Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Time Soil Testing

No, that is not a pogo stick for little people, it's a soil probe and I'm taking soil samples from the fields to be tested as I do every year. We knew the soil was poor the first year we were here and Ralph planted sweet corn out in the fields. It grew about two feet tall and produced puff-balls instead of ears. When the lab ran the first samples we sent, they ran them twice just to be sure they were really that bad. I don't care how much money you have, building soil fertility takes time and patience. So every year, we spread lime and compost bringing the pH up gradually. Last year, we had it high enough we could even plant some seed. The clovers came in but the orchard and brome grasses didn't...still too low. So we plug away and hope that our soil continues to improve so that some day our animals will be able to dine on lush green pastures.

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