Just thought I would give you an update. No pictures yet...sorry.
My wife and I purchased the property about 2 months ago. (All 40 acres, not 35).
With a little help from my kids, I planted cover crops on the 15 acre field (last week of August, first week of September). I sat on the tailgate of my truck with a hand spreader while my 9 year old son drove the truck! It was a little scary at first, but he did okay.
The main seed mix was timothy, red clover, white clover, and alfalfa. (225 pounds)
50 pounds of orchard grass was added to the main mix at random (1 red solo cup at a time).
In "clumps" or "patches" I planted...
250 pounds of oats (about 2 acres worth if mono-cropping).
5 pounds of deer turnips
5 pounds purple tops
5 pounds of groundhog turnips
1 pound trefoil
1 pound chicory
(2) 250 square feet wildflower seed packets
I threw about half a bucket of shag-bark and pig-nut hickory nuts with a few red oak acorns (did not bury them).
I did dig holes to plant about 10 persimmon seeds and 40 pawpaw seeds. (mainly in shade)
The old timers (farmers) said I was crazy. MULTIPLE people told me that the seed would not grow unless I added lime and fertilizer.
We drove by the field tonight after dinner. It is a green carpet. There were 10 deer enjoying the poly-culture buffet.
I am in the heart of corn and soybean country. Some of the nearby fields have already been harvested. They should all be cleared in the next month. If things go according to my plan, I should have a green oasis all winter long. The deer seem to appreciate the non-GMO options. The deer really leave a LOT of poop. This is great because I am not raising any animals at this time.
The land has been in my wife's family for 150 years. My 3 sons, (ages 5, 8, & 9) love to visit the land. Specifically, they like to squeeze clumps of dirt with there bare hands and watch the dust blow in the wind. I have explained to them that they are the 6th generation on this land. It has been neglected and depleted for a LONG time. I am glad they helped me plant the field. It is nice that they can see the growth with their own eyes. Before we planted the first seed, we gave the land the most important input possible......LOVE.
In the near term, we don't plan to "harvest" anything. We are just building soil. I am going to add a few brush piles (oriental honeysuckle) to decompose and add carbon to the soil.
Unless they change their minds, each son get his own acre to grow whatever he wants. The property is on a pretty busy road. They are [planning to grow produce and flowers to sell on Saturday mornings next summer. They will grow, harvest, and sell what THEY choose. Should be real fun to watch it all. I can't wait to see them "sell" the customers....How much would you pay over "Wal-Mart" prices for healthy, organic, local food that was produced by a little kid?
Thanks for reading. suggestions are always welcome.
What an exciting time to be on this planet!!!
Peace and Love,