Monday, April 22, 2013

Bird's Eye View

The current Google Maps satellite picture of our farm is below.
It looks to us like it is June of 2011.

It is interesting to get this view of the farm.  Please forgive if I don't take the time to use a tool and draw in some of what I'll talk about.  Word descriptions will have to do for this post.

This picture is oriented with North to the top (of course)

Spray Zone
The area of our harm that was hit with spray last summer is in the West.  This area cannot be re-certified as organic until July 27, 2015, though we continue to use all of our organic practices on this area and report on our practices as part of our organic certification process.

While this is not perfectly accurate, you can draw a line from our driveway to the North edge of the property.  Essentially, we cannot grow crops in this area and claim organic certification.  That means the high tunnel (see that clear building center West?) and the SouthWest fields will not produce certified organic product.  We can grow in these, but we cannot claim organic status.
The grass fields in the NorthWest are our pastures for laying hens and turkeys.  This area was also hit directly with spray and there were birds on it at the time.  The bees were located just south of the long thin building to the north of the high tunnel.  They are, as we suspected they would be, completely gone now. 

Certified Organic Growing Area for 2013
Looking East, you will see 7 rectangles.  Each of these is a 200 foot by 60 foot plot and it represents a seven year rotation.  One year is entirely cover crops and some years there are chickens on the cover crops.

The center North area shows a triangular shaped growing area as well.  There is a bush line to the North and the East of these plots. 

The barn is the larger complex that is furthest East in this picture.  Sadly, the barn is on its way down.  We hoped 2012 would be the year we could complete the deconstruction.  Now we hope it will happen in 2013.  The area in the center is the old site of a building that came down several years ago.  A 90 mph wind from the north knocked it over onto Grover the truck.  Grover survived to work for us until last season - he was one tough truck.

The granary shows a nice new red roof that was only a month old at the time of this shot.  It could be less since we can actually see evidence of the rubble form the old roofing material on the ground around that building in this picture.  The Poultry Pavilion is next on the roofing list and is located in the West (the long thin building).  And, the Truck Barn (south of the granary) has been undergoing renovation nearly every year since we arrived.  This year we plan to add a walk in cooler to that building.

Other Things of Note
Young orchard trees are in pasture areas to the East and North of the barn.  A couple of pear trees are in the NorthWest pastures.  If you look carefully North of the barn and southeast of the triangle fields, you'll see a bright white square.  That's the Duck N Cover portable building in action sheltering the first batch of 2011 broilers. 

We hope you enjoyed a bit of a virtual tour!

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