Every farmer and every farm is different. We consider ourselves a permaculture based beyond organic farm. Well what does that mean exactly? Permaculture is essentially designs systems thinking.
We think about how each garden space is unique and ask ourselves questions like, what types of microclimates exist in the space? what natural patterns are already occurring within that space? where is the water coming from and where should the mini watershed start? what does the soil already have growing in it (from a micro-organism and mycelium stand point)? We work hard to incorporate every aspect of a yard into the overall design in multiple ways.
In permaculture thought, every aspect has multiple functions and every function is covered by multiple aspects. As an example we can look at water in a landscape. If there is only one way that water gets into a garden it is destined to fail, and at some point, the garden will be getting no water. So let’s say that instead of just having an overhead watering system, bare ground and row planting, a pretty traditional way of farming, we decide to build water holding features into the planting scape so water trickles through the landscape. Then we mulch all the paths (reducing weeds, run off and increasing filtration), place the plants closer together (crowding out weeds and reducing evaporation) and grow plants with different root lengths in the same space (reducing the chances of competing for the same water and nutrients). For just that one function (water) you have given your plants multiple ways of getting the water they need, and around here where our spring and summer may be quite water sparse, it can really make a difference.
When we plant our vegetables, fruits and flowers we think about plantings that can give sensitive plants shade or protection through the season, placing plants that repel pests close to those that may be insect prone. We inoculate the soil with mushroom spawn, providing an outdoor mushroom crop for us and a great mycelial network for the soil. We do not till our gardens, we do a lot of sheet mulching in order to enrich soil and increase organic matter. We cut most weeds at ground level, decreasing soil disturbance and lessening the chances of more weed seeds sprouting. We never use chemicals of any kind on our seeds or our gardens, there is a lot of compost, very aged manure and mulching happening out there though. We do our best to create “closed-loop” systems, essentially ones in which there is very little outside need for input, the system works so well together that there is very little we as the farmers must do in order to keep the system happy.
We do all of these things because of our intense love for the soil and the belief that in order to feed ourselves and our communities we must regenerate the soil. We do not want to be sustainable, we want to be regenerative. Healthy happy soil is our ultimate goal and growing food is just a really nice side affect of that soil state. We want to contribute to a vibrant healthy community and ensure our friends and neighbors have access to the food that will help them get there. We love providing for our community while we provide for ourselves and hope that you decide to join us on our journey.