Recent trends indicate that more younger people want to get into farming or become farmers but might be discouraged by initial capital outlay, lack of resources, or a bevy of other challenges. FiveDollarFarm started with an older couple that just flat out wanted to do something different and make a change in their own lives. Purchasing the land to farm was not so much an issue as the knowledge of how to farm which seemed to be wanting. By sheer determination we decided to reclaim the knowledge that almost everyone in the world before us had known and utilized. And what we couldn’t we would learn by trial and error.
One of the first important lessons we learned was about timing and we still don’t have it down completely but are much better off than we were originally. It is obvious to most people that there are certain seasons when food can be grown and when it cannot. By most don’t know how long the “shoulder” seasons are and variety of crops that can be grown within them. Crops such as cabbage, carrots, lettuces, beets, Brussels sprouts, and others can be grown the weather doesn’t instinctively seem conducive to do so. In our opinion, many of these crops taste better having been grown in a colder season that includes a frost or two.
We are attempting to manage our timing for planting and harvesting as well as caring for our crops with the use of technology through calendars and such, a benefit our grandparents never had. They also did not have the distractions of answering phone calls and texts messages either. We do utilize hand written notes and notebooks for records but use the Google calendar mostly for remainders of upcoming events.
Another issue we have had to deal with is quantity. I have a tendency to plant a much greater quantity of each vegetable than we will ever consume or sell as seedlings. For example, this year many plants were discarded because we did not have the field space to put them in once the seedlings were ready to be transplanted. We are utilizing spreadsheets to plan quantities more effectively so that we are not nearly as wasteful. An added benefit is that this process helps us to manage our space in the greenhouse better. As an aside, it was a personal growth experience for me as I realized I had issue from my youth on wasting resources that was anathema to me. I determined I had to let this go and instead made a neuro-association to observe all the abundance that God has given us. We also attempt to charitably contribute any excess we generate to local organizations or our church. Thank you Tony Robbins for the guidance. You can read about him here.
At some times during this fall we had counters full of tomatoes that we had difficulty consuming or finding the time to process by canning. We did end up putting aside a significant amount of tomatoes and sauces from home canning. We did not get a chance to make pickles as we normally do but we expect to be able to do that next year.
So as you see there are many challenges to be a new farmer. That does not stop us here at FiveDollarFarm. We are determined to provide for ourselves and our family and be able to assist those in need in our community. If you a new to farming or live a rural lifestyle and have some advice for anyone, please leave a message below. We would love to hear what you think.