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Summer 2019 York Meadow Farm Update

 
pollinator
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Location: NE Ohio / USDA Zone 5b
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author & gardener
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Location: Southeastern U.S.
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Rob, it's interesting to see your property. Your market gardens and greenhouse look good. So do your woodchip piles! I couldn't help but wonder if you had any misgivings about the gas well. On the other hand, it seems like your plans dovetail nicely with the gas company's roadway.
 
Rob Kaiser
pollinator
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Location: NE Ohio / USDA Zone 5b
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Leigh Tate wrote:Rob, it's interesting to see your property. Your market gardens and greenhouse look good. So do your woodchip piles! I couldn't help but wonder if you had any misgivings about the gas well. On the other hand, it seems like your plans dovetail nicely with the gas company's roadway.



Thanks Leigh, in all honesty - I don't own this...I'm a tenant myself.  Like our tenant farmers - I pay rent to the owners (my parents) to live here.  I work off-site though for income and actually have very little to do with anything operationally outside of grounds maintenance and helping coordinate all this stuff.

2020 will be our third season with tenant farmers in a cooperative farming model we envision and are somehow making happen.  The market gardens and high tunnel productivity are a result of the collaboration with them - we would only be growing a fraction of what they are currently producing.  

Misgivings about the well?  Not really.  If I was in the search for property to do what we're doing, I would personally not have purchased this property.  Looking back, my parents agree.  But when they bought this place damn near 15 years ago it was supposed to be the location for their "retirement home."  Wow...how things change!  lol

So...the problem is the solution and all that jazz - so I'm trying to make this fit into the long-term design and plan of the farm.  Personally, I've scaled back on my own inputs over the past couple of years and focused on my career and taking care of some financial debts accrued during the initial build and move out here.

Accordingly, the "scaling back" has opened my eyes to what potential there is here on this land...and that I need to be very strategic in what/how plans are executed and how I can piggyback whatever work takes place with other projects in store...stacked functions for anything that may get done here, so to speak.

Look forward to more updates in the future - both personally and from the farm.  :)
 
Leigh Tate
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Most of us dream to own our own place, but I have to say I sincerely admire this approach. It puts the land to good use with a view to stewardship and sustainability. It looks like you're heading in the direction of developing a model for others to follow.
 
Rob Kaiser
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Leigh Tate wrote:Most of us dream to own our own place, but I have to say I sincerely admire this approach. It puts the land to good use with a view to stewardship and sustainability. It looks like you're heading in the direction of developing a model for others to follow.



Yes, I think owning land is a dream for all of us.  I don't know of any other approach, as these are my current life circumstances.  With regard to stewardship and sustainability - that's what I'm trying to promote for sure...as a steward who manages the land.  If I manage my life appropriately, I may be able to buy out my parents in time...which will help them with their own retirement as they age - because I believe most of it was drained to build this place - but we've yet to have the official talk regarding finances, which I fear.

Regardless, I'm a renter myself with dreams of someday owning.  I have such strong connections with my family and no children of my own, it would make me proud to be able to buy this home and land from my parents, to keep it in the family, to ensure that my niece and future family members will always be able to participate in this farm that my parents founded and that we're all helping craft together...all while further supporting my parents as well.  Dave Ramsey's plan is really helping me feel more confident about getting back on my feet financially.

I've got some plans to work with someone else in 2021 to further focus and refine my own life path which will really help get things dialed in here on the farm.  In the meantime, hopefully I'll be able to keep it simple and just make a quarterly YouTube update for the farm at which I reside and do my best to represent it well!  :)

Sometimes I wonder if/how I should document all of this, because this is an approach that could certainly be taken with an older couple who's children aren't interested in taking on the farm/homestead.  As a matter of fact, that's partly why one of our tenant farmers is working with us.  He has a *wealth* of knowledge that he wants to pass on and his own children aren't interested.  His knowledge base is right up my alley with the nursery business, and I wish I could work more closely with him...but I'm *deeply* involved in operations at my day job nursery, so logistically it's not really working out the way that I'd like it to...and it saddens me, but life consists of making choices, I suppose.  

Perhaps 2020 may allow for a bit more free time on the farm/homestead vs 2019 for me.  I'm hoping so...but we shall see. Lots of changes on the day job.  
 
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