Monday, September 28, 2009
We farm just under 40 acres of rolling northern Monroe county countryside. There is not much flat ground on our place which makes it eminently suitable for grass based production. Like many farms in this part of KY, our place was badly abused. We have the very large job of bring the soil back to life and restoring organic matter that was lost to years of plowing, erosion and overgrazing. In the almost 8 years we have been here, just through putting the animals back on the land and rotationally grazing we have seen some marked improvements. We are now in the process of converting to a small pasture based dairy, currently a Guernsey cow and a Guernsey/Jersey cross cow, to provide high quality protein feed for our Tamworth pigs. We also utilize two free range flocks of laying hens; Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks and Black Cornish, to provide eggs for pig feed. One of our goals is to produce all the feed for the pigs here on the farm. We farm with a team of old style dapple grey Percheron mares, and have a coming team of half Morgan sisters, a 3 year old and a 1 year old, for lighter farm chores and 18th century historical interpretation. We use Black Cornish for our free range meat chickens, which are kept alive through the efforts of a wonderful Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog. We are looking forward to refining these heritage breeds of cattle and pigs into individuals that will be healthiest and most productive using our management style and on our particular piece of ground. We have three intensively planted garden beds and a cold frame which produce most of our herbs and vegetables. The garden beds were built using the permaculture method of sheet mulching and are planted and harvested disturbing the soil as little as possible. Wood shavings cleaned out from the chicken brooding house comprise most of the mulch that is used in the gardens. Our produce is grown primarily to feed ourselves and any extra is brought to market. In the last few years we have been fortunate to have interns come to the farm and we have enjoyed teaching them different skills. We especially enjoy seeing them gain confidence as they learn to care for and drive the horses.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Well we've entered the world of mass media. In the last week we have started Facebook pages for both Lane and I, and then a Facebook page for the farm, and now this blog. I feel that we have crossed the threshhold into the larger thing that we are shaping this farm into, which is a place that will spread the craft and knowledge of horse powered farming and traditional farming and homesteading skills. I hope that you enjoy the sharing this adventure with us.