Thursday, July 30, 2015

Unity Farm Journal - Fourth Week of July 2015

Kathy and I have been hard at work with our University of Massachusetts coursework on farming and sustainability.  Our first course, Post-harvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables,  has been a rigorous combination of science and practical experience.    The online learning content is complemented by real world assignments.   Last weekend, we were to acquire the fruits/vegetables  we eat in a week and then sort them according their genetic, metabolic, and storage characteristics.  

When you live on a farm, there’s no need to drive to Whole Foods, you just grab a picking basket.   Here’s what we picked last Saturday morning.

The analysis involved separating these vegetables and fruits (tomatoes) into categories for storage in our 4 different cooling zones - our commercial walk-in refrigerator, residential refrigerator, root cellar, and mud room.

Here’s the completed analysis.   Let’s hope we survive the grading process!

This week, I’ve been redesigning the barnyard based on the workflow and processes we’ve implemented over the past two years.  How do you provide four seasons of animal and plant care with the following equipment (length x width x height in feet)

Terex Front Loader plus Snowblower attachment  12x5x7
SnowEx Sand spreader 5x3x3
Campbell Hausfeld Power washer 3x2x3
ExMark mower 7x4x3
Small farm cart 3x4x2
Medium farm cart 3x4x2
Large farm cart 3x4x2
Mobile Hose winder 2x3x2
SuperSplit Log Splitter  8x3x4
Manure cart 2x2x2
Wallenstein Chipper/Shredder 4x4x4

Answer - put it inside a 24x17x10 hoop house next to the barnyard that will serve as an all weather equipment depot.  

I’ve cleared the entire area behind the duck house and chicken coop of wood, manure, and planting supplies so that we now have a 100x50 foot section of flat land.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll haul gravel to create an all weather driving surface in and out of the hoop house while also preparing for a possible future pig housing area where the wood is now stacked.    Manure management will be done with a cart with a 1000 pound capacity that I can haul behind the Terex.

August is a great time on the farm - warm weather with limited planting/harvesting, so there’s time to do design work.

I’ll keep a photographic record of my progress.

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