My Year 1 Plan and How You can Help (Hint, Join my CSA!)
Last week I went to the new farm with a piece of paper in my hands. It outlined all the animals I will have on the new farm this year, the building projects I need to complete, field work, and some other things I thought Tony, the landowner, should know. I was so nervous to just hear a flat no to my whole plan. So with a somewhat timid voice, I read out my list. And at the end, I looked up nervously and waited.
"Yea, ok." I think my head may have reeled back in shock when I heard those words from Tony. "OK?" I asked. "Yea," said Tony. Then we took a walk around the farm. I'll be honest. The place is in rough, rough shape. But in place of the overgrown brush, I can see pigs romping around in pasture. In place of a run down old barn, I can see it with a fresh coat of white paint and sharp black windows just like it was when it was built in 1948. And in the forest of young trees, I can see silvopasture and cows grazing. It needs work, but I can't imagine doing anything better in my life than bringing that farm back to its prime.
As Bob and I drove home, I fell deep into thought and was knocked out of it when Bob said, "Hey, what are you thinking over there? You look so thoughtful." I thought about it for a moment and realized what I was feeling was a deep sadness. The meeting had felt so hopeful and in that sense of hope was the fact that I was more definitively going to leave my family's farm for good. Since the meeting with my family where they asked me to leave the farm by Spring, it has been a great unfolding of relief, hope, and grief. The great unfairness is that I have no choice in that matter. Although I feel so connected to that piece of land in Chepachet and know it better than anyone alive at this point, it will never be mine in a way that matters to anyone but me.
And the great relief is that I'm moving to a place where my abilities are appreciated and my ideas are met with something other than negativity. That Bob and I can bring some ease and community back into the life of the farmer who's spent his life tending to the land and the animals there. I'm not sure if I believe that everything happens for a reason but I do think that Tony and I have a lot to add to each other's lives, and that together (with a lot of help from our friends) we can make that farm shine.
Without further adieu, here is my Year 1 plan for the farm! I am SO excited beyond words to get cracking. Bob and I have worked there for two days and with the help of Tony started clearing some brush in the future pig paddocks! And now is when I ask for your help. With these projects come a huge amount of up-front costs. And if you hadn't guessed, winter is a pretty lean time financially for the farm. If you'd like to help us get started on the new property, please consider joining my CSA, and if you're able paying for the whole share before it starts in May.
There will be pickups in Chepachet and Cranston. You pick all your own products, when you want them, and in return for paying up front you receive a discount and my eternal gratitude. I'm also offering a Flower Subscription this year, which would make a great Valentine's Day or Mother's Day gift. For more information click here, and to sign up, click here!
Year 1 at the new Deep Roots Farm!
150 Laying Hens
2 batches of pigs- 15-20 each
1200-1500 meat chickens
Clear out garage and build farm store- Finished by May 1
Clear out little red barn- Finished by April 1st to put pigs in
1 or 2 30’x96’ hoop houses
12x12 hoop structure for brooder- Finished by April 1 to put chicks in
Some sort of structure to store tools/fencing in
-build permanent pig fencing
-clear out brush on all edges of field
-plant flower garden in garden area
-clear out ~5 acre brush area for pasture
- Start clearing some forest into silvopasture
-Improving roadside appearance
-Putting up Deep Roots Farm sign
Things to Mention
-part time employee Sunday 7:30-3:30, Monday 7:30-11:30, Tuesday 7:30-11:30
-Volunteer days to help with projects
Thanks for reading.