Changes on the Farm Plan

Reader Contribution by Malisa Niles
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One thing I have learned about life is it changes. Three years ago, my family moved from small-town America to a small farm (just outside of small-town America.) We did the whole huge garden and a variety-of-animals thing. I have blogged about our experiences on the farm before. Well, as I said, things sometime change.

My husband moved positions in his company and now travels quite a bit. Being we homeschool our three children, we decided as a family to start traveling with him. The current term for this type of schooling is roadschooling. The kids and I are excited about seeing the country and all of the learning opportunities that we will be experiencing. Traveling so much means things on the farm had to change. We had to either find homes for, put animals on shares or butcher all of our animals. Homes were found for the dog, alpaca, some of the rabbits, laying hens, goldfish and some new kids (baby goats). The rest of the dairy goats as well as the calves and pig are out on shares (we share them with others/co-operative ownership). Only have two rabbits left to re-home and 49 broilers to butcher before we leave. The garden will be considerably smaller. I can come home in the fall and barter my labor for produce from our local growers. We found a tenant who will double as a house-sitter and keep an eye on things. So, yes, things have changed.

Our plan for the farm also changed. I have been working on developing a more permaculture approach to our farm. I’m planting more perennial plants like fruit trees, strawberries and fruiting shrubs. We just set off two beehives (next blog topic) since they are more of a hands-off producer. Instead of a large garden, I plan on planting the area to clover, which will add nutrients back into the soil and assist our bees in making superb honey; should also cut down in the lawn and garden care. Many other plans are in the works.

I have learned that you must be flexible in life. I believe the changes we are making in the farm will be beneficial to us when we come home to stay in a couple years. I spoke to the people at GRIT, and they would like me to continue my blog to discuss permaculture, roadschooling, talk about the places we visit, introduce you to the people we meet, and enlighten my readers about agriculture we will see and learn about on our journey. I hope you will enjoy taking this journey with us.

Photo: Fotolia/Barabas Attila

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