When Dorothy and I moved here in January 2013 the plan was simple. There was never going to be a Nine Mile Farm. Put in a few hundred trees, get a small flock of chickens, put in a pool and just enjoy being close to family and having room to practice full scale permaculture.
So we hit it hard, swales, huguls, small gardens, etc. The Texas heat and harsh alkaline and limestone soils quickly put us in touch with reality. Half of what we planted died, we added irrigation and now do more like 25% on losses. Hail defoliated things one year, rain drowned the land the next, soon followed by drought.
During this time our friends the chickens became the biggest enemy we had. On ever escape tearing apart earth works, ripping up beds, etc. In the summer we added ducks, 22, because that was the number Dorothy gave me on a dare were added to the 4 Tractor Supply survivors we had bought already. Late that fall, I tasted my first duck egg in over 10 years, I was in love with eggs again.
We started to sell eggs to pay the growing feed bill. With chickens we were competing with everyone, with ducks we had an incredible niche market. I learned you could sell a chicken worth about 3 dollars as meat for 20 dollars if it was a laying bird, all the chickens were sold off, a few special ones adopted to listeners.
The duck flock grew from 28 to well over 130 now, 60 more females are shipping next week from Metzer farms and Nine Mile Farm has eggs on the dinner, ya dinner table at one of the hottest new restaurants in Dallas. The egg count is growing as young birds reach maturity but still we can’t keep up with demand.
A site redesign for our brand was just redone, new ideas are flowing and Nine Mile Farm has become an honest to God productive and profitable small farm, almost by accident. So what’s next? Tune in today to learn.
Join Me Today to Discuss…
- How we became accidental duck farmers
- The units we are considering adding
- Herbal Teas
- Quail Eggs
- Extensive herbal plantings
- Pre Mixed Fertilizer (Compost Tea – Comfrey Tea)
- What else could be done
- A true market garden
- A full on nursery and live plants
- Land expansion and tiny houses
- What isn’t going to ever work here
- A profitable orchard
- Large sale ponds
- More than about 200-250 ducks
- Non enterprise additions
- A Greenhouse
- Self Watering Container Gardens
- Quail for Meat
- Heavily Treeing as Much as Possible
- A Pond Hopefully – Looking Good Right Now
- The Lessons
- Get in the game, remain adaptable
- What you think is best may not be
- There is always a way
- Don’t let fear hold you back
- Mistakes happen, roll with it
Resources for today’s show…
- Join the Members Brigade
- The Year 1636
- Join Our Forum
- Walking To Freedom
- TSP Gear
- Sawtooth Tactical – (sponsor of the day)
- Ready Made Resources – (sponsor of the day)
- Looking for the Next Best Thing – By Warren Zevon (music from the end of today’s show)
Bob Wells Plant of the Week – CHANDLER STRAWBERRY PLANT – Highly adaptable from zone 5 to zone 9.
The Chandler Strawberry has a very large, red, glossy finish, with a large conical to long wedge shaped. The fruit quality is excellent, and the Chandler Strawberry produces a high yield, which are excellent for coastal areas down to zone 9, yet are cold hardy enough to grow in zone 5.
If you live above zone 5 they have other varieties available. FYI, September is the time to plant strawberry plants. You plant them in the fall, so that they can establish their roots all winter long.
You can put pine straw or mulch around the plants to protect the roots during winter. After winter, they will leaf out and you can start harvesting the berries in late May.
Bob Wells specializes in edible landscape, including: Fruit Trees, Berry Plants, Nut Trees, as well as the hard to find Specialty Fruit Trees. Find this plant and more at BobWellsNursery.com
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