We’ve all heard of fixer-upper houses – how about a fixer-upper farm? That’s what we have been doing over the winter – preparing a neglected piece of farmland for its first crop in many years!
The property which borders our farm to the south has never been properly farmed in the 22 years we have lived here. It had been approved by our county for residential development. They were going to put 44 houses right smack in the middle of a farming area! Fortunately, we were able to make a deal with the developer to buy the land. Everyone in our farming neighborhood was very relieved, especially us.
We are now revitalizing the farm – we’ve torn down old fences, pruned trees, hauled junk away and burned weeds. We took out an old concrete feedyard, brought in an excavator, and re-graded the soil so that the entire farm will irrigate properly.
Once all the junk and weeds were removed, and the soil disked for the first time, what was revealed was rich, loamy, black soil – prime for growing crops.
This farm is now included with our homeplace and is part of Sweet Hills Farm. We’ve planted wheat on 1/3 of it and the other 2/3 will go into corn. In the future, other crops will likely include sugarbeets, seed crops, dry beans and possible alfalfa hay.
What with 2 billion more people expected on our planet by the year 2050 we need to preserve all the farmland we can, and this is just a very small step in that direction. Such a relief!