A funny thing about farming is that there is no ideal time of year to start. If you arrive in spring, it would have been better if you had plowed the fall before and planted garlic; if you arrive on land in the summer, spring would have allowed you at least to get some crops in the ground; fall is nice, but arriving as the leaves fall you miss the valuable information about weeds and grasses endemic to your farm–all thing you’ll want to know as you plan your next season. And winter? Winter leaves you stir-crazy and lusting for sun, overflowing with ideas and with no good outlet for them until the ground thaws.
So you might as well start whenever you can.
That’s what we’re doing–we moved in July 5th, got a guard dog on the 12th, chicks and turkey poults on the 14th, and six piglets on the 15th. Vegetables may take a bit longer.
To be fair, our timing isn’t bad, even if it is a bit harried. We’ve seen our land in the soggy spring and we’ll have the rest of the summer to observe the changes that the weather brings. We have time to break the sod that covers our fields and sow cover crops for spring as well as greens for winter munching. In October I will plant garlic, the bulb that links one year to the next. The dog days of summer and the first weeks of fall leave Andrew just enough time to run two batches of chickens across our pastures, as well as one flock of Thanksgiving turkeys. The pigs are already making short work on the vines and thistles on the edge of one field. So we’ll have something to eat this winter, as well as something to sell.
For now, though, with the animals installed and the heat pouring down, we’re back to planning: crop plans for fall, crop plans for spring, chicken pen design and material sourcing. And web design. Thank goodness you can build a webpage while sitting in your dirt floored basement, the only place on the property cooler than 90 degrees.
There’s no wading into farming; you have to jump in.