Monday, January 19, 2015

Goals for the Farm in 2015

This year should bring two big changes to the land.

We intend to put a 5kW solar panel system on our barn to serve at least half of our electrical needs. We're waiting to find out what will happen with the bill introduced in the Indiana legislature to eliminate net metering, but the drastic reduction in our return on investment does nothing to dampen our enthusiasm for solar. It was estimated to take 18 years for our solar to pay itself off. Now it might take 28. It's unclear. But I've wanted this for a long time. I'm determined it will happen.

The native warm grasses field may have to be re-planted. Our wildflowers thrived in the first couple years, but it became clear that the native grasses--with their deep root systems to anchor the soil--have not established themselves. This has been devastating, and I'm still sorting through what can be done. At the very least, we'll be doing real work on the field this spring and summer.
What hurts, besides the cost (not insignificant): with a project this size, chemicals cannot be avoided. I can elaborate on this later, but I have gone over this with conservation and habitat folks repeatedly. Sometimes it's hard to take the long view.

To be continued.