Welcome to our first farm update. We want to use this section to share pictures and videos of the updates we discuss in the Sow Edible Permaculture Podcast. Todays update is from Episode 1, where we introduce the land, trees, earth scapes, and livestock that we currently have.
Where it all started…
When we first purchased the land, it consisted of about 100 acres of old timber land that had been cleared (part of it cleared about 10 years ago, the other part about 5 years ago). There was an old logging road that ran thru the middle of it, a creek running along the back, a lap pile (place loggers burn wood in a huge pile), and the rest was a thick wild jungle of regrowth. To most this would look like a big mess, but to us we saw paradise. The vision that we have for our land is a work in progress and after a little over a year of working on it on the weekends, we are slowly seeing it come to life.
So fast forward to the present and you can see our progress. We have been busy working with the land to improve the soil and create healthy forests. We used a variety of water diversion techniques to stop erosion and put the water to work for us. By doing this we have created 2 ponds and several acres of swales. This gives us a place for our ducks to swim and in turn the ducks give us fertilized water that is taken through the swale yards to water and fertilize our trees and plants. This type of system is found all over our farm and is the definition of Permaculture (which is the design principle that mimics nature and creates sustainable permanent landscapes and farms).
Here is the progression of all the earthworks that we have done so far:
The Hugelkulture Beds
Bottom Swale Yard
Top Swale Yard and Pond 2
Through all these earthworks, we have been busy replanting ground cover (such as clover, diakons, winter rye, millet, and buckwheat) as well as thousands of edible trees and plants. These were planted in a variety of planting styles including food forests, hugelkulture beds, contour swales, and animal paddocks. Here is a list of what we have planted so far:
- Chinese Chestnut
- American Chestnut
- Hardy Kiwi
- Paw Paw
Let us introduce you to our awesome livestock. These guys and gals work very hard for us and in return we give them a smorgis board of bugs, grass, roots, mud, and rodents that they can find. We free range the ducks and roosters over the entire property and put them up in a fenced pond at night. They have a variety of covered nesting boxes to choose from or they can simply bed down in the tall grass. We use the ducks for meat and eggs. The pigs are rotated around the farm in paddocks with a covered structure that they can bed down in at night if they choose. So this wraps up our farm update for now. For more information about this farm update you can check out our Sow Edible Permaculture Podcast; Episode 001. Don’t Miss Out! Sign up with your email to be notified of each weeks updates, podcasts, and videos! You can also join us on Facebook or Pinterest! As always, we would LOVE to hear from you in the comments below.