The new year will see our farm continue to expand and become more efficient, starting with a major fencing project already underway. We have 8 acres which is partially fenced, the majority of it for the horses. The goats have a small fenced area but for all practical purposes are raised in a dry lot situation. Not very efficient. Our horse fence is 4 strands of electric rope which has been in place for 8 years now and is beginning to deteriorate.
We’ve taken the rope down…
and are replacing it with sheep and goat fence along with 2 strands of hot wire. The idea is to be able to rotate the goats and horses, as the goats will eat what the horses don’t, thus providing natural weed control, and giving the goat area a rest while they’re on the horse pasture will decrease the parasite load in their area (fortunately we’ve not had a big parasite problem yet, but keeping goats in a small area, especially in the South, is just asking for trouble). We will also fence in our woods for the goats to clean out the poison ivy and other weeds. The more they can browse, the more I save on my feed bill and the happier they are. WIN/WIN!!
- Raise our own pork, preferably a heritage breed. I like Hereford hogs especially, but finding them could be an issue.
- Expand the garden with an eye toward market gardening. Ideally we will use the pigs to help dig the new garden areas.
- Expand the layer flock with intent to sell eggs along with goat milk soap and vegetables at our local Farmer’s Market.
And….I WANT SHEEP!! I have dreams of raising my own sheep for meat and wool, learning to spin and knit. But, that isn’t high enough on our priority list to fit into this year. With 2 kids in college and one getting married this year, I still have to work my part-time job and can only take on so many more farm projects. Someday though, SOMEDAY!