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THE ABC'S of Starting an Organic Farm...............post or reply any helpful information please!

This is a first for us, we are trying to get information on starting an Organic Farm. So all of you who can be of help here please post or reply any and all information on the intial ABC'S of getting started. We all appreciate any information you can share as we do have over a 100 acres in which we would like to get started on immediately.

Hardryve

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S is for Sheet Mulching. Forget Tilling, sheet mulching mimics how nature builds soil. Think of a forest floor, covered in leaves. Usually there aren't a lot of weeds like you get on a typical lawn or garden. Sheet mulching covers up a layer of fertilizer (chicken or cow manure) with compost. You top off the compost with a layer of mulch and dig your seedlings into it. Go here for more info:
http://www.agroforestry.net/pubs/Sheet_Mulching.html
Hi there,
Considering that this is much of the work that Farm Aid does, I would encourage you to visit our Farm Resource Network - it is an online database of the local and national groups that we work with. Our 23 years of farmer calls is now online!

The first name that comes to mind (assuming you're in Florida by the link in your profile page) is FOG - Florida Organic Growers. Free technical assistance for converting land to organic farming. Good luck!
http://attra.ncat.org/

An excellent site that has very good information.
1) Find land

2) Worm castings to convert that land to living soil

3) Lots of seeds

4) Find labor using something like Bright Neighbor

5) It takes time!
Congratulations! I am so happy you are doing it the organic way!! Till in turkey manure and plant a cover crop over it. Plant oats or rye for biomass and till in in the Spring. Plant nitrogen fixating legumes, be sure the seed is innoculated (coated). After the legumes flower- that's when they are putting the maximum amount of nitrogen in the soil, till into the soil. Helpful LINKS- http://ofrf.org/index.html http://www.ers.usda.gov/features/organic/organicfarming.htm http://www.keepourfoodsafe.org/keep_our_food_safe/2008/11/usda-prop...
Getting your farm certified as organic is a tough, costly procedure....not that the methods of organic farming are difficult, but the process to be able to sell your food labeled as "organic" is a real journey. I've know several farmers to just go ahead and use organic farming practices, and when they go to market, they tell their buyers exactly how they farm...this way you build a personal relationship with your clients, and can work towards getting certified as your business grows.
Torry
Thanks for all of your replies, this week on the 19th of this Nov I will be at shands for an operation, keep me in your prayers. It is difficult at times to reply to all of you, but as this yr close's we need to upgrade this pc in order for me to get on more frequently. With dial-up it interferes with the land phone so getting on is a problem. Better days ahead though, all of the info replied here is most encouraging and we will put it to use as we develop these ideas straightaway......again Thanks for all of your supportive interactions and look forward to more and future reports on how we may be coming along as time permits....
Hope to converse with you some more until then,

Hardryve
Have your 100 acres been farmed conventionally before?
I'm using a mixture of sugars,seeweeds and different herbals as an all natural fertilizers with no chemicals and animal by products. After using it for 2 years I could increase my harvest by close to 100%
No one has mentioned water - a big an somewhat expensive issue for our farm. We use drip irrigation, but we have to pump off a creek. Dropping a well or digging a pond are both hugely expensive, so if you have a source of water nearby try to use it. Also, I don't know if you have pests like deer around, but we had to build a deer fence around our field. It was relatively inexpensive, using only wires space a foot apart attached to wooden posts and charged with an electric fence charger. It might be good for you to try to visit some nearby organic farms to see how they do things. Usually us organic farmers are happy to share our secrets.
Thanks Katherine,
Don't have enough time to answer you right now but thanks again for your help,
Hardryve (John)

Katherine Mann said:
No one has mentioned water - a big an somewhat expensive issue for our farm. We use drip irrigation, but we have to pump off a creek. Dropping a well or digging a pond are both hugely expensive, so if you have a source of water nearby try to use it. Also, I don't know if you have pests like deer around, but we had to build a deer fence around our field. It was relatively inexpensive, using only wires space a foot apart attached to wooden posts and charged with an electric fence charger. It might be good for you to try to visit some nearby organic farms to see how they do things. Usually us organic farmers are happy to share our secrets.
To all, have been in touch with "FOG" out of Gainesville Fl. After talking with someone there they have informed me to pay a $25 fee for the certification service they offer. Have not done that to date. Soon however we will, also considering meeting with them to see first hand the operation. Thank you all for your info, it is well appreciated and will come in handy in the near future as we progress here. As I stated earlier, we are also in the process of updating our PC and connection, so as soon as this is done I will be on more frequently to keep up all of your replies. Thanks for being patient. Will keep you all abreast on how were doing so that others that might be thinking of organic farming will also be encouraged to participate.

Much appreciated, Hardryve (John)

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