This is my first attempt at blogging, something that I've always considered was for people who were far more outgoing then I. That being said I hope this blog allows people to connect to our farm (dream) and causes a bit of inspiration for other people who are self proclaimed garden geeks.
So to explain a bit more about our farm (dream). I have been gardening and/or farming in some form or fashion since I was about 16 (and I'm turning 28 in a month, so you do the math!) The first time I lived on a farm in southern Oregon I new that I had found it...the thing that I was meant to do. From that moment on I've spent the better part of the last eight years trying to gain the skills, confidence and gumption to start my own farm business. Now at 27 I am finally at a place where it might happen. It is from this wish, this little seed of a dream that Flying Coyote was born. My hope is to build a farm that raises pasture raised meat (rabbits, goats and poultry), and specialty vegetables coupled with a bunch of projects to satisfy my inner garden geek (think bees, small orchard, IMOs, compost tea etc.) There's pretty much no aspect of small scale farming that doesn't interest me which is why the thought of land and business ownership has always seemed so daunting!
Last year my partner John and I raised honey bees, milk goats (Nubians), meat goats (Boers), laying hens, meat birds (Freedom Rangers), Pigs (Hampshire X) and a market garden. This experiment in diversity made me realize many things about myself as a farmer. Foremost was my love of working with animals, a carrot will never ask you for a scratch or nuzzle your thigh when you give it some fresh water. As much as I love growing veggies the opportunity to try something different was very personally satisfying, and also very challenging. I'm comfortable with vegetables, they don't require shots and vet visits, nor can they be dangerous if mishandled. There is also so much about animal husbandry that compliments and enhances annual production systems (think of all that fertile poop!) And after 11 years of vegetarianism and many years of trying to figure out how to be an ethical meat eater, there is nothing more satisfying to me then knowing the meat I eat. It was from these musings that a farm business idea actually began to take shape. I am planning on participating in the Growing Farmers:Successful Whole Farm Management course through OSU this spring, so hopefully that will continue to solidify the business plan taking it from possible dream land to possible reality. In the mean time I am taking a 200 hour yoga teacher training course through the Bhaktishop in SE Portland, and spending my free time voyueristically searching the craigslist real estate pages and meeting with realtors, tax accountants, mortgage brokers and land owners...
'til next time, LT