Friday, April 22, 2011

The Six-Month Farming Plan (circa 1946)

While I believe a six-month farming plan (using the "off" months to still work, but at a slower pace) may not be quite as possible now as it was in 1946 I think there is some wisdom in the plan found in Success on the Small Farm. I know quite a few market garden/CSA's in the area and the surely do have their SUPER BUSY seasons, but I also know that they are beginning to do more and more with season extension that may take those six months and turn them into eight months or more. Nevertheless here is the plan ::
"The plan offers six months of leisurely living and six months of hustle.
Basically, the Plan is this. The corp program is laid out so that cash comes in from early May through October. The program is also laid out so that the peak demands of the farmer's own efforts are spread over the same season.
The best plan which the writer knows comprises a crop schedule of the following type: asparagus, strawberries, raspberries, sweet corn, melons, tomatoes, and squash. The asparagus starts in May; the last of the squashes should be sold in October. In between May and November are days of hustle, long hours of labor, perhaps surpluses for which a market has to be found, bad weather days when you'll watch dollars disappear. But all this is part of farming. There'll be rainy days when you'll bless the Weather Man for giving you a day or two to rest tired muscles. There will be days when you'll have to work 16 or 18 hours -- but not too many of them."


Ruby.Rebecca said...

You really DO love that book, don't you? LOL
But yes, in answer to your post... it does seem a feasible plan, one that could be implemented. Thanks for sharing that book one concept at a time, for those of us who don't own a copy!

mySavioReigns said...

Sounds very familiar to the CSAs of today, though most CSAs aren't utilizing meat production. I think, though, if we follow a "normal" (whatever that is) rotation of crops and food, we will find that it will pretty much play out in a 9-month-on, 3-month-on type of deal.

Cool post :)

David N said...

This reminds me of the monthly layout that Mr. Salatin has in his "You Can Farm" book. I guess you can either spend 16 hours a day working in a cubicle in an office somewhere making some grand amount of money, losing your family and marriage, or you can work 16 hours on your own land with your animals and your sons, daughters, and wife by your side maybe not making so much money but accomplishing so much more that matters in this life! I'm working towards the later! I'll have to read that book.

Farm Boy said...

Six on six off would leave me with too much free time. Idle hands are the devils play ground. :)

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