My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, www.rosemary-ridge.blogspot.com ... thank you!

Our Pasture Rotating Plan

We hope the house we end up with will have at least half an acre that we can split into 6. oops, 7 equal pastures. We know that rotating crops is important, and since we plan to have 4 goaties (and once a year, their kids), we need 2 of those pastures to be their browse-land. To fit our needs, and after much research, here's what we've come up with:

Area 1
Three sisters (corn, pole beans, and winter squash). Plant the corn as soon as the soil is warm enough. I usually wait until at least Memorial Day. Since we do the 3-sisters, we plant the corn 12-inches apart, with 1 winter squash in the center of a corn-square (pic coming!). When the corn is about 6 inches tall, plant 2-4 pole beans around every corn. The corn will be the strong pole for the beans to climb, the beans fix nitrogen into the soil for the corn, and the winter squash provides the ground cover for moisture and fuzzy leaves that many critters don't like. Let the corn and beans dry then harvest, allow the winter squaash to finish growing and hardening up for winter storage. After all is harvested (store the corn stalks for winter feed), then we'll let the chickens and goats in to eat and scratch to their hearts content. When they are done, till in remainder, and plant a winter crop like timothy hay. Rotate to Area 2 the next Spring.

Area 2
Plant alfalfa and timothy hay to grow for winter feed. After harvesting, let the goaties and chickens in to eat/scratch. Rotate to Area 3 the next Spring.

Area 3
2 rows of buckwheat (gluten-free) around perimeter, quinoa or amaranth (both gluten-free) the next 2 rows in, then several rows with tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, okra and basil. These plants love each other. After all has been harvested, allow the livestock in to do their thing. Rotate to Area 4 the next Spring.

Area 4
Goat pasture. Plant miscellaneous grasses as early as possible, and toss in old (organic!) Christmas trees and other yummies. Allow goats and chickens in for a week at a time. During the off-week, they go to Area 6. Rotate to Area 5 the next Spring.

Area 5
Plant sunflowers, cucumbers, and watermelon, with squared-frames of potatoes. These love each other and are great companions. After harvesting, it's livestock time. Remember to keep the sunflowers for the livestock's winter feed. Rotate to Area 6 the next Spring.

Area 6
Goat pasture. See area 4. Rotate to Area 7 the next Spring.

Area 7
Just added this one: gotta grow oats seeing as we have 2 gluten-free people. Rotate to Area 1 the next Spring.

This plan should take care of most of our grain needs, and those of our livestock. We don't know yet the size of our property, so we don't know the size of these area, but we should have room for each area to be at least 100 square feet. Should we get more land than expected, or a neighbor lets us use some of theirs, we'll grow even more oats, and another area of the Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash.

What is YOUR rotation plan?

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