Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Big Dreams

Now that the weather has turned cool and the garden is tucked away for the winter. It's time to start thinking about next year's plantings and make a game plan. Invariably this is the time of year when all the "what-ifs" start to rear their heads and my mind wanders off into a dreamy world of things that aren't likely to happen any time soon.

I don't dream of kitchen remodels or new cars, although those would be nice. I dream of acreage. Not big, commercial farming acreage like the farmers around here have. I honestly don't know what I'd do with a thousand acres. No, I dream of farm houses that sit on ten to forty acres, with a year round creek and a small stand of hardwood trees, some open spaces for growing and some native fruit and nut trees.
It's the sort of place my grandfather grew up on. His family was largely self-sufficient. They kept a dairy cow, a few goats and sheep, chickens, turkeys and guineas, and they grew almost all of their own produce.

This dream state is always brought on by an exercise in planning the garden spaces for next year. I sketch out the beds and take note of what I grew in which ones to make sure I'm properly rotating my crops. I take a look at my inventory of seed which I keep on a spreadsheet (nerdy, I know). I map out what I will plant where. Then I reach the point where I feel I'll need a shoehorn to fit in one more plot and my head wanders off into if-I-just-had-more-land mode.

More land is like more storage space. You know that extra room will fill up with stuff within a few months of building it. I'm sure my crops and livestock expectations would expand to fill any space I had.

Right now my efforts are like a scale model of the farm I dream of. I raise just a few turkeys and just a few chickens, I allocate plots to crops, trying to balance yield with variety. The day will come when I'll be able to scale up what I do.

For the moment I just keep learning. This year I learned about blue corn and raising turkeys.

What did you learn this year?

1 comment:

  1. In the interest of full disclosure. This is not my house and these are not my fields - yet.