Monday, February 20, 2012

Heritage versus Heirloom

They both mean the same thing, though "heritage" is usually used to describe animals while "heirloom" refers generally to kinds of plants. These terms describe varieties of animals and crops that have unique genetic traits, were grown or raised many years ago, and are typically produced in a sustainable manner.

Heritage animals have been bred over time to develop traits that make them particularly well adapted to local environmental conditions. Heritage breeds are generally better adapted to withstand disease and survive in harsh environmental conditions, and their bodies can be better suited to living on pasture.

Heritage breeds also serve as an important genetic resource, and when heritage breeds become extinct, their unique genes are lost forever and cannot be used to breed new traits into existing breeds. By raising heritage animals, we are helping to preserve valuable traits within the species so that future breeds can endure harsher conditions.

Heirloom fruits and vegetables are unique plant varieties, which are genetically distinct from the commercial varieties popularized by industrial agriculture.

By growing heirloom fruits and vegetables, we are helping preserve genetic diversity by ensuring that these unique varieties are not completely replaced by the few commercial varieties that are mass-procedured by industrial agriculture. We will produce delicious, unique, and interesting kinds of fruits and vegetables, and grains that add color and flavor to meals that everyone can enjoy.

Baker Heritage Farms does not plan to join the "organic" movement, which appears to be more of a source of income for those that certify such farms; however, by following Good Agriculture Practices as well as the standards set by the organic movement, we will be able to comfortably and honestly provide "all natural" fruits, vegetables, grains, and livestock.

Monday, February 13, 2012

All The Rest

Baker Heritage Farms includes approximately 2.25 acres of improved land, including two homes, a large barn and a small barn (more of a shed), water, power, and roads. This land is at the front of the property (south end).

Parts of the improved area will be used for conventional gardens as well as some speciality gardens (herbs, etc.).

The back of the property includes approximately five acres of level to rolling cleared pasture. This area will be divided into 1/2 acre parcels for raising a variety of heritage livestock, possibly including Dexter cattle and Black hogs, as well as a trio of Ostrich (our concession to being non-traditional).

The rest of the property is primarily hill country with many rocks. We plan to have a number of areas for growing fruit trees and possibly a small vineyard for table grapes.



As we grow, we hope to use every available spot for our experimental farm.

We hope you will continue to follow our progress and even join in with your own "backyard" farm.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Vegetable Gardens

Every farm needs a vegetable garden. Baker Heritage Farm's primary purpose is to raise heirloom vegetables, herbs, and fruit. The initial objective is to determine the best viable produce for the soil and climate (including labor, input cost effectiveness, volume, etc.) using unaltered (not genetically modified) heirloom seed.

Baker Heritage Farms is planning on planting at least two vegetable plots in 2012. One will be for family consumption and will be located on top of the front hill. The family food plot will have fewer restrictions than the test plot (see below), but will still be grown in a chemical free environment.

The second plot, the Test Garden, will be approximately 137 feet by 28 feet and will be limited to heirloom seeds.

The test garden plot has been untouched by chemicals for at least the past 11 years and, as far as can be determined, for many additional years before that. Staples such as corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, radishes, lettuce, sunflowers, squash, pumpkins, and others. The test plot will initially be tilled; however, future tilling methods will be based on location, density, type of crop, and cover crops. No chemicals will be used (such as herbicides, insecticides, synthetic fertilizers, etc.).

The initial intent is to grow consumable vegetables to supplement (and eventually replace) family food needs with healthier and more wholesome food products. if successful, excess produce will be donated to local churches and food banks.

Baker Family Farms does not currently plan to grow "organic" crops; however, all crops will be grown naturally and will not be chemically altered (seed or plant).