Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Family, Church, Soccer ... and a little time for Farming

It has been a long time since I have last posted a blog entry here. I have not given up on the farming dream, nor have I stopped reading, researching, or planning. In fact I'm doing just as much as I can, but things have been crazy with my jobs and at our house. I'm still holding down the fort (kinnda) at the church, soccer has started, and both of those lead to less time at home. Still, I'm reading as much as I can and we are planning on getting some chickens for the backyard soon. Remember, reading is good ... doing is better!

This year for Valentine's Day my lovely wife gave me "Small-Scale Livestock Farming" by Carol Ekarius. I had finished You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise by Salatin and I was beging to go through a bunch of technical-type information that I received from my uncle until I started the Ekarius Book. It is a great book that gives you lots of basic and detailed information on things such as fencing, paddock design, simple vetrinary skills, marketing, and financial planning. I like how the book is layed out and how the author goes into detail on many subjects. One of my favorite parts of the book are the farm profiles sprinkled throughout the different chapters. These give real life experience of farmers doing the things that the book describes. I love seeing that this is possible!

Lately I have also been researching cattle breeds looking for traits that would be good for grass farming on a small scale. Things that would be important to me are: good foraging ability, small calves and mothers who birth well, marketability as a minor or heritage breed, the ability to deal with Iowa winters, and possibly a smaller size for the smaller farm. So far I have found the Dexter's to be something that I would like to look at more closely. Also, it is a plus because there are a few people that have Dexter herds in my area of the state.

So, there is a short update of what is going on in my farming mind ... the rest of my mind is consumed with family, church issues, and soccer!
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