self sustain farming?
Hello, I have a question. I have a 26 acre farmmet i just purchased. 16-18 acres is tillable, 4 acres the house is on, and the rest of the few acres is woods.
This property has a really old milking parlor huge in size with cement flooring but needs to be all cleaned out and new electric ran inside.
I am looking for ideas on what I can use the milking parlor for.. It has 4 stall in it, and I planned on draft horse farming, so the mules would go in 2 of them, and then I was thinking of getting 2 black angus cows to raise for my own beef, and they would go in the other 2 stalls.
I live in Wisconsin if that helps. My plan is to grow corn, oats, alfalfa.. Not sure what else to grow but I am planning on using what I grow as my own feed for the horses, cows, and the pigs I will have. The pigs will have their own shelter outside and get slaughter by december so they make perfect livestock in Wisconsin.
I reckon I am looking for other ideas I can do with my milking parlor and what other type of crops to grow and about how much each maybe?
Also, I wish to raise my livestock all 100% natural and organic.
- TamaraLv 46 years agoFavorite Answer
One is often asked the question, What is sustainable farming and how does it differ from commercial farming?
Sustainable farming means that whatever is farmed, raised and grown on the farm is consumed by the farm dwellers themselves. They are living off the land and providing all the food they need for their own consumption. In other words, they are pretty much self-sufficient when it comes to what they eat. Therefore, you will often hear of sustainable farming and self-sufficiency farming being used inter-changeably as they are one and the same. The land size that they own, is usually, but not always fairly small, by comparison to the more commercially orientated farmers. Thus you will often hear these small farms referred to as mini farms or micro farms.
Commercial farming, on the other hand, is where crops are grown and cattle is raised for others in order to make some money. Not that farming is a lucrative, get-rich business, it is not, but by being a commercial farmer one farms with the intention of having a ready-known market, the knowledge of what current prices are for their crops and animals and what niche market will bear them a profit, both now and in the future.
The main Principle of Sustainable Farming - Land Management
First and foremost, as already mentioned one does not need a huge piece of land to become self-sufficient. So how small is small? Well, one can actually become self-sufficient quite happily on one acre of land . One acre of land can be used for small scale farming on mini-farms quite happily leading to self-sufficiency. However, because it is possible to practice self-sufficiency on mini farms, land management then becomes crucial. This then becomes the most important principle for sustainable farming and creating your mini farm.
The clue, of course, is in the very word itself sustainable meaning to keep something going. If the land that you use to farm is mismanaged, you will never be able to sustain any crops or animals at an acceptable level of productivity. That includes both large scale and small scale farming. Mismanagement will give you the same result. What you will end up with will be both diseased and ill plants and animals and your hopes of self-sufficiency will be unfulfilled.
In owning a micro farm or small scale farm, there has to be a balance between the animals and the plants because ideally you want to create a food chain where each feed each other. You need the manure from the farm animals to enrich the soil so that the soil can then produce good crops, and which in turn, will go back to feeding the animals.
With small scale farming on mini-farms for sustainability there needs to be crop rotation. One cannot grow crops on the same piece of land year after year. Crops gown like this soon weaken to disease. However, the problem does not remain here, what happens is that the disease organisms that attack that plant multiply to such an extent that eventually the disease becomes uncontrollable. So plan your small farm with care, and make sure that some portion of the land is always kept fallow so that you can implement your crop rotation plan.