Sunday, October 2, 2016

Laying the Ground Work

So staring a farm from the ground up is certainly a lot of work. Researching the proper and legal methods to naming your farm to the research of government grants can sometimes leave your head buzzing. With the coming of the winter, we will be stuck inside (bummer!). Currently, the 2016 garden is standing still as we await the harvest of our sweet potatoes and Michael holds out for more of his hot peppers. Soon enough, the earth will be churned over and planted with a winter crop. Michael is hoping to get some more horse manure from a local horse ranch before he plants either winter wheat or winter rye, but the rain is proving to be a hindrance.

Throughout the winter, we will be researching and drawing up more plans for our organic farm operation, and creating a detailed business plan that includes our mission on giving back. I wish I could go into detail now about our philanthropic plans, but I certainly do not want anything leaked before drawing up the proper plans. Needless to say, Michael and I have been allowing our minds to go wild with the possibilities of running our own operation.

The goal in the spring is to set up bees and construct bat boxes down near our small garden. Michael has a Yanmar EX3200 tractor that has become his most favorite toy. With this toy, he has taken to removing trees and extending the usable land on our small acreage. It is our goal to utilize the land we currently have to start our operation in hopes of getting our name out into the public arena. Besides, it is currently a sellers market, and we are in no position to purchase land.

Michael is still planning on returning to school hopefully in the winter time frame. In the mean time, we are researching as much as we can pursuant to farming and running a business. We are trying to pace ourselves while maintaining the passion for this endeavor because the process does take a while when it is from the ground up.

Until next time

Bee Courteous!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Farmer

Eventually this site will house the farming endeavor of my husband Michael. Until that point is upon us, I have decided to take it upon myself to chronicle his journey towards becoming a farmer in his own right, on his terms. Michael was not born into a farm family, so this adventure is all new to him, and he knows that education will be the key to operating a successful farm.

I won't go too much into his biography as I know my husband would like the focus to be on the soil, the animals, and the wonders that nature provides us on a daily basis. I will say this about Michael, he has always been a hard worker, and the notion of waking to a load of work means that he has the high probability of ending his day feeling a sense of accomplishment. The idea of sweat on his brow does not frighten him, but shoots exhilaration through his veins.

Currently, we are looking into schooling options, so that he can gain knowledge in what it takes to cultivate the proper soil, raise healthy plants, and run a successful operation. We have decided to check into Michigan State University for these options as they are a well known higher education institution within the agricultural world. At this point, we are awaiting information on the scheduling of these classes. Seeing as how Michael is a father of four and assistant care giver to my mother with dementia, the classes have to fit into our lives. Still, I pray that Michael will be able to achieve his dream, and that I am help him do so. I am a stay at home mother at this point, a full time caregiver, so our options are slightly limited. Added to this, I am still a student myself. Here I am, on my husband's birthday, creating this cite so that my husband can see how he is supported in his endeavor.

Some things to consider as my husband gets started. Michael has trade skills that will be useful around the farm. He is wonderful with fabrication, and is great with re-purposing various materials to achieve his fabrications goals. The above picture is only part of a pallet trellis that was created for our 2016 garden. Another important aspect is that he is a veteran. Why is this important? For those who are veterans or perhaps not, this cite may give you insight into what it looks like from a veteran's perspective. Will there be more assistance available or not? My husband is a skilled diesel mechanic, so he will be able to work on much of his own equipment. Again, why do I mention this? Well, I want the list of pros and cons to be a true representation of what it takes to start a farm. This is an avenue that can and will likely save money in the future. Lastly, my husband has made the decision that he does not want a large scale farm operation. This is important for many different reasons. One, he wants to know his land and his critters, so having a manageable farm is important. Two, he wants to operate organically. This is not for commercial reasons, but because he believes that this is how farming should be. Three, he is not committed to one avenue of farming. He is passionate about animals (including bees), fruits and vegetables as well as the occasional row crop, but he does not want to commit himself when so many avenues interest him.

Overall, we understand that farming takes a lot of time and dedication. We will have to create a niche, to create a name for ourselves, but we take on this endeavor together as a family with Michael at the helm. Bee Organic Farm is a labor of love. It will be built on integrity, dedication, hard work, and God's grace. First, my husband is going to learn all he can through education, and working our 2.86 acres.

Until the next update.

Bee Amazing!

The Beginning

Farming starts somewhere, the desire to grow and cultivate is as old as time. Follow the journey of one farmer who, although not grown into a farm family, has wanted to farm since he was knee high to a toad stool.

Possible Row crop