I graduated college this year, so from one milestone I jump to another– getting the farm going. I’m putting myself on a two-year plan. The first year (starting now through next August) will be the planning year. I’ll be paying off debt, getting a handle on my student loan repayment, saving money, making plans and lists, and searching for a farm site. I’m also going to continue my book education of reading everything related to farming that I can get my hands on. Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. 🙂 The second year will be the trial and error year. I’ll still have an off-farm job, and will be starting growing and marketing on a small scale. It will give me a chance to learn first-hand how to do things; what will work and what won’t.
I already have a pretty clear vision of what I want to do. I want to grow all heirloom varieties, organically and with mostly hand tools. I want to grow mostly vegetables and some flowers. I’ll start small (likely only a half acre the first trial year) and grow from there, keeping the entire operation at it’s largest to under 5 acres. At some point, I’d like to add beehives, chickens, turkeys, and maybe a goat or two to the farm. I’d like to have an on-site farm stand as well as a community center– a place where people can have functions (I’d love to see Slow Food convivia or school groups use my farm as a meeting place) and also take workshops and classes on things like starting a garden, canning produce, making beeswax candles and such. I’d like to sell at farmer’s markets and do CSA business. There is going to be a lot to learn and a lot to do, but I’m excited. I’m young, I’ve got my two hands and a good head on my shoulders, and most importantly, I’m passionate about it. The only way to get what you want is to go out and get it. So that’s what I’m going to do.