Winter is a perfect time to vision for all that is possible on this landscape. The snow-covered fields emphasize the rolling topography of the landscape and create a blank slate that makes anything seem possible. The mild weather of this winter has also allowed for more outdoor exploration, which I am so appreciative of! This is also true of the other creatures of the farm – tracks race across the vegetable field and the remaining cabbage and broccoli leaves that reach above the snow are now thoroughly munched.
One area of the farm that could use a little more love this coming season is the 1.5-acre perennial orchard. Think lots of raspberries, currants, elderberries, juneberry, aronia, honeyberry, pears, hazelnuts, and more… This area of the farm is currently managed cooperatively by all seven of us who own the property together; we prune and mulch everything in the spring and enjoy sharing in the harvest when we can. We don’t have a specific point-person to manage the weekly orchard needs and especially the harvest needs during the height of the season. Could this be you? Or someone you know who is interested in perennial fruits? We envision anything from an informal manager who takes a portion of the yield for their home to someone renting the land and taking it on as an independent enterprise. A U-pick operation, wholesale fresh-fruit sales, fruit for jams and value-added products… the list of potential ideas goes on. All we need is the people power. Please contact us with any ideas you have and your interest in collaborating.
We believe that by stacking all kinds of farming enterprises on this land, we can create a model for regenerative agriculture that is diverse in its ecology, but also able to support a sustainable level of human energy over the long-term. While we may be interested in everything (perennials, mushrooms, pastured livestock, compost…), energetically we can not do everything unless we align ourselves with others who contribute to a piece of the greater whole. Interested in cooperative farming in Jefferson County? Come and plug in!
~ Anne, January 21st, 2016