We moved into the farm on September 21st. Since then we have been busy getting our home in order and doing farm establishment.
We have built a chicken coop, and were gifted a duck coop on skids along with 12 Muscovy ducks to add the the flock (thanks Louise:). We planted an assortment of 35 or so shrubs and trees including several varieties of chestnut, hazelnuts, apple, plum, honey locust, pawpaw, currants and gooseberries. We have planted a large crop of Jerusalem Artichokes and some Groundnuts, both of which will eventually be available for sale. We have been learning to use our two new practical toys, a Massey Furgeson Tractor and a Kubota backhoe. The Kubota was used to dig double reach, raised garden beds, piling on the soil from the paths (wide enough for a wheel barrow), onto the garden beds. I have built similar style beds by hand, and it is amazing the efficiency that is achieved with some appropriate technology. We believe in using all of the tools at our disposal, including diesel fuel powdered tractors, to jump start our farm's operations, to be ready for the post fossil fuel economy. We filled the beds with several varieties of garlic to be sold as seed stock in the future.
Instead of haying our fields, we decided to just mow them and allow everything to return to the earth, fertilizing the soil. We will eventually have some sort of hayfield management plan that will include alternating which fields we hay and which ones we mow, as to not over-harvest. One day we will have a full farm ecosystem, where the fields are mowed by animals, as unfolds naturally in prairie environments.
We have begun to decorate our home, to express our soul's art. The color of paint has been decided for our practice/therapy room, and we hope to have it painted, decorated, and ready for clients this winter. This room is where I (Michael), will see my herbal clients and do body work like moxabustion and cupping. The space will be available to be rented out by other onsite residents to be used to see clients for their own healing modalities. One day we would like people to arrive on the farm, and be able get their meat, eggs, cheese, fruits, and veggies, as well as treat themselves to a massage, or herbal intake.
We have mostly filled the woodshed, and have already lit many fires in the wood stove. I am getting ready to build my first Rocket Mass Heater to be used in the guest room/work room, which is inside our barn. Hopefully by next winter, we will also be heating our home with a fraction of the wood, thanks to Rocket Mass Heater technology. We are excited about RMH and hope to one day have workshops on their construction.
We are now purchasing a 32 foot diesel school bus, which we are going to convert to a tiny home, which will either be rented out nightly during events, or monthly to a resident.
This winter we plan to cut logs for spring mushroom inoculation, construct large amounts of hugelkulture and other raised beds, convert the skoolie, and observe the patterns and flows of the site, to begin our mainframe site design.
Many more bits and bobs are under way. Thank you to everyone who has been involved and has helped us thus far. We will keep ya posted with occasional updates. Peace!