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The Scoop View All →

Gluten Free Bacon and Non-GMO Tomatoes – Buyer Beware

NON GMO Tomatoes

By   2 days ago

OK, the first item in this title seems pretty silly, right? Don’t we all know that bacon is meat and so it doesn’t have gluten in it?  So when I see my grocer advertising bacon as “Gluten Free!” what should I think? As a person who used to write headlines for an ad agency, I […]

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Here’s to a Perfect Summer

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By   1 week ago

This weekend we went to the drive-in, and the moon rose high over the screen. Before the movie, the kids ran around the grassy field under the screen in the twilight, chasing each other and climbing trees. When the movie started, we all hushed. Families sat in cars, truck beds, and chairs in the grass. […]

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If You Could Be Anything, Would You Still Be A Farmer/Rancher?

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By   2 weeks ago

In her piece “What Farming Isn’t” Sarah Mock shares what she learned traveling on dirt roads in Midwest farm country. Her list didn’t surprise me at all, except for no. 4: “Farming is not a choice.” She said she asked all 23 of the farmers she met what he would do if he wasn’t a […]

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Low-Stress Handling and Bison Workshops

Stockmanship Schools4

By   3 weeks ago

On Pasture sponsors are offering some great opportunities this summer and we’ll keep sending them your way as we learn of more! Richard and Tina of Hand ‘n Hand Livestock Solutions will be teaching Proper Stockmanship in Red Deer, Alberta on June 13 – 14 and Cochrane, Alberta on June 16-17.  Then check out their […]

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Workshops Coming Up in June

WyomingGrazingSchoolsquare

By   4 weeks ago

On Pasture sponsors are hosting workshops this June and we wanted to make sure that you know about them. June 6 – 9: Wyoming Grazing School, Glenrock Wyoming University of Wyoming Extension is sponsoring this Management-intensive Grazing School by Jim Gerrish. This hands-on workshop is for graziers who want to let their livestock do the […]

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How On Pasture Was Born

New-Baby-Clipart

By   1 month ago

On Pasture was just a twinkle in Kathy’s eye about four years ago when she was at a grazing conference in New York. She gathered her fellow presenters and they spent an afternoon discussing a problem they’d noticed: While scientists were gathering and presenting information that should benefit farmers and ranchers, the farmers and ranchers […]

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Meet Kathy Voth, One of Your On Pasture Editors

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By   1 month ago

We thought you might like to know a little more about how On Pasture gets to you every Tuesday. So here you go…

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How The Lion King Makes Us Bigger

LionKingDrawing

By   2 months ago

This past weekend was the fifth grade play, and we have a fifth grader in the On Pasture family. Almost the entire grade is part of the play, with only a few kids not signing up. When play tryouts came around, our fifth grader decided to be part of the crew. He helped build sets and […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Solutions for Watering From Ponds

    Floating Post Pond Fence

    By   2 days ago

    We all know that there are significant downsides to cattle watering from ponds. When they poop in ponds there’s the algae and weed growth that ruins water quality. Loafing around ponds can lead to diseases like letospirosis and coccidiosis, or to foot rot. But sometimes ponds are our only viable water source. So what can […]

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    Fencing Solutions You’ll Like

    Alleyway posts 2

    By   1 week ago

    It’s that time of year when you’re putting up fence, taking it down and wondering if there’s a better way. We thought we’d help out with some suggestions. Then, add your own ideas in the comments. Your fellow farmers and ranchers can use all the fencing help they can get! 🙂 Electric Fencing With Trees […]

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    Bloatless Alfalfa Grazing

    Grazing Alfalfa

    By   2 weeks ago

    After attending a conference for dairy graziers I was somewhat surprised when one of the speakers spent a considerable amount of time explaining all the ways necessary to avoid bloat in cattle when grazing alfalfa. We’ve been grazing beef steers and heifers on alfalfa for 15-18 years and have only lost 2-3 head to bloat. […]

