The six of us moved to the farm in May 2011, ready to roll up our sleeves and create a little farmstead together. With a machete and a hammer, our vision started coming to life. We cleared some trees and removed some fencing to get a start on a nice little one-acre pond and dock. It’s stocked with blue gills, catfish, large mouth bass and plenty of frogs. It’s a great place to relax in the summer!
The next order of business was growing some food. We teamed up with Backyard Abundance to create a long-term plan for an edible landscape. So far we have planted several apple, pear and peach trees, started a berry bramble and added plants to feed the wildlife and restore the land. There is a mandala garden in place to provide food, beauty and a place to meander.
There are many more enterprises and experiences we hope to provide here at Lucky Star Farm. I am involved with Practical Farmers of Iowa and a new member of their Savings Incentive Program, a group of 12 beginning farmers across the state who work with an experienced mentor to reach their farming goals, save money and build a profitable farm. One of my goals for the next two years includes milking goats and experimenting with goat cheese.
Secondly, my mentor will help me design a three-acre silvopasture. Rows of value-added trees provide shade for the hens as they forage and move through the pasture in their portable hoop house.
The final component of my short-term vision is a local market for farm products. I hope to open a farm stand to sell my own goods as well as the products of local farmers. I see our farm as a place where people come to learn about diverse sustainable farming and purchase local foods. Ultimately we hope to provide lodging for overnight guests.
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