Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 164 of our Green Year: Organic Hay

Since we now live on a ranch, we need to feed horses. Thankfully, horses primarily eat two things; hay and grass. This means that it is quite easy to have the horses eating organically, making them similar to the rest of the animals in the house that eat organic dog food, cat food and bird food.

At the ranch, we are picking up more hay bales to feed the horses through the winter. This means we have to get about 200 hay bales, and that means we have to ensure that the hay bales are made without any pesticides used on them, so we can stay organic.

Thankfully, one of the farms near our ranch sells hay bales from their field, where absolutely no pesticides, herbicides or chemicals are used. That means that the horses will be eating organic food, and that also means the horses manure can be used in our garden next year without worry that it is going to hurt the plants or contaminate the soil.

It is very important to us that all our animals eat organic and healthy food as they are members of our family more than they are pets. At the ranch, the horses can rest easy that they will be having good food without pesticides in it.

Speaking of pesticides, if you live in the United States or eat fruits and vegetables from the United States, I feel sorry for you. The Bush Administration has cut a program that regulated limits on pesticides in fruits and vegetables. The grand total cost of this program? $8 million per year! To put it in perspective how the government was apparently going broke because of this program, here is how it compares to some other big ticket items:
  • It has cost $500 billion to fund the Iraq War so far. The Iraq War has been going on for five years, which means $100 billion per year or $273,972,603 per day. That is roughly 34 times what it costs to fund the pesticide program for an entire year. In fact, what it costs to fund the Iraq War for 42 minutes, the pesticide program could be funded for an entire year.
  • Wall Street is getting $700 billion to help it out during the financial crisis it essentially created. That is about 87,500 times what it costs to fund the pesticide program for a year.
  • The CEOs of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae collectively made $158,000,000 as their companies were going bankrupt. Every single one of them made more in a year than the the pesticide program receives. The highest paid CEO from Merrill Lynch (bankrupt!) made more in one year than what the pesticide program receives in five!
Things are progressing at the farm, as you will see in Our Green Year Journal, as we settle back into our routine. We have a bin for our showers again, we are setting up new dew containers and we have a nice big recycle bin in the kitchen that we will take into town once a month or so when we get food.
Got some ideas for how we can go green? Do you want to let us know what you think of our blog? Do you have pictures of you doing green things? Send them to us at and we will make sure they make it up on the blog.