So we are still working on the farm and right now just trying to keep a float, literally as the rain comes down. With my foot still healing most of the work on the farm has to be done by my husband. He is fabulous and works really hard, but it does not allow us much time to start new projects. At the new farm so far, we have the chickens in a new chicken coop and yard. The inside of the coop needs to be remodeled, but it is functional and for the most part dry. The goats are in a structure made from a recycled dog run roof, pallets and weed cloth. They are also for the most part dry. The pigs are in a moveable run in that we are moving around our field, until we get permanent fencing up. The ducks are happy in the rain, the rabbits are dry in their barn and the tilapia are warm in the basement for the winter.
Now that you are caught up with general goings on, let me talk about Soil Conservation. Soil Conservation is a government company that can help a farmer establish and improve pasture rotation practices to improve soil quality. Pasture rotation is when the livestock are moved to different fields on a rotational basis. This allows one field time to recover while the animals are grazing on another field. The pasture sizes depend on the type of animal you are raising and the number of head. For example, we are raising a small amount of animals, at most 10 pigs or chickens, our pasture fields will be broken up into small fields 1/2 acre in size. These fields all need a structure and water for the animals. Soil Conservation can help new farms create a pasture rotation plan as well as apply for a grant to be able to help with some of the cost.
We are just beginning that process with them. Below is a check list of what you need to get started.
- Own the land you want to farm.
- LLC or Sole Proprietorship
- Employee Tax Identification Number (EIN)- This number can be obtained through the IRS.
- DUNS number- http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
- Contact your local Soil Conservation Office- Search Soil Conservation and your state name.
The Soil Conservation office will send you an application as well as set up a time to come out and look at your property. So far everyone I have dealt with has been very nice and they will be visiting the property next week. I will keep you posted on what happens. We are hoping to get fencing, water, and structures put up within the next year. Who knows what God has in the plan for our little farm.
In the mean time, I am resting inside trying to get as much of the administrative stuff taken care of on the farm. I hope this was helpful.