Today was the final Farm Beginnings class. We did presentations or talks about what each of our plans were, and enjoyed a potluck lunch. I found the class helpful in many ways and experienced some surprising turns in my own thinking. Prior to this year I think I was still in a romantic state of mind about the whole farm thing. I thought paramount was to purchase a farm where I could be alone with nature and everything would sort itself out. Somehow the accumulated discussions, readings, conferences, and presentations finally penetrated my brain to the enormity of the undertaking. Perhaps it was also the rubber-meets-the-road realization as movement to the goal becomes more real, but my mind has been opened to themes: start where you are, don’t confine your thoughts to a box, look for opportunities around you, can’t do everything yourself. At any rate, it caused me to think about options to transition into farm income that don’t require owning land – renting, collaboration, urban farming, etc.
Here’s my presentation if you’re really board and can’t think of something to do: Farm Beginnings Class Presentation
And, here’s the class photo!
Instructor and proud graduates
Mother Earth News has a cool online garden layout app. Let’s you put in veggies and automatically sets the recommended spacing so you know how many plants to put in. http://gardenplanner.motherearthnews.com/gardenplanner/gardenplanner.html
Spading up the front strip of lawn by the curb! Plan to put in some raised beds and grow vegetables, maybe confuse the neighbors a little. We put too much water (potable water no less) on nothing but lawn. It’s an American obsession. What purpose does it serve really?
Future Urban Farmland
Another week and this time the farm kitties have their eyes open. The mother takes very good care of them and moves them around the greenhouse just to keep everyone guessing.
Now mind you, Common Good Farm does not have weeds; this was from their neighbor’s place. 🙂 It is Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense). Shepherd’s Purse has similar flowers but with lobed leaves (image from web). Both are in the Brassicaceae, or cabbage family.
Field Pennycress (Thlaspi Arvense)
Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
Tonight’s work involved two tasks, potato planting and herb bed cleanup. But the first and most important was to see the newborn spring kittens! Let’s plant these and grow a crop!
- OMG – too cute!
Another of the farm cats – they like to visit the fields and hang out
Woody sage plants and short sleeves do not go together
Exciting, I will be a real intern on a biodynamic farm this year! Common Good Farm north of Lincoln is one of only two biodynamic farms in Nebraska. They make certified-organic look lame (kidding!). Certified Biodynamic basically takes Organic and adds another layer of stewardship: minimum 10% of the farm devoted to biodiversity and ongoing programs to build soil health. I’ll be doing about 15 hours a week, divided into one evening after work and all day on Saturdays. Check out Common Good Farm at http://www.commongoodfarm.com/
It’s a little odd to think that this “first” post will most likely wind up somewhere in the middle by the time I get all my old notes posted. But I can’t rewind the clock to the actual beginning, whenever that was; many thoughts and events have occurred already. So I have to just start where I am and keep filling entries, future or past.
Let’s jump right in and talk about time management. I’m not an expert on it, although I do seem to have lots of experience failing to manage it. One thing I know however is that I already feel too busy. Yet somehow I have to find time to learn about farming substantially enough to be able to make game changing decisions. It was illuminating to put my week into a spreadsheet, mapped down to the half hour. I ended up with a whole two and a half hours of time not spoken for! That told me either a) I was unrealistic about what I should expect to accomplish in a certain timeframe, b) I need to figure out how to become more efficient with certain tasks, or c) I’m mistaken in what is really necessary.