Hay season is now upon us and to get the better price on square bales we must buy out in the field, which mean many days of going out and driving 40 plus miles and then loading the hay into the horse trailer. We can get 22 square bales at one time this way and the cost is $2.50 per bale, if we wait and he sticks it in the barn the cost goes up to $4.50, so haste is important in this matter. Often when I get the call, we drop what we are doing and get hay, seems odd I know, but after a while it is just another day at the farm. Our round bales are ready now as well and are a bit more than I wanted to pay at $30 each, but we need them for the horses, so I will pay what I have too. With the three horses we go through a round bale a week, so storing hay, is always a problem here on the farm. I am grateful to G-d that we have good friends that are kind enough to store our round bales for us. With our new method of buying and useing hay, we will save alot of money. The horse hay will cost me $1680.00 per year and the other hay, if we get it from the field will run us about $3360.00, for a grand total of $5040.00 per year. We can make that work and it beats the over 7000 grand I paid last year. The grain on the other will not be an easy fix, the cost seems to rise every time I go to the feed store. It is nearly $10 for 50 pounds of corn. This is what I have come up with, I plan to sprout wheat and corn in 100 gallon barrels, I should be able to fill the barrels one quarter of the way(about 20 pounds woth of grain) and sprout about 100 gallons of sprouts for the animals from it. The best part is I can do this year round with about any grain. It will not only quadrupal the amount of feed, but it will enhanse it, giving it more protien and vitamins. My plan is not new, farmers in some parts of Europe have been doing it for hundreds of years and farmers here in the States during the last depression, used this method.
Being a small farmer in America gets harder every day and we must learn to change the way we do things or we are going to go hungry, very soon. I have heard a lot of discussion as to the way we farm, how it will produce less than corporate farms, but here's the thing, more than 40 percent of what we grow in this country ends up in the trash. So even if farms like ours grow less food on the whole, it of a better quality and less likey to find it's way to the trash. We need as a people to waste less and take some reasonability for ourselves. Just growing one tomatoe plant can produce over 10 pounds of fruit and takes up very little space. It saves fuel too. If everyone planted a few pots of garden plants, they would reduce the need for corporate farms that are poising the plant and destroying the future for our children and grand childen. It all starts with us, when we are willing to throw away an apple with a soft spot, instead of cutting the spot off, feeding it to livestock or composting it there is a problem. Most produce is like that, a small blemish is all that gets it thrown into the trash. While we are on the subject of food in the trash; in Orlando florida and other places like it; people are being arested and thrown in jail for gathering this waste food and feeding hungry people. I know it is hard to believe that some one could stop people from feeding some one , but it is true. I can hardly understand why since no one in the many years they have done this has never gotten sick from eatting the food and they are not profiting off of it. I wish many more peole were doing it. Just me I guess.
Our incubator is off at the moment, due to need a bit of repair which I am planning to do very soon. I have to replace two wafers and than see if it corrects the problem. It was all very sad as it spiked a few days ago and killed, what would have been many lolvey birds. I could have cried.
We are still working on the garden, it is an endless task and I guess I will never be finished, lol. I canned a bunch of strawberries and blueberries already and plan to can some pickled radish greens and pods latter today, they should be yummy and provide us some much needed winter greens, which we always seem to lack. This winter we will have to work on sprouting more greens for us and not just the animals. Anyway, bunches today, a nice roast in the oven and potatoes waiting to be mashed in the kitchen.
Be blessed dears ones and share what you have, as full hands can not be filled...so share with some one else who hands are empty and soon everyone will eat.
Shekhinah, Michael and all the kids and critters on Mahanaim Farm