Sunday, March 25, 2012

Starting to Farm

Greetings from Baker Heritage Farm - It is time we started farming. Actually, we are late, but, as those of you who want to start a backyard or small acreage farm will need to be aware of, your life cannot always be scheduled around the farm - most backyard, small acreage farmers will have off-farm jobs, at least to begin with. Those jobs will take precedence (or there will be no farm, no matter what size).

Start small. The smaller you start, the easier it will be to get started and the more successful you will be. Start with a small vegetable garden or a couple of chickens. We are probably trying to start a little bigger then we should, but time is running short and we hope to accomplish a lot in the next five-years. Hopefully this will be our retirement.

Donald and David started actual farming tasks by doing an initial till of the test garden this past Saturday (March 17th). While they were somewhat successful in learning the tiller, the ground turned out to be a little too wet for the next phase, deep tilling (the first till was surface only, approximately 1", as it is virgin ground, the deep till was going to be 3").

David Tilling

Unfortunately, we got over 3" of rain this past week, and the test garden is in the "flood plain" for our front pond run-off.

It is hard to tell, but our front pond is overflowing.

Donald went out today (Sunday, March 25th) to check to see how wet it is, found out it is too wet. In fact, in driving the tractor around the pasture to check the back pond and other areas, he almost got stuck and ended up with a new rut about 10 feet long and 1 foot deep - at least he did not get stuck.

Actually, farming tasks started some time ago in reality. David has started clearing several areas of the property and designed the plots for the Hen House and Turkey run, as well as started fencing these areas in anticipation of ordering the birds. If you refer back to our first update a few weeks ago, you will note that we have started purchasing supplies. As no actual work could be done this past week, Donald and David spent the weekend discussing and revising plans for the hen house and turkey run. A list of supplies has finally been agreed on and it is hoped that the supplies can be purchased next week and the hen house and turkey shelter can be built. The turkeys need to be ordered by mid-April to be ready for Thanksgiving so the pressure is on.

The pressure is on for getting the test garden planted as well. As explained earlier, sometimes the best laid plans just do not happen. As a result of both time and financial pressure, we will be planting heirloom vegetables, but will not be overly picky about what seed we are using (except to make sure that it has not been genetically altered and has been processed under organically acceptable practices).

We are also delaying the purchase of the goats as the fencing will be rather expensive and we would rather get those areas that are more affordable and will show better results going first.

Once again, welcome to Baker Heritage Farms. We will be back with an update next weekend (if not earlier).

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