Farming in your own backyard with Grower's Workshop

By Andrew Freiden - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) - Do you want to take your backyard garden to the next level?  Raising your own chickens might be the next step.

Want your own fresh eggs every day?  It's possible if you have enough room, you are willing to work and if you like to learn.

Put the Grower's Workshop on your calendar for March 13 -- you'll learn how to raise chickens and just maybe how to make a living off your land.

"This is a chicken tractor.  A poultry mobile home," said Daniel Thompson, who manages his 22-hen flock in a moveable coop at Tuckahoe Plantation in eastern Goochland County.  The chickens stay protected from predators and get to eat what they like: grass and bugs.

Instead of being cooped up in a barn, they get fresh food, fresh air, and they leave behind natural fertilizer for the fields.

"If it's a rainy day, or snowy, you have to come take care of your animals.  It's not something you can take a day off of," he said.

The mobile home gets moved once or twice a day.  Rain or shine.  It's a new technique that Daniel learned from another farmer.  And that's the idea of this weekend's workshop.

"You can earn a living on your land," said Lisa Dearden of the Center for Rural Culture.

She said the economic downturn and the desire to be more connected to our food has inspired more people to become farmers -- and the Center for Rural Culture in Goochland wants to support that.

"Get people growing on their land so they can make money and the land can stay in agricultural use," she said.

You can learn how to begin farming or you can take your small farm to the next level at the Grower's Workshop March 13.  Classes will be taught at J. Sargeant Reynolds in Goochland by experts from all across the state.

Classes include growing fruits, berries and mushrooms, beekeeping and much more. Follow the link at right.

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