My farming journey began a decade ago. Before that I was in employment in a firm that specialized in IT(Information Technology) in the city. I began as an intern and worked my way up for five years. By the time I left, I was the technology manager.
Everything was good in formal employment up until the fifth year. The company lost two big clients. The company tried to branch out into a new field but, at this point I felt that I wasn't cut out for that life.
I talked to my wife about it, and she was very understanding. Unfortunately it meant me moving to the countryside.
What does the journey ahead have in store?
So in 2011, my journey in farming began. Unofficially, I had began about 3 years prior, in 2008. my grand parents are farmers. Even after the passing of my grandfather, my grandmother has continued to farm. I used to visit her on occasion, and when we got to talking, she would ask me to invest in a cow. Even i f I didn't take the milk directly, which I did when visiting, I would at least benefit from sales of their progeny. I didn't take much convincing and actually bought 2 of my first cows through her. She would randomly call me while I was in the city and tell me of a good heifer being sold. Thus on the two occasions I obliged and purchased the cows. Unfortunately, by the time I got to join her on the farm, one had died. Such is life, you win some you lose some
In his hey day was well known around the county for his farming prowess. He had an enviable herd of pure Holstein/Frisian cows. He would take a pickup full of milk to the local milk processor daily.
In addition, he also used to grow about 40 acres of strawberry. As I am told they were very sweet, almost the size of a chickens egg and very nice red color. No wonder he was able to export them.
Lastly he was also a large scale maize farmer. This he sold to the local flour millers. All these stories of my grandfather and how he was able to make a decent living from farming, made me want to give it a go. This is part of the reason why I got into farming. The other reason is that while growing up, most of my school holidays ere spent on the farm helping out and doing various odd jobs.
When I finally got to the ground, there were many choices to make. Would I go purely animal rearing way,grow crops or a mix of the two. At the time there was a lot of hype around green house tunnels. So I actually got into that with some of my little savings. I will go into detail in a post on its own. I also did vegetable farming which included broccoli, cabbage, leeks, butternut, bell peppers, tomatoes, coriander, sunflower, sweet lupine,maize and sorghum.
In animal rearing I have tried my hand at cows, sheep, chicken, rabbit and bees. Some I still do but others I stopped for various reasons. I intend to write about each in turn, how I got into it, why, benefits and challenges.
I hope you will stick around for the read!