I said earlier that I believe that I live and work on my HOMESTEAD. I Googled the word Farm and Homestead, and this is what the Free Dictionary had to say:
FARM - NOUN
A tract of land, usually with house, barn, silo, etc, on which crops and often livestock are raised for livelihood.
HOMESTEAD - NOUN
The home place, A home and the enclosure or ground immediately connected with it. The Homestead Act of 1862 gave an individual, 21 years of age the right to claim a section of land (160 acres), live on it for 5 years, make improvements and file for title to that land. Until the law was repealed in 1936, 10 percent of the land within the lower 48 state's was claimed by Homesteaders. Better then half never filed a claim, could not make a go of it.
So that is the legal definition. But I still refer to my 3 small acres as my Homestead! I do not expect to make a living off this land. But I do plain on trying to be as self-surfactant as I can. Growing my own food is a big part of that. To say that the soil here is POOR, is the biggest understatement of the century!
The corn field that my 3 acres use to be part of was used so badly by the farmers that only the weeds do well. After decades of heavy tractors, plows and harvesters, the sub-soil is like concrete. Its mostly sand (no humus material or real soil to speak of, and WORMS - forgetaboutit!!!). And the use of chemicals to control weeds and fertilize, I believe that there is some of that stuff still out there. We have lost most of the trees, flowers and produce that we have tried to grow over the last three years. I planted two pear trees the first year here and they are sickly and their leaves turn black every early into the growing season. One tree, (the bigger of the two) had two small pears on it this past year. They turned black right along with the leaves. And to try to grow produce is a constant battle with the poor soil, deer, rabbits and the WEEDS! We have volunteer corn everywhere! And a hybrid seed was used, so the volunteer plants come back as the parent plant. They are stunted and very deep rooted. We can not just pull them out, they have to be dug out. And I'm talking about 100's of plants here!
So this year we will be building raised beds and making our own growing medium. 1/3 composted horse manure, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 worm castings. The beds will be in wooden box's, (from recycled wood!) 8" X 8". We will start out small and build on that system over the next few years.
And my project for next spring will be Chickens! For both eggs and meat.
So it will be a work - in - progress. And a HOMESTEAD, not a farm!