Monday, December 6, 2010

On the Farm Front...

One thing about being car-less, is that I am actually staying at home more and getting some work done here and there. Admittedly, I have been lazy on the farming front lately, not getting much done. When I get really busy on the dog boarding side, I can't seem to get much done around the farm. I am making plans on how to start making a living from my farm faster, so I can cut down on the dog boarding sooner than later. I know that sounds terrible, as dog boarding is my livelihood, but 16 hours a day, 7 days a week gets a bit much sometimes. I worry that I will burn out.

So, I got to work the other day and almost finished my new turkey/brooder coop. The shelter part has been done for months, and is where I am keeping my heritage turkeys and my new Dorking chickens for now. They really, really need to get outside to forage, though. I finished the fencing part (except for one small stretch where I ran out of stucco wire) and cut the lumber for the door. I just need to be able to get one more roll of stucco wire, and I can finish the run completely. This coop I am designating next spring to a 'brooder coop'. I am actually planning ahead for once, instead of just getting in chickens or ducks or turkeys willy-nilly, whenever the mood hits me. I have contacted my suppliers of chicks and poults for next spring, and have arranged to get everything in the first week in May. This will get my turkeys ready BEFORE Christmas next year, and I'll only have to brood once, instead of all the time. I am quite proud of all this forethought;-) It's not like me! I have had several people asking for turkeys and chickens for next year, and I want to actually make a bit of money on it, so I am trying to treat it more like a business, than something I do just for fun. I have even had an order for some ducks in the fall! I am also planning on keeping 3 heritage turkeys for breeding next year, so I don't have to buy poults each spring. I've got that planned, too, so stay tuned!

I am also making plans to increase what I am doing in the gardens. Originally for this year, I was going to do 20 CSA shares. I am upping that number to 30. With my current car-less situation, I need to change things up, and get ahead for once, instead of barely keeping up. I am working on one online seed order. I am ordering enough seeds so I can fill at least 40 shares, so I will have enough produce left to do some farmgate sales. I am going to find a good used fridge, and build a double-gate system, so I can set up farmgate in the old storage truck at the front of the property. It is equipped with electricity and lights, so won't be too difficult to do. I think building the double gate system will be the most challenging part of this venture.

I am determined to make a success of this farm, even if it kills me.

Oh! my meat chickens went in to get processed just before my car kicked the bucket. Couldn't have been better timing... my freezer is full for the winter now! I have enough chickens to get me through the next few months, plus I have been busily harvesting veggies for winter consumption. All my planning paid off in the gardens this summer! I have tonnes of kale, mesculin, lettuce, leeks, carrots, and am still getting broccoli off my plants. Dinners have been quite delicious lately, and almost 100% grown at home.

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Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!