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A few years in

posted May 17, 2014, 5:46 PM by Summerdog Family   [ updated May 31, 2014, 8:39 PM ]
We've been through a few years on the farm now.  We're experienced enough to get reliable results in some areas, but still easily startled by what a new season may bring.  Nature cures any overconfidence pretty quickly.

I'm glad we waited before changing much around the farm, or even the house.  There's a logic to the placement and form of things here that has revealed itself slowly.  We know now to dig up the parts that are already dug up, for example, and leave the good pasture alone.  It takes a long time to establish good pasture.  We know to keep the barn and chickens pretty close to the house, for dashing around during sudden storms and freezing nights.  You might expect such things to be obvious, but they were not, at first, to us.  We've come to appreciate solutions that scale to the whole field, and solutions that work well enough.  That means that fighting back the bindweed long enough to grow something, without resorting to herbicides, may be the height of success.    

Occasionally we've even found ourselves doing things well.  That includes growing potatoes and broccoli, tomatoes, and corn.  We were stocked with potatoes through most of the winter, and Ricky's tomatoes made an astoundingly good sauce.  This year will be about our sixth with chickens, and we've learned which breeds we like and which we do not (no thanks to the Rhode Island Reds!).  We gotten inside their little chicken heads to understand how to care for them better, and how to produce the orange, high yolked eggs that look and taste so delectable.

- C
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