Friday, July 21, 2006

Turning desert into Oasis

This is a skeleton of what I envision for the farm. It is an initial plan that will be revised, probably extensively, as I research and learn. If I can pull this off with my brain damage it will be too cool. Hey, reach for the stars. If you don't get there at least you go farther than if you didn't reach at all.

Business plan – Farm

While most of the land is tied up in the CRP program there is still a portion that we can use immediately. However there is much to do in preparation for the time the rest of the land becomes available. In 2008 we will pull five acres out of the CRP program. The remaining seventy acres will be available in 2011. Here are the preliminary steps needed to get started.

1. Get a well drilled and install a wind powered pump with a good sized cistern or holding tank. This will be used for gravity feed and powered irrigation systems. The use of wind power is a long term investment that will allow us to reduce the cost of obtaining the water that is vital to the success of the farm. We will also incorporate rainwater harvesting to gather as much of this precious substance as possible.
2. Run the pipe needed for the drip feed irrigation to the small portion of land that is immediately available.
3. Determine and purchase the equipment needed to operate the farm such as a tractor, canning, nut cracker.
4. Install wind electric generator to provide low cost power for the farm thus reducing overhead.
5. Build an outbuilding to house and repair equipment as well as providing facilities for canning and processing of produce.
6. Build composting bins to provide a continual source of soil enrichment and to recycle waste.
7. Renovate the farm house. This will provide office space for the administration of the farm. It will include the digging of a cellar for storage of root crops and to contain the battery banks required for the power generation. The house will also be used for the initial canning operations so the kitchen area will be designed with that in mind. The house requires plumbing, wiring, insulation, roof repair, siding, and a septic system.
8. Build chicken coop to house the poultry.
9. Map out and fence areas that will be used to grow fruits and vegetables. This will inhibit access to these areas to rabbits and other critters that like to eat my stuff.
10. Plant rows of evergreens that will provide wind breaks and protect the orchards and crops. These will require irrigation.
11. Plant trees that will be the first part of the orchard. What these trees will be is yet to be determined.
12. Go to school to learn about farming.
13. Plant the vegetable garden. This will contain a wide range of products that will include root crops, tomatoes, peppers, and whatever else strikes our fancy.
14. Build a greenhouse to provide a year round source of fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables.
15. Build a smokehouse to process poultry as well as other products such as ham and beef to be packaged for sale.
16. Investigate opening a facility to sell products directly to the public.
17. Get certified as an Organic farm.
18. Locate and purchase equipment for shelling pecans. This will not only process what we grow but provide a needed service for the area farms that currently produce pecans.
19. Take a long nap. This will take up the two years prior to the release of five acres so I will be dog tired by then.
20. Start farming after buying Bib Overalls.

I went online to explore farm stuff. I Googled “Homesteader” and came up with a site that seems to have an active group of like minded folks. Registered myself and succeeded in getting on their forum thing. This was difficult for me and has been with other sites where I never successfully got on board. It’s some kind of glitch with the brain damage. Anyway I ventured out with an introductory “This is who I am” thing. I am surprised at getting a response. Called Cherie in and it tickled her too. There were two visitors to the blog and four “welcomes” on the forum thing. It will be nice to develop relationships related to this new life we are heading for. It will also be nice to leave behind the crap in the city. Kinda leaving one world and entering another.

I have a migraine working it’s way up. It’s 10:30 and I am wide awake but getting mentally fatigued.


Peggy said...

came over from to check your blog. Enjoyed reading about your farm and will be back often to see how things are going.

Bob said...

Looking forward to becoming a part of the homesteader community. Glad to see ya dropping by.

Anonymous said...

Great Bloq....and great perserverence. May your life be a reflection of your incredible courage.