Draft Horse Farmer Ralph Rice demonstrates how to be profitable as he incorporates his working Percheron horses into his overall farming operation, combining them with some mixed power and a diversity of crops, livestock and land use to work in harmony. Ralph showcases various operations on his Ohio farm including: His Do It Yourself Butchering House that he built with the help of an Amish welder and some bartering for materials as well as harvesting his own pine trees for the lumber. He uses this building for: • Hanging, and butchering his meat. • Making homemade sausages and bologna • Smoking meats (hams and sausages) You can read his DIY Lunchmeat articles for Rural Heritage magazine (June/July 2016 and August/September 2016) Ralph constructed a Sugar Shack for making maple syrup, again, from lumber harvested from his woodlot. His sugar operation includes: • Gathering maple sap (1000-2000 gallons per year). • Evaporating maple sap to produce his maple syrup to sell. Managing a Woodlot is highlighted by Ralph taking us on a tour of his woods and explaining his plan, types of trees and how he uses them. Water Management plan. Ralph uses a series of small streams, a retention pond, and wetlands to allow runoff to be filtered before leaving his property. A visit to his livestock barn where we meet his Berkshire and Hampshire pigs and a new litter of piglets. Ralph shows us some of his draft horse equipment including his PTO forecart and manure spreader. Lastly Ralph explains why he is farming spelt to produce grain to feed his horses as well as the straw for use in the barns and in his manure composting. You will learn much from Ralph about being a good land steward while operating a diversified farm. In the end we finally […]
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