Sunday, December 23, 2012


Greetings from Baker Heritage Farms;

Not much happening on the farm right now due to the holiday season. The weather has been erratic at best, with warm weather prevailing. Most of the area is back in (or still in) a severe draught. In fact, rain was predicted for this past Thursday and we did get a nasty storm with high winds and rain. Even though we received about 1" of rain, it did nothing for us and the ground is still crispy critter (crunches when you walk on it). We were really anticipating the rain and planning on burning our brush piles that are in and near the production fields; unfortunately, while we are not in a burn ban, we have been advised that any burning is strongly discouraged.

David finished up tying down the Turkey run and chicken coop fences. The Turkey run still needs rock placed around the bottom of the fence and then it will be ready for the turkeys. The chicken coop only needs a gate and then it will also be completed.

Today was order day. We placed a number of orders (and are now officially broke and probably in debt), including Hydrolyzed Fish Powder, seeder, sprayer, and poultry.

In November we explained that we would not be planting cover crops to increase Nitrogen ("N") due to the cost of the seed and other concerns. We also explained that we made a risk management decision to purchase a tow-behind sprayer and Fish Powder to input "N" this year. We have once again changed direction due to cost concerns. As we researched seed, we learned that some crops should not include any "N" input. In addition, some plots will be planted in cover crop and will not need "N" input. After reviewing our needs, we determined that we will only need to worry about "N" input on 6 or less plots, and they are interspersed throughout the production fields, so it would not be beneficial to purchase the tow-behind sprayer.

We have ordered a Pro 4 gallon Diaphragm-Pump Backpack Sprayer from Home Depot ( This sprayer was about $90.00 compared to $370 for the tow-behind sprayer. Even us poor rednecked dirt farmers can figure out the best way to go.

Back-Pack Sprayer
NOTE: It is very important that you check the sprayer's capabilities before you purchase one. There are many less expensive makes and models to chose from; however, most of the less expensive models do not use a Diaphragm and are only suitable for straight liquids. If you are doing organic gardening, you will have many occasion to mix certain powders, etc. This particular model is suitable for liquids, powders, and water-soluble solutions and is essentially the same as one used at the Kerr Sustainable Farm.

We also placed our order with Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (, Grass Valley, CA) for Fish Powder and a Seeder.

We ordered a 40 pound bag HFPC Hydrolyzed Fish Powder ($129.00). This product is organic and provides fast Nitrogen. It is water-soluble and contains 10.4% "N". It will fulfill our "N" needs for some time (you mix 4-5 pounds with a minimum of 20 gallons of water per acre).

HFPC Hydrolyzed Fish Powder

We also ordered an Earthway Precision Seeder ($109.00). The seeder opens the soil, spaces and plants the seed, covers the seed, packs the soil, and even marks the next row. This will save a lot of back pain and also make planting more accurate. The seeder comes with plates for planting 28 different seed varieties that cover most (if not all) of the seeds we will be planting. Granted, this is a tool that is probably not a necessity for the backyard farmer, but will most likely be a useful tool for the small-acreage farmer. For our operation, it is a very practical tool that should earn it's keep.

Earthway Seeder
We also placed our Turkey and Chicken order with Murray McMurray Hatchery (, Webster City, IA). We ordered 25 female Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens ($75.00) and 15 straight run Narragansett turkeys ($157.00). The chickens should be delivered the week of March 4th and the turkeys the week of May 13th. We included the Marek's Disease vaccination for the chickens, numbered bandettes for the chickens and un-numbered bands for the turkeys.

A very expensive weekend, but it had to be done, and we still have to order seed.

If weather forecasts are to be believed, we are in for some real winter weather on Christmas day, with up to 7" of snow accumulation predicted by Christmas evening.


From your friends at Baker Heritage Farms

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not parish but have eternal life." John 3:16

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