Monday, May 21, 2012


Greetings from Baker Heritage Farms

A busy week, unfortunately, not on the farm.

David completed the chicken nest boxes and he and Donald installed them into the hen house this weekend. The back part of the roof was also installed.

David will install the doors and window screens this week so the roof can be completed and the front wall installed.

Donald attended his 3rd Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Saturday at Kerr Center. The class was quite intensive and there is a lot of material to absorb. Items covered included Legume (cover crop) Inoculation, Basic Soils and Fertilizers, Seeds & Seeding, Setting Transplants, Blending Organic Fertilizers (including a sample of the finished product), Soil Preparation & Seeding Equipment, and Irrigation.

Kerr Center operates on intense rotation and cover crop principles. As we have mentioned before, we are only a few miles from the Kerr Center and will be attempting to put a lot of their practices to work at Baker Heritage Farms.

For this Saturdays class, Kerr Center prepared one of their plots to show possible crop rotation. The plot is less than 1/2 acre and can probably fit in most rural backyards. Kerr was very aggressive in their Demo Plot and planted quite a variety.

Kerr Center Demo Plot
The Demo plot had 8 sections to show an eight-field rotation.

Plot A was planted with three crops with 1 row each (White Potatoes, Caged Tomatoes, Eggplant & Peppers).
Plot A
Plot B has two crops and each will be double cropped (Beans followed by Greens and Radishes, and Greens & Radishes followed by Beans).
Plot B
Plot C has 3 will be double cropped with 3 rows of Sweet Corn followed by 2 or 3 rows of Squash.
Plot C
Plot D will be double cropped with Green Follow. The first crop is Buckwheat and will be followed by Iron & Clay Cowpeas.
Plot D
Plot E has two crops. One is Okra and will be a single crop, the second crop will be double cropped with English Peas followed by Broccoli, Cabbage, and Chinese Cabbage.
Plot E
Plot F will be in Green Fallow and will also be double cropped with Buckwheat followed by Proso Millet.
Plot F
Plot G is planted with 1 row of Sweet Potatoes (very successful at Kerr Center, even in severe drought) and spring-planted Cucumber.
Plot G
Plot H is planted with Peanuts and Southern Peas.
Plot H
This rotation has been set up to keep the crops in each section within one family. Based on this set-up, each section will be rotated out for 8 years, allowing the soil to recover, reducing pests and disease.

Baker Heritage Farms will be using a four-year rotation in each of our plots. We will be operating 4 plots and anticipate sectioning each plot into quarters. This will, in essence, allow us a 12-year rotation if necessary, though this will depend on our success in growing crops and the demand for those crops that grow the best.

Next week Donald will try to cover what he learned about making raised beds.

Until next week -- Blessings from Baker Heritage Farms

NOTE: We encourage everyone to make comments, recommendations, or share your stories and/or ideas.

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