This winter we decided that we should do an open farm. What starts out as an innocent idea turns in to a lot of work. But it will be a lot of fun.
Our open farm will be Sunday, May 18 from noon to 5 PM. This is a family friendly event, but please no dogs and the kids have to be under control; our electric fence will be on.
We are an organic farm growing veggies and grass fed and pastured meats and eggs. We are not certified organic, we might not ever be- we call it ‘beyond organic’.
Our farm is not a bunch of inviduals, our animals work as a team. It starts with the cows eating the grass. We rotationally graze the cattle, they get fresh greens everyday, while the area they were just on gets to recuperate from the grazing, stomping, and manuring.
After a few days the laying hens come through where that cattle were. Flies have been laying eggs in the cow pies, now the hens scratch through the cow pies for fly larvae. Free food for the hens plus the hens harrow the cow pies into the soil. The chickens will also eat any parasites the cows might be carrying.
The broiler chickens get fresh pasture twice a day. They eat grass and insects, depositing large amounts of fertilizer as they go. This is a big source of fertilizer for our pasture.
We also raise pigs. We don’t have any now, they’ll be here in about a month. Our pigs are raised on pasture. They eat grass, clover, and alfalfa and dig up bindweed roots. Based on this past winters pig experience, we might put an emphasis on raising pigs through the winter here. Our soil is clay. Pigs will gladly root up the grass so they can eat the roots. In the process they will work in and organic material we have around. Old hay, leaves, feathers… We can then go in behind the pigs and reseed the pasture with better feeds.
It’s all a system here. It works on a small scale like this, but it will also work on a bigger scale. It is more work managing it all, but notice we have no tractors, plows, or artificial fertilizers.