Our Methods

To achieve our goal of building a resilient farm that produces abundance of food without any external inputs, we use many methods.

Soil Life

It all starts with the soil.

Spinach seeds grown in homemade vermicompost (left) versus store-bought seed mix (right). Living soil makes all the difference.

Things we’re doing

To achieve our goal of building a resilient farm that produces abundance of food without any external inputs, we use many methods.

    Swales are ditches dug on contour that collect water, spread it out and let it slowly infiltrate into the soil where it can help rejuvenate aquifers and moisten soils.

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    It may sound contradictory, but we actively work to keep pests (slugs, aphids, hornworms, etc) alive! Why? By killing pests you’re removing beneficial insects’ food source. Less food = less beneficial insects. Less beneficial insects = more work you’ve given yourself spraying pesticides or manually removing them. Nature tends towards harmonious balance.

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    Traditionally farmers till the ground each year to prepare the soil for planting. This practise kills soil life, exposes the soil the the sun and over time will drain your soil of nutrients and increase compaction.

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    Hugelkultur is essentially a large amount of logs, branches and other woody debris covered in compost, soil. The wood inside acts like a sponge, holding a tremendous amount of water and also providing copious food for fungi.

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    Mimicking how a forest works, we aim to produce food using woody perennials and agroforestry principles. Functioning food forests have been discovered that are over 150 years old.

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    Keeping a large amount of biomass (straw, grass, wood chips, etc) on top of the soil retains moisture, suppresses weeds and slowly breaks down building soil with lots of organic material. We also grow edible mushrooms in the mulch of all our garden beds.

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    Cover cropping is the practise of growing a variety of plants and cutting them (or grazing animals on them) and letting them decompose to build soil. This is the #1 most important strategy for generating fertility without external inputs.

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    We generate a lot of woody biomass from branches which we burn in pits to make charcoal. We then inoculate this charcoal to make a soil amendment that can last for over 1000 years in our soil.

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