I should be writing more about our Farm Beginnings class. We had our second class this past Saturday. We are learning a lot. Our homework for class #1 was to write a personal aim. Mine is: Mesh the farm rhythm and seasons into work, life and art. This is to be our daily goal - kind of like a daily affirmation. This past Saturday's class (#2) featured a lecture on biodynamics - wow, that is a lot to think about and definitely a motivating topic for future study. I confess all I knew about biodynamics was that a horn was buried. I didn't know that there are so many different preparations. I really liked it. I think it compliments my personal aim.
Then we visited a pastured based chicken farmer. They had these neato portable pens which are moved to fresh grass every day. They have ropes on the front and little lawn mower wheels on the back to allow them to move. They do cover these with tarps and face them appropriately with the sun and the wind so that the pens get the cross breezes. I also liked how they shorted the side so that they aren't as low to allow easier access to the birds without having to bend over so far into the corners. She raises cornish cross. It was interesting that she said that her customer base didn't want/like heritage breed.
This week's homework for class is writing a mission statement for our farm. We have also had exercises where we are drawing our farm (everything: house, growing beds, greenhouses, washing stations, coolers, housing for help, alternative energy) - it was a fun and thought provoking exercise. We have also been asked to think about finances. One worksheet had us actually qualify how much money we want/need to make at farming. That is a really hard thing to do. We settled on between $750-$1000/month. I'd love feedback on that number if anyone has any thoughts. It seems like not much - but like Bill said, if we were interested in the money we would just keep our current jobs and stay in the city.
All in all, we are greatly enjoying the class, hearing stories from real farmers and networking with other students.