Archives for October 2013

Conversations With a Founder – Reasonably Grown

Giles in UgandaI visited with Dr. Robert H. Giles, Jr., company founder, to talk in more detail about the alternatives Rural System presents to growing produce. My findings are summarized in the article Organic or Conventional Farming or is There Something Else? After our conversation however, I left with more than just the material I needed for a post on farming. I had stumbled upon a common theme within all of Rural System, one common objective for our systems approach. [Read more…]

Pondering Installing a Pond?

There are many benefits to installing a rural pond and some of them are profitable for the landowner. Pond planning and continued management are critical to the success of your pond whether it’s simply for aesthetic purposes or for profit. Without proper management, aquaculture stocks can suffer reduced yields, recreational waters can become dangerously contaminated, and aesthetic ponds can become mosquito breeding grounds. While your local state cooperative extension office is a great resource up front, advanced technology can help with consistent ongoing management. We searched the internet for the latest technology for people who are serious about sophisticated pond management. [Read more…]

Five Benefits of Rural Ponds

Fish-farming pondHistorically ponds have been implemented for practical reasons such as irrigation, drinking water, livestock watering, erosion control and fire preparedness. More recently ponds are being installed for recreational activities like swimming and fishing as well as alternative agricultural practices like fish farming. There are also several ways that ponds contribute to conservation efforts which can be a primary reason for adding one to your property or simply a secondary benefit. The top five benefits to installing ponds on rural properties are as follows: [Read more…]

Profiting From Your Pond

Stocked Fishing PondOne of the Five Benefits of Rural Ponds is profit. Although ponds have long been present in the American agricultural landscape, now more than ever there exists a diversity of profitable pond endeavors for the rural entrepreneur. Rural System hopes to encourage the use of such diverse alternatives to traditional agriculture as part of Redefining the Farm. The following list serves as a few suggestions and considerations for possible profitable pond activities.

Aquaculture is the practice of rearing animals or plants in an aquatic environment. The breadth of possible “crops” in aquaculture is almost as numerous as those possible on land. In the U.S., more than 100 different organisms are cultivated at different life stages by aquaculturists.   [Read more…]

Clusters: Creating Community in the Rural System

communityThe local food movement is alive and kicking in America today as community-based food efforts strive to help small and mid-sized farms along. It’s a good thing too, for we’ve seen how these farms struggle in Five Benefits of Small-Scale Farming. Farmer’s markets have sprouted all over the country, providing grassroots places for exchange between small farms and hungry families. Small farms have also banded into coops to help smaller or mid-sized farms market their products to a wider customer base. An example is this organic farms coop, CROOP. Products from CROOP are now familiar under the Organic Valley and Organic Prairie labels in conventional supermarkets. And anyone can visit Local Harvest for a heartwarming visual of how local food efforts have spread across the United States, as well as for information on the farms, coops, and local food stores in your area.  [Read more…]