Walking the boundary of Milkweed Farm
Now that Milkweed Farm is officially ours, I've started to worry that I won't be able to manage ten acres. Which is ridiculous because we already have 30 acres and we manage that just fine. But we have tenants for that farm (Mike's started calling it Teasel farm) and they manage it. I just do the paperwork. I can totally do paperwork. But I'm going to farm these ten acres myself. Do I know enough about being a farmer?
It's ours as far as those trees
Well, I know the first principle is that the land you have determines what kind of farm you have. If you fall in love with a steep-sided hill farm, you're going to end up with a flock of sheep, because that's what thrives on a slope. Milkweed farm is flat, and the sward (grass) is good. In fact it's certified organic as the previous owner raised organic grass-fed beef on it. We have lots of options.
The dew pond in the corner of the field - we can extract water from it for livestock
Too many options are confusing. I need to narrow them down in order to find this farm's purpose. When I'm not sure about something, I fall back on what I know: research. Luckily there's a local Agricultural College (my old alma mater ) with a pretty good library. As it's too wet to get on with spring chores I used the opportunity to rummage through their stacks for titles like Fieldcraft and Farmyard, Grassland Smallholding, and The Profitable Hobby Farm.
Maybe it was the change of scenery or the comfort of a library environment, but some thoughts came clear. I know that the farm must pay for itself, and contribute to our overall income - no more fooling around. I know that I want to keep the organic status, at least in principle (the accreditation can be expensive). And I know that I'm going to make some mistakes. It's inevitable.
After a walk around the field this morning, we decided to start with what needs doing - namely fencing, and clearing up some weeds that are encroaching on the field margins. We need to clear this in order to put the fence in, and reclaim around an acre of field that would be going to waste otherwise.