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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Why I will never be a real seed saver and wow! I have a lot of geese!

We have accomplished a lot in six years... Providing over 90% of our own food was the main goal of us farming !! And we did it!!!! And are doing it!!
A lot of success in that is We have learned to love productive livestock , no matter what the look or breed.. Realizing that what we love the idea of, or the look of is not always the best animal to put our effort and resources toward. It's productivity, ease of management and amount of input that count the most.
And I've had to learn to love the challenge of the garden. Because loving the pretty productive garden is easy.. Loving the ways to get it productive ..not so much!
These things are big keys in that first goal we accomplished ...that and eliminating things like high input livestock and some higher maintenance plants , focusing on zone 0 growing areas and buying good gardening tools!
But we also have a goal of a farm business ... Or a few small farm businesses to help with living costs..that's actually been harder to figure out. 
We've learned so much the last six years... What not to do is a big one, what We can tolerate , what's worth the trouble , what will thrive on our land/climate, and so on..
So many ideas , dreams of what the farm would be ,,, the master plans we had.. (Lol! Master plan and farming lol!) 
I mean we Ofcourse sell extra livestock , eggs and things like that to help off set the feed bill but that's not really a business , thats just part of trying to feed yourself! 
There are very few animals kept on the hobby farm or the homestead level can truly pay for themselves.. 
and what little you make doesn't do anything to help pay for things like taxes , light bill and such. 
So as we such for ways to make the farm pay These last six years have taught us... 
We are not going to be a dairy goat ( or sheep) farm with a list of CSA customers...( so many reasons so many!)
not going to be an awesome fiber farmer with gorgeous, rare, long locked Wensleydales...( it would have been awesome though!)
Not going to be market farmers with loads of perfect organic veggies...
not going to be an big egg farmer...
Or a rare poultry hatchery... Not going to be a big heritage livestock breeder for the sake of saving an animals that cause us financial loss... ( cause sometimes they aren't popular because they aren't commercial , that's understandable ,, but sometimes they aren't popular because they are inefficient in any setting!) 
Not going to be a ....
The list is long ,my friends....all these are things We thought might work out ...Thought there might be a niche market ...We got wrote lots of reality checks!
And all this is ok... 
But unfortunately I just faced the reality ...I'm not going to a big ,cool seed saver....
I have had the goal to save the seeds of what I grow so to gain freedom from having to buy seeds... But I had thought if  I got good at it that selling my extra seed would be a nice small farm business.
I do save some seeds.. Some years..Like on years I don't plant more than one variety of okra or corn .. 
Because the reality of seed saving is ... It can be kinda complicated! Some need to take up garden space for 2 seasons to get seed, many need multiple plants to insure good genetic diversity ( yes plants can become to inbred just like livestock)  if space is an issue that can be a problem.. Some seeds need special processing conditions for optimum germination ...
But the main reason for me...many plants need to be isolated so the seed will be true.. Some need to be 25 ft away from other varieties ,some need 1/2 mile!
This would mean I couldn't plant a 12 varieties of tomatoes .. 6 different peppers... And the Many many different squash I love to plant ... Sure I could cage the plants in insect netting and hand pollenate .. But time is an issue then. With so many other things I have to keep up with on the farm I'm not seeing it! 
So I'll save what can be saved without to much trouble and leave the serious seed saving to the awesome people who have the time to do it right.
If I ever need to I can easily save the seed from my main survival crops. 
Until then I'll happily support seed savers and enjoy my many varieties of vegetables and grains ..,.

And happily watch over my barnyard of geese! 

I love it when everywhere I look there are geese.. Talking, honking , grazing , 
I love seeing the parent geese take turns being the lookout ...
And little goslings learning to swim ..
I really need to down size a few that I don't need...I do have to many breeders. I will eventually get my flocks down to the minimum we actually need.., yes! I really will!
Summer numbers always surge with spring babies but ...
I have a load of geese here! 😀
Have a blessed happy day! 

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