Now that we are released from the government conservation program, I am free to start the journey of creating the little farm. While the program could be an asset for larger farmers, it really was too one size fits all to work here.
So, we begin....
Today I call a neighbor that cuts hay on shares. With luck we have a five day window of clear weather. Later this week I could possibly have my first cash crop. This in turn should help fund the next thing. The next thing is a few chickens and some morel mushroom spore. If I do this right then next spring my first flush of morels will sell for around $30-$35 per pound. That will give me cash crop number two.
The second cutting of hay will pay for my hazelnuts to be planted next spring. I won't see a return on this crop for about five years, but it should give me a return for thirty to fifty years depending on how well the trees are maintained. That will be cash crop number three.
I don't know if the third cutting will be sufficient to pay for the wine grapes. That may have to wait until next spring. They will be cash crop number four.
On the livestock front... there will be some chickens. Some for eggs and some for the freezer. Perhaps we will raise a couple of feeder pigs, also for the freezer. We have talked about beef but I don't know if I am ready for that yet. I'm also looking into having some of the Old English Babydoll Southdown sheep. They are suppose to be better tasting. They are suppose to have a wool that rivals cashmere and they are suppose to keep vineyards clean without eating on the vines themselves.
And it starts today. Today I call a neighbor that cuts hay on shares.