What's the big idea...

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EQIP Planning Project1.jpg Natural Resource Conservation Service Grazing Plan for our Farm
(EQIP = Environmental Quality Improvement Program)

Mike and I signed on the dotted line for the conservation plans for our farm- 172 acres total into grazing and organic agriculture beginning between now and 2011. We'll start by creating 92 acres of rotational grazing for beef cattle in 2010. This part scares me the most-- lots of fences, new well, many water lines and watering stations, big beefy animals that could step on little kids....

Across the driveway (not shown) we've enrolled 80 acres into the brand spanking new USDA Organic transition program. **Proud moment- we ranked 2nd in the entire State of Minnesota for this program** Mike is more intimidated by this organic 80 acres. In my mind, we could make this work just by force of will -- weeding by hand every day of the growing season if need be. Harvest with scythes, whatever... We actually calculated out the kids ages to figure out if they would be of good weeding ages in 2011 (7, 7 and 11).

So between the two of us we are confident we can make it work on the north and south side of the driveway (or conversely scared it won't work on the north or south side of the driveway).

In all honesty, part of my motivation for doing this (which my husband of nearly 15 years won't know until he reads this blog entry) is that we as a civilization have to-- HAVE TO-- learn (or remember) how to farm using sunlight as the major food source (grazing cattle) and making due with resources lower on the petroleum food chain (organic). Because in an uncertain future there will still be sunlight and some poop to keep this farm going.

So I am comfortable taking the risk of moving from conventional row crops (corn and soybeans) which we know can make the farm payments to experimenting with sunlight and crafty labor and inputs. When I say "Lord help us" that is not just a figure of speech.

8 Comments

hey; I'll be telling him to "Help you too!! (and I got some secrets)what i've learned and more. Chow and congrats. E S

Good for you.. Dad and the relatives farmed this way in the 20's and 30's, rotating crops and yes, even pulling weeds! He had a passion against mustard and thistles.
How about a family reunion out your way. We could have a weed pulling contest.
BYOH....Bring your own hoe, BD

Again Kath - you amaze me. Your determination is just something to be seen. WOW! You and your farm are in my thoughts and prayers

Thank you all for the comments and well wishes. I imagine a lot of "farmers" feel this way, but it seems there is soooooooo much work to do before we started showing off what we're doing. I would love to host a family reunion out this way though... that's a great idea.

Thanks you all for following and posting here!

Kathy

Good luck sister!

Jason says that you probably won't be back in the summer much to visit, huh? He wanted you to know that I tilled my 5,000 sqaure foot garden 6 times and its only been planted since May 5. He is a little worried for you and Mike having any free time to have coffee and beer. Love Jason

I was reading back thu your message here; Don't be afraid of the beef cattle, there such lovable,quiet creatures, you'll love em. Mike,if you raise row crops see if you can find an old front-mount row crop cultivator. As I said I've got some things I'll share with you some time, (not on this blog).

wow! one step at a time. a huge plan...

congrats to you and your family for tackling the hard work needed to keep the farm viable and in an environmentally sensitive manner!

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on July 10, 2009 7:22 PM.

Ecosystem Envy was the previous entry in this blog.

Peak Civilization is the next entry in this blog.

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