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    These Simple Steps Can Improve Livestock Distribution, Pasture Quality and Your Bottom Line

    ConvenienceForCowsGoatsSheep

    By   3 weeks ago

    Sean Kelly, extension range management specialist at South Dakota State University Extension, believes that livestock grazing distribution is something we should all work on because it maximizes how much forage your livestock eat, improves range health and, ultimately, adds up to more profit per acre. “Poor grazing distribution throughout a pasture is like feed waste […]

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    Portable Solar Water Pump for Watering Livestock

    Portable solar power water pump

    By   4 weeks ago

    This video comes to us from the Full Belly Project and shows a mobile solar pump system to take advantage of small streams and other water sources to provide watering for livestock in small pastures.  It includes a solar panel on what looks like a 2-wheeled cart, some piping and a pump. A team of […]

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    Deseret Land and Livestock Manages for Wildlife AND Cattle

    Deseret Elk

    By   1 month ago

    As you might guess from its name, Deseret Land and Livestock isn’t just about raising cattle. Though they do run a lot of cattle on their 200,000 acres in the northeast corner of Utah. But they manage the grazing of the 4,500 mother cows and 4,000 yearlings so that they also constantly improve the land […]

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    How to Set Up Good Stock Tanks

    StockWaterPad

    By   1 month ago

    I’ve learned these do’s and don’ts of stock tank installations over the course of my life and am sharing them so you can learn from my experience. The main ‘do’ is to create a pad on which to place your tank. This provides a flat place for the cattle to stand and they don’t move […]

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    Dances With Grass – Managing Your Grazing to Match Your Forage

    Spring grazing. Photo by Jim Fiedler

    By   2 months ago

    Reading this piece from Victor, I realized that what he was describing was just like following your partner when you’re dancing together. When your partner speeds up, so do you and when your partner slows, you better too. Here are some tips to avoid stepping on your forage’s toes.

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Weeds Are NOT the Problem!

      Plants in pots

      By   2 days ago

      In the last few weeks I have attended a couple of field day, farm tour type of affairs. To my knowledge none of them were sponsored by any of the chemical companies directly, but listening to the folks putting on these things you could very easily believe were in the employ of these companies. At […]

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      Does Management-intensive Grazing Grow More, Better Quality Forage?

      Rotational grazing at Farnbrook Farm

      By   1 week ago

      Do pastures under management-intensive rotational grazing (MIRG) differ from grasslands under other management in terms of forage quality and quantity, carbon sequestration and biological soil activity? Not everyone believes the answers are yes, so researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison decided to run some trials to find out, comparing management-intensive rotational grazing to continuous grazing, […]

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      Which Pastures Should You Work on Improving When You Have Limited Resources?

      Belted Galloway on Katama Farm

      By   2 weeks ago

      You might feel like that high-scoring pasture is your top performer, so you should give it what it needs, like you would any diva. But your biggest payback will be in helping the under-performing pasture that has potential, but is lagging because it’s deficient in nutrients, organic matter, or pH.

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      To Bale or Not to Bale? To Clip or Not to Clip? Here Are Some Answers

      Rolling up nutrients. Photo by Victor Shelton

      By   3 weeks ago

      Let’s ponder two questions with this article: “To bale or not bale?” and “Should I put up hay or just buy what I need?” I think everyone, no matter how efficient or the type of grazing system, should have some hay on hand. It is your insurance plan; one of your contingency plans. Feeding less […]

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      The Grazing Stick: Tool or Toy?

      grazing stick

      By   4 weeks ago

      Do you want to quickly figure out how much forage you have and how many animals can graze for how long? Get out that grazing stick and follow these instructions and you’ll have the answer in no time! PLUS there’s a link to grazing stick sources if you don’t have one already.

