Risk, Rage, Power and Farming - Grazing Against The Machine
Risk. It makes me feel chaotic, disorderly, wild, vibrant. Risk makes me feel alive when I take it. And yet, through my work as a farmer risk is not something I take, it is given.
So this month I am ready to TAKE a risk, go to the Rage Against The Machine concert in Raleigh, North Carolina despite the resurgence of the disease.
I’m sure you’re thinking “that doesn’t sound risky”. Let me explain why it is.
8 days on 3 continents, over 300 species discovered! Join us in 2023 for the second annual Graze Against The Machine Biodiversity Challenge!
What you need to join
What is the Graze Against The Machine® Challenge?
From May 7th to May 15th, we will be hosting a fun bioblitz to identify all the animals and plants in the areas that our growing Graze Against The Machine community lives, works and plays. You can sign-up any time before May 7th.
iNaturalist from National Geographic has helped us verify more than 550 species at Ozark Akerz. We've even discovered wild-growing food, medicinal plants and ingredients for brewing beer!
With iNaturalist you can take photos of plants, insects, mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, mollusks, amphibians or any other animal and upload to the iNaturalist App. You can also record sounds of birds, mammals, reptiles or insects directly in the app if you can’t get close enough for a photo or if it’s too dark. iNaturalist will help you identify the species from the photo or sound, if you’ve joined the Graze Against The Machine Challenge, it will automatically be added to the bioblitz.
Whether you have time to take one or one hundred photos, visit our 2022 Graze Against The Machine Challenge page on iNaturalist website and signup/login to join the challenge (or the Android app, for reason iNaturalist doesn't allow you to join on the iPhone app). Lets see how many species we can identify as a community in a week and how many locations we represent. Our observations will contribute to community science and are allowing us to better understand – and take care of – the nature that we farm in harmony with.
Who knows, you may find a member of the GATM community who lives near you!
Tips for using iNaturalist.
In February we announced a giveaway of a copy of On The Farm, a book of photos of heritage breed farm animals by professional photographer Aliza Eliazarov. We challenged people to write our regenerative farming slogan Graze Against The Machine in creative ways. The winner would receive the book. which includes a photo of our Pineywoods Cattle cow, Peaches.
We received many entries, but one in particular caught the attention of our hearts. The entry was from a farmer in Limpopo Province, South Africa, Ashell Maenetja. Ashell combined photos of him doing what he loves most, cattle farming, with his daily reality spelling out Graze Against The Machine with pills.
"Used some of my medication mostly supplements, match sticks to create #GrazeAgainstTheMachine Ozark Akerz Regenerative Farm. Livestock #Cattle and medicine sums up my Life currently :-) :-)" Ashell wrote when he posted his entry.
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