Monday, December 6, 2010

Another New Acre

I was fortunate to take advantage of the relatively dry conditions we've been experiencing and was able to break ground on another acre of land. This is at our Stonebridge site where we already have one acre in production. This site has very nice sandy loam compared to most of the other sites we farm which tend to be more on the clay side. I plowed the new layout with a mold board plow and will let it set for the winter and partially decompose the inverted sod. I'll come back when conditions allow and knock it down and level it out with a rotovator, then chisel it and re-till as neccessary to fully incorporate and decompose the sod. This proccess takes awhile. This particular site is being prepped for our fall and overwintering crops next year. We'll begin planting it out in late July through September. It should just be ready by then. We'll probably get a round of summer cover crop in first, something like buckwheat. While the time goes by we'll be getting ready to build a fence to enclose the area from deer. Unfortutnately we can't grow anything without deer fencing. It's an expensive proposistion. Fortunate for us, the land owner buys the material in exchange for us putting up the fence. It's a workable solution. The owner gets a capital improvement and we get a fence. We'll also pull a soil sample and see what kind of ammendment might be neccessary. My assumption is we'll be adding lime and of course our "Perfect Blend" natural fertilizer.

Speaking of soil tests, I'll be pulling samples from all of our fields to see where we're at. I have a pretty good feeling we're on the right track just by the way the crops have been looking but as plants grow they use nutrients and we want to keep up on our fertility management We'll most likley continue with our current program but it's important to know as much as you can about your soils and trends. We definately have some improvements to make. One of those being the making and addition of more compost. It's forefront on my agenda and I'm hoping to do a better job. We need some equipment to do this. As usual money is tight and it' a challenge to purchase all of the equipment we need. That's one thing about farming, it is an equipment intensive operation. I wish I had about $20,000 to spend on equipment. Some folks would scoff at this notion and say you could do it by hand. True, if we had enough people who had the know how and gumption to get it done. But the reality is that farming is labor intensive. Labor is expensive and anything you can do to mechanize your operation makes for a more efficient operation. Personally for me, effienciency = sustainability. I can't do everything by hand and would work myself to death or burn out trying to do so and then where would we be. Certainly not sustainable. God am I'm sick of that word! Nothing is sustainable if it's not financially viable and is overly laborious for the people running it. Don't get me wrong. What we do can be sustainable in a manner. It's just an over-used word that's thoughtlesly used.

Time to roll,

Take care,

Farmer John

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