Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Frustration and success

Not surprising, one of the biggest frustrations on the farm is budgeting while still getting the tools/equipment one needs to get the work done. We are still signing folks up, and we are doing very well for a first year CSA. Especially one that is a larger financial commitment (though a bargain in the long run). But because we haven't sold all of the shares yet, there is the shuffle that happens with every farmer and most new small businesses. That shuffle involves looking at what is necessary to keep the trains running (feed, shavings, fencing, for a few examples) versus what would make things move faster (tractor, better chainsaw, big rototiller). So right now, in soil prep we are relying on mostly physical strength and sheer will power. And we have a hand plow on order-yup a hand plow (or wheel plow/cultivator). I'm excited. I wasn't thrilled about the idea of using an intense amount of fossil fuel to prep the ground for raised beds, and any good tool would mean cutting the budget in another spot. Plus, the ultimate goal of using draft animals for this type of field work means spending funds on tools that we won't use at that point doesn't make a whole lot of sense. We will see how it goes, I'm sure it will be a challenge, but it has to work. Has to. I mean, for centuries folks of the growing persuasion have used these tools- so it is good enough for R'Eisen Shine.

I'm really loving the Freedom Ranger chicks. They are cleaner and more active then the cornish crosses. As so far, very sturdy. They do grow a bit slower, but nothing that makes me concerned about their ability to be a good size roaster at finish. I'm holding back a complete endorsement for a taste test, but hopeful we can completely eliminate the use of the Crosses before the end of the season. In good news though, the weather has improved enough to get the first batch of crosses finally in the moveable pen. I'm glad, and hoping they will get some of that good green grass in their systems.

I hit a moment yesterday that I hadn't hit in the month I've been on the farm full time. I was totally overwhelmed and really worried that I couldn't get it done in time. But this morning, things are better. I see the the amount of work, and I know it will be done. The best way I can. So I better get to it.

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