Introducing Turkey Foot Farm

In previous posts I mentioned our Derby Home.  This post introduces our new home and describes our expanded farming activities there.  We purchased the property and  home in May 2010.  The property consists of 11 acres and is located just east of Derby Kansas.  We moved in at the end of May and over the past 10 months we have done a number of small farm related improvements and feel it is time to give the new place a name and an introduction.  The name is Turkey Foot Farm or TFF for short.  Turkey Foot has a triple meaning for our farm since we are raising turkeys, have wild turkeys on the property and have pastures with big bluestem grass.  The folk name for big bluestem is Turkey Foot. 

Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) - you can see from the seed heads how big bluestem got its alternate name - turkey foot.

I have listed some of the urban farming features of TFF below with photos. 

1)  360 square feet of raised beds.  The first thing we did at TFF was to construct raised beds using cinder blocks.  The beds were filled with dirt and compost.  The compost was obtained from Evergreen Recycling in Park City Kansas.  A lot of the harvested vegetables described in the previous post “Fall Garden Wrap Up” came from the first of our three beds.  I have included some photos from last summer and from today.

This is one of our 8 x 10 beds. The photo is from last summer when the winter squash plants were getting going. Later these butternut squash plants covered all the grass in this photo.

Three raised beds - this is a shot of our three raised beds looking from the south. The nearest bed is the largest at 25 x 8 and behind it are the two 8 x 10 beds. The red tubs in the forefront are being used to grow potatoes.

 

Asparagus Bed - In addition to our raised beds we have dug or rototilled another 6 or 7 beds. This photo shows our newly emerged "Mary Washington" asparagus. We planted 50 two-year-old crowns about a month previous to this photo. The bed has a good deal of compost worked into it. We expect to harvest asparagus in spring 2013.

2)   A 16 square foot cold frame. 

The cold frame is used to extend the growing season.  This spring we used it to start radishes, spinach, chard, collards and mustard greens.  

Cold Frame - Here is a shot of our 16 sq. ft cold frame on April 14 2011. The windows were removed a few weeks ago and will go back on in the fall. Growing inside is swiss chard, spinach, radishes, collards, arugula and mustard greens. We have been harvesting spinach and radishes for a couple of weeks at this point.

3) A chicken coop with external runs and solar-powered lighting.   This was a pretty big time and money investment.  The chicken coop was built from an existing three-sided shed.  We poured a concrete foundation in one half of the shed, added a front wall and other improvements.  There was no electricity so we installed a solar battery charger and some 12 volt lighting.  So far we have raised 2 dozen Cornish x rock chickens which are now all in our freezer or tummies along with a mixed flock of layers and one rooster that are shown in the photos below.

Chicken Coop. The space inside the coop is divided in half so that two sets of poultry can be separately raised. There is a run on each side and this photo shows the smaller south run. The north run is not visible and is still under construction. So far we have raised over 30 chickens in this coop. On the roof above the wreath you may be able to make out the small solar collector that powers the lights inside.

Here is our current egg-laying flock. They produce 4-6 eggs per day. Most of the eggs are fertile because we have a rooster housed with the hens. He is named Lexi is on the left behind the black chicken. We have incubated some of the eggs and currently have three chicks in a separate brooder in our garage.

4)  A large pile-based composting operation.  I forgot to take a photo of our compost operation but will try to do so later.  It consists of two large (8′  x 8′ x4′) side-by-side bins where we throw kitchen, yard and chicken waste to help us recycle and enrich the soil at TFF.

5)  Web site.  We also established a web site for TFF to help us establish ownership of the name and to provide a place to conduct online commerce should we decide to go in that direction.  The web site can be viewed at:  http://turkeyfootfarm.com/

We are still growing vegetables at the Coe Farm in Wichita and will continue to report on our progress there.

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2 responses to “Introducing Turkey Foot Farm

  1. Way to go TFF!!! Everything looks so good. When do we get to see the Homesteader’s Delight?

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