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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Making a Dream Last

The Body of the Earth Surrounded by Sky

So far away from where you are 
These miles have us worlds apart 
And I miss you, yeah I miss you

Why would a post about Sea Buckthorn, Agroecology, and Permaculture start out with a Hallmark card to my best friend and partner in adventure over in  Afghanistan?  I hope you all have someone or two or three people who you have a strong connection.-- like the body of the earth has with the sky.

Our travels through life can be wonderful without such fortune yet so much more fun when sharing life, both the good times and the challenging times -  a friend is the most valuable gift on the planet.

The wilderness, the land, the plants and everything that growing things offer, share a gift with us as well. We can witness life in real time.  As you know, farming, especially Agroecological farming is a matrix of relationships with nature.  It is challenging, rewarding and full of personality.

Having said that, keep your eyes open, sometimes even the most unlikely combinations of people end up to be the most vibrant companions.  I appreciate my hero friend every day and look forward to his return home.

In Spite of Ourselves, We'll End Up a'Sittin' on a Rainbow

Meeting to plan and preserve access, the environment, and community in the "over the hill" area of Seboies Plantation, Maine

Foxgreen Farm is located in a sparsely populated area.  You might think that would be limiting and, fact is, it is not.  Think of it this way.  Most people living in more populated areas don't know their neighbors or even the person living in the apartment literally next door.  No so here.  People depend on each other and watch out and help almost always without even being asked.  If there were to be a problem, it is likely my neighbors know more about me than I know about myself.  Of course that is not always accurate, yet when a community has traits of an extended family, life is good. It is where all the pots of gold are stored and a rainbow isn't merely colors out of reach.  

I Thought With Something I Felt

Farming – where are we going?
Foxgreen Farm, now Foxgreen Farm, LLC is a farm carved out of the wilderness.  There are lots of very good advice books about how to choose farmland and this would not be the place.  Who looks at a hillside full of immature trees and imagines a field?  I did and it has worked well.  Sure, the expense and work of the transformation from forest to field has been a ton of work.  The result, however, is something unique.  Where else is there a "virgin" farm?  It is a clean pallet and will be protected by geography for a very long time.  The last part of the stumping out of the 5 of the 50 acres of forest is underway.
After the stumps have been pulled, shaken and moved to the edge of the field, there  is still work to be done.  Rocks, wood to be removed and leveling take time and sweat.  My machinery is limited, nearly non-existent for this type of work so I'm left with handwork.  There are many daunting tasks and a belief in one step at a time and "you don't have to get their fast, just have to get there" keeps me appreciating every rock moved and each square foot readied.
Work progressing- looking east

Looking west, cabin at top
In this area, similar to the first cleared area, my interests are first to the soil.  Sea Buckthorn is not a very picky plant when it comes to soil.  Just about the only type of soil it does not like is poorly drained or soggy areas. This area may be better suited for a combination of swales and rotational grazing combined with a poultry free range environment.  I have some planning to do.  In the meantime, I have planted an annual ryegrass for stabilization and 2 varieties of clover for a more lasting and soil building beginning.  The micro climates need to be assessed as well. 

Farming will always be intrusive upon the environment, but its purpose is to efficiently provide food that is an essential of life.  As global populations grow so does the demand for food. As time advances we will progressively become better at producing yields in this particular area.  Keep following along and I am sure some of the lessons we learn optimizing the balance of farming and the impact on the environment will be interesting. 

Stay Tuned......

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