Friday, January 4, 2013

Learning Your Farm

Each farm has a specific soil, climate, location and markets. There are no short cuts to learning the unique characteristics of your farm.

Our farm has 5-6 different soil types, topographies and micro-climates in 30 acres. Learning how to maximize opportunities across these widely ranging growing conditions can be a life long challenge.

For example,

we have some oak savana that is kinda rocky, so that is pretty much unuseable right? Not necessarily, you could put up some trellises and grow bitter sweet. Or you could plant grapes! Or you could plant fruit trees.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the riparian area near the Zumbro river. So what to do with that. The deer will eat any vegetables that are planted and the area can flood periodically. So you can't plant anything that can't tolerate wet roots. Turns out that some of the woody ornamentals like Red Osier Dogwood like to live in a very wet area. The dogwood has a beatutiful deep red stem and is so strait and strong that some folks use them for arrows.

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