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      Grazing for Biodiversity

      Legumes in Jim Gerrish Pasture

      By   1 month ago

      Biodiversity in your pastures provides many benefits to pasture productivity, soil health, animal performance, and wildlife habitat. The table below shows typical composition of our home pastures on our old Missouri farm. There were many other less plentiful species present that are not listed. Nine different plant functional groups are represented in these pastures with […]

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      Researcher Looking to the Future of Legumes and Nitrogen-Fixing

      Dr. Judy Grossman

      By   1 month ago

      Nitrogen fertilizer costs are going up, and will continue to rise. Dr. Judy Grossman of North Carolina State University is concerned about the impact that will have on our future, so she’s doing the research now to help us better understand how legumes and microbes work together to fix nitrogen in the soil.  Her goal […]

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      Is It Too Late to Plant?

      Barley and Crimson Clover 7 days after planting.

      By   2 months ago

      Maybe you wanted to plant, but time got away from you. Here’s how to tell if you still have a shot at planting, or if you need to wait for the next planting window.

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        Livestock View All →

        FAMACHA Score Four Sheep in 30 Seconds

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        By   2 days ago

        Last week we shared an article about the problem of parasite resistance to worming medications and covered worming practices that may help or hurt resistance. FAMACHA© scoring is one of the tools available to help prevent resistance in your herd. It’s a test for barberpole worms (Haemonchus contortus) in your herd, and uses the symptoms […]

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        Test Your Knowledge of Management Practices That Affect Dewormer Resistance

        Worming a goat

        By   1 week ago

        There are many important diseases in goats but none are as common or threaten the health of goats as much as internal parasites (worms). Although there are many types of worms that may contribute to a parasite problem, the blood-sucking barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is the most prevalent and most important, especially in the […]

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        Let Your Environment Help You Choose Your Replacement Heifers

        Kit Pharo 3 year old cow

        By   2 weeks ago

        Last week we ran Kit Pharo’s article about why ear tagging newborn calves isn’t necessary. One reader wondered how this affects choosing replacement heifers. Here’s Kit’s response. Question: “Hi Kit, I was wondering how you select replacement heifers from your herd – or do you have some suggestions on how I should select my heifers?” […]

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        Don’t Ear Tag Your New Born Calves

        eartagging

        By   3 weeks ago

        Many cow-calf producers think it is sacrilegious to not ear tag calves at birth.   Most do it because they have always done it.   Several years ago, the PCC Discussion Group came up with several “Kooky Notions” that the members used to have.   Ear tagging calves at birth was one of those kooky notions. I’m sure […]

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        How To’s for Pastured Poultry Egg Production Success

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        By   4 weeks ago

        Demand for eggs from pasture-based poultry is increasing. Setting up and operating a system in which laying hens forage and range outdoors can be quite an undertaking, but can yield benefits such as boosted soil fertility, farm diversification, increased animal welfare, and eggs with increased nutritional value. Some of the key elements of pastured-poultry egg […]

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        From Grass to Milk – The Whys and Hows of Grassfed Dairy in One Graphic

        MapleHillGraphic

        By   1 month ago

        How can you fit all that about grassfed milk in one picture? Well, it’s a really big graphic… From our friends at Maple Hill Creamery, here’s the story of grass-based dairy starting with the parts of the grasses that make their milk possible, to the grazing system that grows the grass and feeds the cows, […]

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        Choose a Calving Date That Grows Good Calves With Low Inputs

        Photo courtesy of kidscowsandgrass.com

        By   1 month ago

        Thanks to Chip for sharing this excerpt from his new book “Cow Country Essays and a Little Slantwise Logic!” Time of calving has to be the first thing considered when moving from a high input operation to a management oriented low input method of raising cattle. So many things are connected to this timing that […]

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        Selecting Rams for Rangeland Production

        Suffolk Rams

        By   2 months ago

        Editors Note: This article was written by Sandra Avant and was published in the August 2013 issue of Agricultural Research magazine. In western states, where almost half of U.S. sheep are produced, the Suffolk ram is commonly used as the “terminal sire” – an animal with the best genetics to sire lambs for meat production. […]

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          Money Matters View All →

          Easy Questions for Farm Succession

          Is this what your farm transition planning conversations look like?

