Sunday, September 15, 2013

MAEAP Certification-Completed!!!

For the past year or so I have been working with the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program to have my farm certified. MAEAP is an innovative, proactive, and voluntary program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks. It is completely confidential and free to participate.

I worked with my MAEAP advisor to rectify a few issues on my farm such as composting my alpaca manure and eliminating erosion.

Manure composting is not an easy task. I have to move my pile about to prevent leaching and to ensure that I follow MAEAP guidelines I need to keep accurate records on my efforts to compost. I also now have a road map which I can follow. It will be hard to fall off the wagon and revert to my former ways.

The erosion problem is a bit more complicated, but with a little hard work I can get it done.
Because my farm is located on Plainwell sand I basically live on a beach! I will use my compost to help re-establish fertile paddocks for my alpacas. I also will seed annual rye grass this fall as green manure for the spring. Come warmer weather I plan to till up my cover crop and plant brom, timothy grasses and a tad of alfalfa.  This should help to reduce erosion while providing my alpacas with grasses to munch on. Aesthetically the paddocks will be much more pleasing to the eye.

I have to say that I am totally thrilled with the certification and I am working on getting the sign up this week before our big event on September 21: Farm to Fashion.

If you are going to be around come out to the farm for the event and you can see the sign too!

My MAEAP advisors-Dan and Josh.

If you are a farm and are interested in being certified, check out this link MAEAP for more information.