The Farmstead Fields

Farmstead? WTH is a farmstead?

Well, we are using the word to describe a small family farm that has a business purpose. We live on the farm. We entertain friends and family on the farm. We grow stuff on the farm. We raise kids and other animals on the farm. We have three generations of the family living on the farm.

What’s different is that now we want to supplement our income with our farm activities. We are not sure we can do so in a significant way. But, we are going to try.

The Farm

We are located in Southeast Pennsylvania. The family has been on the 18 acre property for more than 60 years. We have approximately 10 acres of tillable acreage. That does not sound like much until you have mowed the entire thing. For the past 60 years or so, our dairy farmer neighbor grazed his cows and raised crops on our property. That was good for everyone. He had extra land to work with and we didn’t have to maintain the acres. But, he retired and now we need to decide what to do with it.

The Ideas

Animals? Hmmm, they always get out of their fence it seems. Trees? Maybe. Hay? Takes a lot of capital to grow and store hay. There were the conversations around the table as we debated what to do. We settled on this: Let’s plant a winter cover crop and buy ourselves some time to decide. A small commercial nursery specializing in lavender cultivars is attractive. A cut flower business offers some opportunities. Growing produce for ourselves and possible for a farmer’s market has some merit. But, we need to plan for the equipment and skills necessary to do all these things.

The People

The oldest generation consists of the grandparents, Paul and Carolyn. The middle generation is Cliff and Julie. The young’uns are Sam and Naomi, both teenagers. We all live together and worship together and take care of the property together.

This Blog

We intend to chronicle our efforts through pictures, narrative, and videos as an online journal of what works and what doesn’t when you try to start a project like this. We hope you come back often and hope you enjoy some laughs and tears as we stumble through becoming actual farmers rather than just hobbyists.