Developing a Crop for My Farm
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Chrisie Van Cleef
Posted on: October 16, 2006

We have a 70 acre horse farm in Branchburg, New Jersey. We are about 40 miles west of New York City.

Thirty acres of this is land that we lease from the county. It is in the flood plain and does flood about 4-5 times a year. When it floods it generally recedes after about 6-12 hours. It does get firm when it is not flooded -- we are able to ride horses on it 350 days/year. The land is very fertile. I would like to find a crop that I could successfully plant on this land.

We have another field that I would like to consider growing lavender on. This field is higher and drier, but also seems to be very fertile. Almost anything that I have grown for personal use has just grown like wildfire!

I was thinking that I would like to grow lavender that I would like to market locally. Is that a profitable crop or is there another herb or combination that you would recommend?

The sub-irrigated soil you describe sound perfect for a mint, like skullcap. The drier soil nearby probably would grow lavender, but the markets for this are somewhat limited. I have written on this recently in this Q&A forum, so you might want to check that crop.

What probably is needed is a farm plan described in the book "Getting Started," at I used to do this years ago, and might be enticed to help set you up. You live in a perfect environment where you are situated. This next year shows a critical need for 60,000 new small farms in North America. Who is going to train these people?

Maybe Conrad Richter might like to offer another set of weekend-workshops for those farm interested in getting started. Actually, truth be said, my latest writings on the Non-Local Mind actually are well-suited to the New Small Farmer. He basically has to be like a physicist, skilled in many different fields.

With all that said, how can I help you get started?

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