It's mid-February and we're finally starting to get things together for the spring. Our newest additions to the farm have arrived and their cheep-cheeping is making our mudroom the happiest place in the house.
This is a really cool transition for us, from suburban homesteaders who work on other people's farms to owning our own, and the responsibilities that come with it. In just a few short days of having the 45 baby chicks around the farm it's really given me a new sense of energy and enthusiasm for the work that needs to be done.
There's still a LOT to do before we'll be properly ready for spring. The hens still don't have a permanent coop (the older ones are living a life of luxury in the barn right now), we need to find a farm truck, build a maple syrup evaporator, set up space to start our seeds, and get our business paperwork in order. But the work of taking care of all these tiny baby chicks is making the rest of it seem more manageable. It's a nice change to have a reliable set of chores where we can take the time to gather our thoughts and really get something done every day.
There's a lot to do but we're getting there, and we have a lot of great support in our community. Spring's getting closer and we're not ready but I think we will be. Can't wait!
Well, we've done it. We've jumped off the deep end and bought a well cared for colonial farm house built around the year 1900, and 3 acres of land in a tiny suburb south of Rochester NY.
It has a 3 stall horse barn in perfect condition, a paddock enclosing about a half acre of land, and one and a half acres in the back that we can use as our main vegetable field, and a sunny and flat 0.2 acres on the north west corner of the lot, and a tiny strip of wooded land to the southwest.
Now begin years of hard work, failures and learning experiences, experimentation and adaptation. Now begins the long transformation of what has basically been an over-sized manicured lawn into a productive and fertile farm.
We hope to turn this home into a functioning vegetable farm with enough space for some livestock, for ourselves and for a small batch of CSA shares.
I can't wait to see what we make of this beautiful space!
My projects are going to include more of the permaculture aspects in the beginning, and then graduate to livestock- hopefully pigs and eventually a milking cow or goats. (we go back and forth about the merits of both).
Emma's main focus is going to be the vegetables, starting to make a name for our farm by selling eggs at market, and applying for grants to put a greenhouse in the back field. We both have a lot to learn in regards to being stewards and experts on this land and we're hitting the ground running!
Our challenges include the many upgrades we need to make inside the house which will eat into our budget, our inexperience with animal husbandry (no they don't cover that in great detail in vet school), and the many deer that traipse through the fields.
Though we've more than tripled the amount of land we have, we still don't have enough for pasture, and don't have a woodlot. We have several neighbors, and hope to not irritate too many of them with escaped animals or our own strange escapades.
In 5 years, this space will look completely different. This blog will document that transformation, inside the house and out. We hope to share helpful tips, discuss our though processes and choices, and give you a glimpse of this weird life we chose.
Welcome to the show!