- North Country
- Capital Region
- Hudson Valley
- Mohawk Valley
- Finger Lakes
- Southern Tier
- 5 or fewer
Aspiring farmer: 1 year or less of farming experience
Not currently farming
Primary reason for farming
Hobby or for personal use
Farming status, plans, and practices
I am a person who doesn't have much farming experience but is eager to learn and research extensively to ensure my future farm prospers. The general plan for the farm is to start off with the intent of growing vegetables such as lettuce and carrots, micro greens, and raising 8-10 poultry for egg-laying. The waste collected from hay, leftover eggshells, and vegetable scraps can be in turn reused for rich compost which helps to nourish and return nutrients back to the soil, allowing for it to heal in order to reduce chances of exhaustion and diminish nutrition to grown vegetables and eggs. As a total beginner, I believe starting off with crops and livestock that are more forgiving for beginners will help to ease me into farm life.
Later on, I intend to build a fencing system to separate large acres into more manageable pastures while introducing sheep to live full-time outside, with the intent of utilizing a regenerative grazing system. Depending on the size of the pasture, the flock will be expected to remain in a pasture for 3-4 days before being moved to the next. This system will help to maintain the health of the pasture by helping to promote vegetative growth when grazed down, increasing the forage and nutrient quality. The waste produced by the sheep also helps the nutrients to be passed back into the earth while the pasture is moved on to prevent overgrazing.
Acres left unoccupied for regenerative grazing will be given other uses, like being used for a fruit tree orchard, ideally starting off with 5-6 young trees from a nursery, to be able to shorten the time for the tree to start producing fruit. Orchards, even on a small scale, can have environmentally-friendly benefits as well. The presence of trees alone can help to purify the air by absorbing the CO2 from its environment and attract natural pollinators which can hopefully help to increase the number of endangered native pollinators in the state. The orchard will also be able to benefit from the compost used to help grow healthy and nutritious trees as well as fruit. I also hope to be able to sell young fruit trees in the future as well to help out others who are interested in having their own fruit trees,
Another practice I intend to utilize to help reduce resources wasted is to invest in rainwater collection. Being concerned with the climate consequences in agriculture, I intend to try not to rely as much on state-provided water systems and collect rainwater for various needs to water my crops and livestock, and luckily New York seems to be quite a rainy state. Rainwater collection helps to protect my local watershed, reduce my carbon footprint, and help to keep the water cycle going after being used.
Farm Experience & Education
I do not have any agricultural experience and education.
Farming Plans and Practices
Farming method or practice
I will be starting off with chickens for the purpose of egg-laying. I will be starting off with breeds that are more suited for a free-ranged lifestyle while being housed in a coop overnight, that is also beginner friendly, such as Leghorns, Orpingtons, Australorps, etc. Hens and roosters will be kept segregated in flocks and free-range separately for a majority of the time and brought together for breeding purposes.
I will also be intent on raising Shetland Sheep for the purpose of harvesting wool. They are beneficial for small-scale and hobby farms for their size and conservation grazing. They will be living full-time out on pasture with a regenerative grazing method to prevent overgrazing. They are a hardy breed that can live and lamb comfortably outside during the winter, however, shelters will be provided in the pasture, as well as a barn in case of injury, illness, or health checks. Ewes and rams will be kept in separate flocks for the majority and be brought together for their breeding season. Males that are deemed unsuitable for breeding will be castrated.
I do not intend to raise my livestock for slaughter, they will be permitted to live their full natural lives. Upon death, non-diseased livestock will be processed and given to the livestock guardian dogs to ensure the nutrients aren't wasted.
I will be starting off with beginner-friendly crops such as lettuce, carrots, peas, and microgreens. These crops seem to be more forgiving for beginner mistakes and can be stored for longer periods of time. Fruit trees will be added as well later on in order to have a small-scale orchard. Pest prevention and promoting crop's health/growth will be done naturally without the use of chemicals, like planting garlic near crops, creating a tea to spray the crops in, and attracting pollinators and predators to potential pests.
For my chickens, I intend to market their eggs like a rainbow basket and sell cartoons of eggs with various eggshell colors with the same quality and taste to help reduce color bias and assumptions a normal consumer may have on egg quality based on an eggshell alone.
For my sheep, because of their colorful wool, I will market their naturally colored wool that is non-dyed and separated based on the wool type and recommended use.
Farm business plan or farm resume
Barns would be nice to be used as an all-purpose place revolving around the farm such as; tagging/branding livestock, providing health checks, and quarantining sick animals, shearing, etc. It would also be nice for at least the acres of open land to have fencing to help keep animals in and prevent LGDs from wandering off the property. And while not a requirement, it would be nice for a secondary unit to already be on the property, for use as a guest house for family until my mother hits her retirement age and she can move in.
For Sale preferred, would not mind Lease to Sale options as well. Mentorship would be nice.