In the spring of 2014 we began with a vision for a 1 1/2 acre food forest, just one of our many projects on the farm. We used this pasture as grazing for cows and sheep for 2 years, and before we moved in it was grazed by horses. The pictures below show the 10-month progression of an idea coming to life.
And so it began...One of our top goals was to make sure we held as much water on the property as possible, storing it in the soil and in living and growing things. The pictures below show the makings of swales slightly off contour moving water from the valleys to the ridges.
Next, all swales were mulched and planted with cover crops, as well as raspberries, comfrey and nursery auction apple, cherry and paw paw trees (poor placement of paw paw trees).
Our sheep, cow and chickens were moved through these linear strips of pasture 3 times, mowing and fertilizing as they went.
As the summer came to an end, we chopped and dropped all of the biomass acquired above ground and below ground from all the photosynthesis of previous months.
Once fall hit, the intense planting began, including chestnuts, hazelnuts, comfrey, garlic, daffodil and iris.
In the spring of 2015 we will be adding honey locust, elderberry, more raspberries, currants, strawberries, and many other berries and herbs to this area.
But until then, we are covered in snow and aesthetic beauty all around, excited for spring and all the water that will be soaked up by the soil and new fecundity.