Archive for December, 2012

December 17, 2012

Fodder

I’ve been researching fodder for quite some time now though only recently finally got the hankering to give it a whirl. A friend of mine has been researching hydroponics for years now and like everything fanciful, it seems you need special tools and equipment and sometimes even specific buildings. However, there are a lot of people out there who can prove that you do not need all that much to make your own fodder at home on a homesteaders budget and need without the use of such big buildings and equipment.

With ever increasing hay prices, and ever limited budgets -not just for the farm, but for customers as well- raising the price of milk or eggs or soaps isn’t exactly a viable option…not if I want to stay in business anyway and it’s not good for the final consumer either. Our goals are always to provide quality products for an affordable price. I am hoping fodder makes that a little easier so that neither the farm nor the consumers are taking a hit. In this day and age of a hurting economy when people are becoming increasingly interested in farm fresh produce, it’s important to us to be able to maintain a certain level of quality at a price everyone can afford…after all, we consume the most of what comes off the place.

That said, we are still in the very early stages of our fodder journey. You can see photos and progress in the “Fodder” tab up top. If my conservative calculations are correct, not only will we be feeding a better product to our animals, but we should also be able to take a big chunk out of the financial bottom line. This is proving to be a very exciting and educational journey for both Jeremiah and I, and especially the children!

December 14, 2012

Day 1: Barley Fodder

Day 1: soaking the barley.

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We’re taking a bit of a “leap” here on the farm and we’re going to attempt barley fodder. Our attempts are going to be very primitive to start, just so I can get a good idea of what we’re doing and how might be best to set it up.

I think our basement, at least while the weather is cool, will be a very good place for it. It stays a pretty consistent “cool” down there and with a sump pump and pit in the “mechanical room” for the air conditioner drainage, it would be perfect  for the drainage from the growing trays. If in fact it goes really well, and I hope it does, we can grow a pretty good bit on a daily basis at least until summer when we’ll either need an air conditioner down there or for the whole system to be moved elsewhere.

Maybe this will be the initiative we need to get my new milk parlor started and turn the old milk room into the fodder room! Ooooooo, that amount of fodder I could grow in there!

Without getting too ahead of myself, I see legume fodder at some point too, woo hoo!

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