I have farmed all my adult life. I have owned and worked with horses for 56 years. I was an educator and trained teachers. I value manual labor and am conscientious about how we treat our planet. Farming, working with horses and teaching requires patience, but also hones the observation.
Farm description: This is a small, 17-acre farm where we grow vegetables organically, using only draft horses. We do not use tractors or any large motorized equipment. We do use lawn mowers as needed and chainsaws for firewood. Power on our farm comes from the horses and the farmers. (Horse-drawn plows and disks, hand tools such as cultivators, hoes, rakes, scythes.) More than two acres and two hoop houses are in vegetable production.Besides the horses, we have goats, a miniature donkey, a few ducks and chickens.
Products sold: Vegetables: Heirloom tomatoes and lettuces, spinach, potatoes, arugula and a variety of greens, onions, cucumbers, squash, cabbage, radishes, mache, etc. We had as many as 300 hens free-ranging all over the fenced-in farm and sold as many as 50 dozen eggs a week to a local food establishment. However, predators gradually reduced our flock and we have not pursued the egg business since.
Markets I sell in: We had a CSA for ten years, retained a number of customers on e-mail list, but are now selling primarily to several restaurants. (We made several adaptations to the traditional CSA model which customers appreciated and which helped us maintain a CSA for three years longer.)
Specialty areas: Applying compost to our growing areas, crop rotation and vegetable production. Working with draft horses. Reducing costly inputs in managing a small farm. There is more information about our farm on our website at www.karbaumerfarm.com. There is also a video called “Horse-Powered Organic Farming at Karbaumer Farm on the Internet.