Blog- Jules Feeney 2/1/10

Kiril Sabo and Jules Feeney start a snow fort on a winter afternoon

Kiril Sabo and Jules Feeney start a snow fort on a winter afternoon








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.

Intern Diaries &Meet the Sabos saboranch on 26 Jan 2010

Jules Feeney- Sabo Ranch Feb. 2010 Intern

Jules Feeney, age 15, calls the Washington D.C. area home.  Jules will be spending two weeks with us for his Winter Special Session from the Field School.

Jules Feeney, age 15, calls the Washington D.C. area home. Jules will be spending two weeks with us for his Winter Special Session from the Field School.

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

Blog 1

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 saboranch@gmail.com, or 406-685-3248.

Meet the Sabos saboranch on 26 Jan 2010

Kiril’s Ranch Artwork

Kiril Sabo, age 6 (photographed by his mother who faced him straight into the winter sun) with his Ranch Artwork.  Kiril has carefully drawn cows eating hay, calves lying down, and even busy bulls with their mates!

Kiril Sabo, age 6 (photographed by his mother who faced him straight into the winter sun) with his Ranch Artwork. Kiril has carefully drawn cows eating hay, calves lying down, and even busy bulls with their mates!

Meet the Sabos saboranch on 18 Dec 2009

Kiril farm photo

Kiril's Farm at Home
Kiril’s Snowy Day farm game

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. 

Meet the Sabos saboranch on 15 Nov 2008

Riley and Earthworms

Riley, ever the pragmatist, digs for earthworms to feed the baby chicks we raise each spring in our solar heated greenhouse.

The earthworms love the compost, kelp meal, and minerals we add to the soils for the newly planted peppers here.

The chicks love the extra protein, and it teaches them the flavor, and the foraging techniques they will need once they head outside at three weeks of age.

Meet the Sabos saboranch on 14 Nov 2008

Kiril and Chick

We raise our baby chicks for three weeks in our solar heated greenhouse before they head outdoors to forage on pasture for the rest of their lives.

Kiril, age 5, loves to play with them in the extra spring warmth of the greenhouse.

Meet the Sabos saboranch on 12 Nov 2008

Riley and Calf

Riley Sabo, age 8, holds his own Jersey heifer calf, Sabo’s Faline, born March 2008.

Riley currently helps his mother Jenny with milking. When Faline gives birth to her first calf in 2011, Riley will be old enough, 11, to manage her himself.

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