          By   2 days ago

          It’s a tough topic, but a good one to get started on, maybe by thinking about these 10 questions. Maybe you can just stick them on your refrigerator as a first step. 🙂

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          How to Make Change…And More Money Too!

          Change is Not a 4 letter word Cody and Deanna Sand

          By   1 week ago

          For the last month I’ve been writing about Cody and Deanna Sand and the Sand Ranch and the changes they made starting in 2011 that enabled them to get out of debt, start making a profit, and have more fun too. Thanks to all these changes, they were able to purchase land that they had […]

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          Matching Cows to the Operation Makes You More Money

          Sand Ranch Cattle only know how to graze

          By   2 weeks ago

          The changes that took the Sand Ranch out of debt and into profit have affected every aspect of the operation. In this fourth article in the series, the Sands talk about changes they made to their cattle management and marketing that helped them turn a profit.

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          New Fencing and Water and CRP Grazing – Ideas For Profitable Ranching From the Sand Ranch

          Here's a map of the Sand Ranch home place. Every red dot is a watering point for cattle.

          By   3 weeks ago

          How do you go from $20,000 in carry over debt after selling all your calves, to no debt, making a profit and having fun in just 5 years?  If you’re Cody and Deanna Sands, you give up doing things like you’ve always done them, and a we’re sharing in this series of articles, you start […]

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          Out of Debt and On To Profit – The Sand Ranch Starts Winter Grazing and Stops Haying

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          By   4 weeks ago

          Last week we started a series of articles about Cody and Deanna Sand and how the changes they’ve made since 2011 have gotten them out of debt (think $20,000 in carry over bills after all their calves were sold) to owing nothing AND having a lot more fun ranching. They started by changing their grazing […]

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          How the Sand Ranch Got Its Groove Back

          AhHaMomentsSandsmall

          By   1 month ago

          In just a four short years, the Sands went from $20,000 in carryover farm debt to owing nothing. The added bonus? They had more time to spend with family AND they started having fun again. This is the first in a series about the changes they made and what they learned along the way. We hope it inspires you!

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          Movable Shade to Go With Your Movable Fencing and Water

          Shadehavenandcows

          By   1 month ago

          Shade can solve a lot of problems. It can improve livestock grazing and production. Cattle without shade gain less weight and produce less milk than their cool counterparts. Fertility rates drop too. Shade also impacts productivity by changing where animals deposit manure, and how much of your pasture gets grazed. But getting shade where you […]

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          Considering Crowd Funding? Here’s a Successful Grass-fed Example

          ButcherBoxBetterHeader

          By   2 months ago

          After his first taste of 100% grass fed beef, Mike Salguero was hooked. He preferred the taste and was thrilled to learn about the health advantages that came with it. “Why doesn’t EVERYONE eat this?” he wondered. The answer was that not everyone has access to grass fed beef, pork or poultry. Mike figured he […]

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            Consider This View All →

            Conducting Your Own On-Farm Trials – DO Try This At Home

            Jonathan Rupert Farm Trials

            By   2 days ago

            I have tremendous respect and appreciation for our universities, extension, NCRC, and other public servants. Many of these folks work tirelessly to help farmers. They also collaborate with industry with determining product adaptation, use, rates and the like. Working in the seed industry for over 25 years, I have had the fortune to learn and […]

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            Behavior Depends on Consequences

            No no bad dog

            By   1 week ago

            Want a better behaved dog, or children, or livestock? This one’s for you!

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            Roll Over Protection Systems – The Life You Save Could Be Your Own

            Safety on the Farm ROPS Video

            By   2 weeks ago

            Tractor roll overs are the number one cause of accidental death on the farm. If you’ve got an old tractor with no ROPS, here’s info on getting that fixed quickly and easily.

