Lyn Apodaca’s Story
My name is Lyn Apodaca and I own and farm Del Tierra Farm. It is 5 acres and we are currently growing on 1/4 acre with the remainder in pasture and chicken coops. We are practicing organic and have been selling fresh produce and eggs for the last four years at farmers Markets and our local Co op. While our newly formed co op is growing with new members and a few new farmers, we are not a large farming area so the co op depends on our farm to supply the bulk of the produce for it. I have been struggling lately to bring this farm up to increased production and diversity. My husband who in the past made the off farm income has had recent health problems has been on disability off and on so his income is not dependable or substantial and won\’t be anytime soon. A lot of the farms working capital has had to go towards household bills. My community has been my rock through all this. Growing organically and providing for them has been very rewarding as they are so appreciative. I, in turn, receive the support and encouragement I need to keep going.
I am applying for grant money to use towards breaking new ground. I was able to borrow a bottom plow to use with our tractor and turned over enough new ground to almost triple production. I now need to purchase a disc plow to break up the turned over soil. I will also need to purchase cover crop seed and bring in loads of compost. I make my own organic fertilizer and will need to purchase ingredients to make enough to add to the new area as needed. A goal is to install T-tape drip irrigation to most areas and any grant funds remaining would be used to purchase materials. In addition, making plans to get in to meat production beginning with chicken and Heritage turkeys to add yet another source of income and provide something that is in short supply in the community and is always sold out. I need working capital to pay for their purchase, housing, fencing and feed until they are processed and sold. I will hold back working capital from that to start the process all over again.
I firmly believe this farm can grow and pay the bills. I sold a substantial amount of produce last season from my 1/4 acre in production and working to improve on that as I get in to year round production with a High Tunnel. I know how to make things grow. I just need to get over this hump. Farms like ours are few and far between in our area. My community depends on me. Farming is my passion and it would break my heart to lose the farm and disappoint so many members of the community who have come to depend on our farm to supply healthy, organic local food.
Thank you for your consideration.