Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 2015 : More Farmland

So once again, it has been almost a year since my last post. Similar to last year, it is not lack of activity that prevents me from posting, it has been another surge in activity.  Last spring, while working on the newly acquired farmland, a real estate agent stopped and started a conversation with me. Never the conversationalist, and less so when I am operating a chain saw, my only memory of the conversation was another parcel would soon be offered for sale. Not intending to buy any more land, I forgot about this conversation for nearly six months.

But then I realized the land for sale was the more of the same prime Geauga County farmland that we already owned. Thankfully the seller and I were able to negotiate a deal and we worked together over the next four months to close the deal.  Now we are the proud owners of an additional 10 acres (22 acres total) of historic farmland.

In recent years all the acreage has been leased to dairy farmers who have maintained an alfalfa / corn rotation.  Some years the corn is harvested for grain and other years chopped for silage.  Expecting the land to be re-purposed from farmland to housing at any moment, tenant farmers have not made any significant investments in the long term health of the soil.

Drawing on my years of experience building the health of neglected soils, I cobbled together a cover cropping strategy to nurse the soil back to health.  The acidic pH and lack of organic matter prompted a decision I never thought I would (or even, could) make.  My next posts will introduce the rusty iron equipment that have been given new life.

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