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            How I Fell In Love With A Fish

            Dan Barbers Fish

            By   3 weeks ago

            What is sustainability when it comes to food? Is feeding chicken to fish environmentally sound? That’s what Chef Dan Barber asked himself as he tried to keep sustainable fish on his menu. And then he found his true love: a fish from a farm that is an example of how we can raise food that […]

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            Forecasting Unintended Consequences of Grassland Conversion

            ProjectionsForGrassLandLosses

            By   4 weeks ago

            Written collaboratively by Roger Gates, Ben Turner, Melissa Wuellner and Barry Dunn (former SDSU College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences Dean, former SDSU Extension Director).   Continuing implementation of the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill, which includes programs such as SodSaver and policies such as conservation compliance (restraining cultivation on highly erodible or marginal lands), provides […]

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            A Climate Change Picture Worth Thousands of Words

            Spiraling global temperatures

            By   1 month ago

            It’s challenging for scientists to try to explain the results of their work to the rest of us. There’s a language barrier made up of technical terms, and specialized vocabulary. Overcoming that challenge is one of the reasons On Pasture exists. We’re breaking the language barrier by translating science into information and steps that you […]

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            Can Plants Talk to Each Other?

            Can Plants Talk to Each Other

            By   1 month ago

            Communication doesn’t require sound. Humans and livestock communicate silently all the time. Just think of a teenager rolling his/her eyes at you, or a bull turning sideways, dropping his head and pawing the ground.  It turns out that plants can communicate without sound too, but they don’t use body-language, they use chemical signals. Next time […]

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            When is the Best Time of Day to Move Animals?

            Cattle will generally consume at least 60% of their total daily forage intake from roughly a half-hour before sunrise to 2-3 hours after sunrise.

            By   2 months ago

            A common question we hear at pasture walks or grazing seminars is when is the best time of day to move cattle to the next paddock. There are some who advocate moving in the afternoon based on the fact that energy content of forages peaks in mid-afternoon corresponding with peak photosynthesis. But, since cattle will […]

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              The Funnies View All →

              Chicken Runs Agility Course

              Chicken on agility course

              By   2 days ago

              Chickens – much smarter than you thought. A little girl taught this one to run an agility course.

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              Even These People Laugh When They Touch an Electric Fence

              Electric Fence Shock

              By   1 week ago

              I know it’s not right, but sometimes I can’t help but laugh when someone touches an electric fence. If you’re like me, then this will make you laugh too. Here, a group demonstrates how electric fencing, insulation, and grounding works with the expected outcome. (If this concept is new to you, see below* for the […]

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              Here’s What You’re Having For Dinner!

              CookingShowSmall

              By   2 weeks ago

              I know! Don’t you wish these recipes existed?!  And of course the leftovers from these dishes are so delicious too! By Hilary Price, Rhymes With Orange Seriously, we know you’re running around like crazy with all the chores you have this time of year.  So here’s an article we did some time ago that talks about […]

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              Repairing Vehicles With Goats

              HelpfulGoat

              By   3 weeks ago

              No matter what Bill Fosher says, goats are very useful creatures!

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              Top 10 Reasons Ranch Trucks Are Never Stolen

              truck

              By   4 weeks ago

              Don’t let this make you feel bad about your truck! 10. They only have a range of 20 miles before they break down or run out of gas. 9. Only the owner knows how to operate the door. 8. It is difficult to drive fast with all the fence tools, grease rags, ropes, chains, syringes, buckets, boots, […]

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              How to Make a Clarinet From a Carrot

              carrot-clarinet-1024x576

              By   1 month ago

              Now you too can be a musician without spending lots of money on an expensive instrument. Just make your own from a carrot! Linsey Pollak shows you how to do it in about 3 minutes and finishes with a short song. It sounds AMAZING!

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              What is Mightier Than the Swordfish?

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              By   1 month ago

              Here’s what the swordfish worries about:

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              How to Confuse a Vegan

              What-are-binary

              By   2 months ago

              We have nothing against Vegans. But we do love presenting food in interesting ways. Maybe this would even appeal to those who hate this vegetable.

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