Monday, November 8, 2010

Farm Beginnings and Fall Endings

We cannot express how grateful we are for the gentle fall weather lingering on so long this year.

Saturday was glorious but we were inside all day, at the first session of the year-long Farm Beginnings course sponsored by the Land Stewardship Project. The class was great, and it was wonderful to meet a roomful of aspiring beginner farmers like us (some were even middle-aged novices like us) but we did have a few pangs, thinking we should be home getting our winter prep done.

We are taking the Farm Beginnings class to help us focus in on a plan for Squash Blossom Farm.  We have been mulling over a list of about twenty brainstorm ideas for a little farm-based enterprise ever since we moved here, everything from making artisan cheese, to opening a pizza farm or a  meadery, or growing flowers. We hope that this class will help us evaluate whether we have what it takes for success with one of these ventures.

Lucky for us, Sunday was also a perfect day and we  accomplished most of the items on our To Do list:
- Get a load of hay and straw
- Spread new straw bedding in loafing shed for cows
- Spread new straw bedding in chicken coop
- Set up heaters for chicken waterers
- Clean out north end of barn - including power-washing the trailer. upon which the guineas have been roosting and making a mess
- Devise a new roost for the guineas
- Organize potting shed gear in north end of barn (last week I moved the potting shed out of the coop and gave the entire building back to the chickens
- Clean out garage so both vehicles can fit inside
- Wash the rest of the windows and put on plastic (Rog got half of them done last weekend)
- Power wash patio
- Take canopy off gazebo
- Spread composted animal bedding on garden
- De-hull, rinse and spin sprouts for  delivery Monday

Whew! We worked hard! And then Rog made some  yummy potato-leek soup for a late supper.

Still have a few things left on our fall To Do list:
- Plant garlic
- Plant the remaining bulbs and wildflowers
- Plant the rosebushes and bittersweet vine
- Store patio furniture and fountain
- Burn brush pile
- Leaf removal in back yard
- Insulate cow water tank
- Fire up the snowblower

We are promised a few more nice days yet, so I am optimistic we will get everything crossed off our list before it snows.


Jo said...

Good for you, taking the Farm Beginnings course. I've heard good things about it, and have thought about taking it sometime. The cost is a bit prohibitive (for us at least), though. Let us know how it works out!

Becky said...

Wow! I'm tired just having read your list! Great job getting so much accomplished! That class sounds interesting. How cool that such a class is out there!

katiegirl said...

The Farm Beginnings course sounds neat! You two sure have been working hard!

Susan said...

The Farm Beginnings tuition is a bit costly, but they offer scholarships and payment plans, and the fee covers two people. I think the networking and mentors will be invaluable. Oh, and grads are eligible for a no-interest livestock loan program!