Archive for the ‘K-9 Pioneers’ Category

Rain, Rain Please Don’t Go Away

(Shhhhh…The secret to perfect garden soil is…..Bunnies! Chickens! And Goats! Oh my!  Go ahead… Get Your Manure On!)

So,it rained early yesterday morning until about 10 am or so.  I hope it continues to do so off and on this spring, as it’s been such a dry winter in South Dakota.  Usually we get several feet of snow between Nov/Dec and April.  This year we’ve had less than 8 inches of winter precipiation… most of it ice rather than snow. (Of course after 3 spring/summers of heavy flooding, really doesn’t seem so bad.  But my farming neighbors with their traditional grain crops to plant seem somewhat concerned about having a drought summer… very bad for the corn and wheat crops particularly if we don’t get rain in May/June.  I don’t want to see food commodity prices going further out of control, as grocery prices are already so high, along with fuel and clothing too.)

I do wonder though that the neighbors GMO (roundup ready) corn doing less well, might actually be a good thing for us, if Pioneer Pa plants popcorn (quite the tongue-twister… lets say that 5 times fast) as one of our family’s crops this spring.  New to farming and gardening and wondering WHY?  Corn is a crop that utilizes wind to polinate and I’d rather not have the neighbors’ Monsanto patented Genetically Modified Organisms polinating my kids’ favorite snack.  My oldest child in particular seems very sensitive to GMO’s in his diet,  as seen by his increased stimming (self-stimulating) and increased echolia behaviors when he has regular (non-organic/traditional) cornmeal or corn syrup in his diet, but seems fine eating popcorn.  Popcorn as a crop has been less “tinkered with” than the startchy common dent corn that is used for human and animal feed purposes and ethanol production.  However, popcorn can and does cross-polinate with dent and sweet corn varieties if the wind and planting times are just-so.

If you are gardening (small urban/suburban farming) this year, just say no to the GMO’s.  Please plant open-polinated heirloom plant varities in your garden.  the more folks who do so and the more people who continue to save their own seeds from their crops, the better chance we have at keeping the genetic diversity and wholesomeness of our food supply.

Recently, Monsanto has been sueing small organic and heirloom farmers and gardeners for patent-infringement, when Monsanto’s GMO crops that were planted by these farmer’s neighbors contaminated the heirloom farmers crops.  Anybody who knows anything about an organic or heirloom farmer knows that WE DON’T WANT OUR CROPS CROSS-POLINATED BY MONSANTO’S GMO’s!  This is a well-duh sort of moment.  Anybody with half a brain can figure out that this situtation is completely backwards.  If anybody is being infringed on it’s the heirloom farmer, NOT an enormous multi-national seed conglomerate.  Seriously… shouldn’t Monsanto have thought about the possiblity of cross-polination by wind and insects PRIOR to tinker with and trying to patent life???

For more info on the fight back against Monsanto, check out some excellent articles on the subject and also the fight to get GMO’s labeled on foods from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds at www.rareseeds.com

K-9 Pioneers update:  At 24+ hours old, Shiny’s puppies are doing very well.  Mommy has lots of milk, is a very attentive mother and the pups are pleasingly plump.

The Next Generation of K-9 Pioneers

We first began our new frontier in raising Autism Service Dogs in 2009, when our son’s Charles’ A.S.D Black Pearl’s Black Daffodil (aka Narcissa or The K-9 Pioneer) was born into our 1st litter between our foundation female, Fish’s Sable Nyghte Arastaya (aka Kacy), and our foundation stud dog, Blue-Eyed Cowboy X.  This mating consistantly produces litters with about 50% of the puppies having temperments desirable for Service Dog work with young developmentally disabled children and also with adults who have autism.  We would have liked to use Narcissa for breeding service dog puppies, but had to have her spayed due to an auto accident that broke her pelvis.  Since then we’ve kept several of her sisters (litter sister, Kindled Flame, aka Kindlelyn, and younger full-sister, Shiny Bauble, Shiny for short) who have similar dispositions and also one of her nieces, SweetPea, out of her elder 1/2 sister, (Cashmere & Silk aka Sasha, who is no longer with us.)

The newest K-9 Pioneers (pups w/ pontential to help a special needs child) were born early this morning to our youngest mama dog, Shiny.  This is a litter of 5 puppies: 1 blue merle female, 1 red merle female, 1 pale (diluted) red tri-color female w/ a white blaze, 1 pale (diluted) red tri-color male (less white than his sister) and 1 blue-grey (diluted black) tri-colored male. The dilute color modifying gene pops up sometimes in bloodlines that carry the “harlequin” and “tweed” merle pattern modification genes, both of which are carried by Shiny’s mother Kacy (who has produced pups and grandpups of both patterns) and this litter’s sire who is himself a harlequin merle.  In coloration, this is one of the most unique litters we’ve had born and we can’t wait until their little individual personalities begin showing around a month of age.

Pictured is Black Pearl’s Shiny Bauble as a youngster and second picture is of Shiny’s 1st litter of babies. 2 males and 3 females.

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