We did our test batch of elderberry syrup and an oxymel this week. We started with frozen elderberries from the farm. They went in the steam juicer for 40 minutes. The steam juicer pulled the eldeberberry juice out of the berries and allowed us to drain juice into a pot. We added ginger and clove… Read more: Making Elderberry Syrup and Oxymel
Everything has a season. The cover crops are planted. The hay is put down. The last of the trees and bushes planted. In the last 2 weeks, we have planted paw paw, elderberry and figs. The cover crop is a mixture of austrian peas, daikon radish and clover. We’ve also planted clover in areas where… Read more: Putting the Farm to Bed for the Winter
This week we had a large brush pile to burn. Camping out on the farm to made it easy monitor the burning brush pile and have a relaxing evening. Thursday morning I got an early start on preparing the rows in the back field for planting elderberries, figs and persimmon. It was nice watching the… Read more: Sunrise on the Farm
It is always wonderful when we get the opportunity to teach a skill from the farm. We had a great time and tried our best to answer some really thoughtful questions. How We Plant Elderberries Step 1 – Cuttings We start off by trimming away branches from the elderberry plant that either: – get in… Read more: Great Day Teaching How to Prune and Plant Elderberries
Wow, what nice weather. It was nice working on the farm with the temperatures in the mid 70s! We spent the day planting garlic, putting down cover crops (after terminating the cover crops in that area yesterday), and planting Paw Paw trees. We’re excited to finally get the Paw Paw trees planted. The trees we… Read more: Planting Paw Paw Trees, Garlic and Enjoying the Fall Weather
Every year the bees make the trek up to the mountains where they spend a little over a month at Troublesome Gap. We have a campsite on Troublesome Gap. It is a remote area and the bees have access to sourwood and locust flowers. This gives the honey a unique flavor and color that varies… Read more: Honey from Troublesome Gap is Here!
The goji berries are here! It is amazing that we have a small crop of goji berries this year. The goji berries we planted this spring. Our test plantings of moringa are also doing well. We have been busy putting in cover crops and working hard to improve the soil. We work hard to have… Read more: Goji Berries and Moringa
It was almost 100 degrees! We were very much appreciating the shade in places. The areas disturbed by the skid steer were also areas that we wanted to improve the soil. We planted clover and native pollinators in those areas. The clover also has the benefit of improving the soil, prevent erosion and help control… Read more: Planting Clover and Native Pollinators
A farm can be beautiful and functional. We have put a lot of emphasis on getting the orchard and food forest planted and growing crops for the past 2 years. This week we put the emphasis on improving the property and doing some cleanup. Hargrove Lawn Care in Bear Creek, NC did a wonderful job… Read more: Changes to the Farm
It is definitely warm out. We started the day out with a sprinkle or two and a nice breeze so it wasn’t too bad of a day to work on the farm. We picked tan cheese pumpkins and cushaw squash after weeding sweet potato beds. The first fig fruits are developing, but it is still… Read more: Pictures from the Farm – 2023-07-29
The fig trees are recovering nicely from the warm snap in February. We even have a few trees that are producing figs. Can’t wait to try them. The goji berry plants are climbing the trellis and reaching for the sun. No signs of berries yet but we are optimistic The comfrey we planted this year… Read more: Growing, growing, growing
We have honey ready to ship or for local pickup. We are so excited. This honey is raw and from our farm. This is the first time we’ve ever had honey for sale. Contact us for local pick up or visit here for honey shipped to your door.
We have started harvesting the first of the elderberries from the food forest area. I am excited to have them. We also have sunflowers in bloom. We grow sunflowers every year. It wouldn’t seem like summer without have sunflowers to enjoy. Our figs were decimated by the warm spell in February that was followed by… Read more: Elderberry Harvest Begins
We have been planting comfrey in the food forest area for the last few weeks. We planted comfrey root pieces and comfrey seeds around the fig and olive trees, between the blackberries and around some of the elderberries. The cool weather has allowed the potatoes to keep growing so we are going to leave them… Read more: Comfrey in the Food Forest
The goji berry plants are really growing. Nice to trellis both goji berries plants and the raspberries. We actually sampled our first blueberries on the farm today. That was a nice treat and milestone. It was nice having a few blackberries as well.
The onion harvest was wonderful. The sweet potatoes are not planted and the drip irrigation for the potatoes. The irish potatoes are growing. It will be time to harvest them soon. The black berries are blooming and growing. We’re looking forward to picking and eating black berries. The warm spell in February followed by a… Read more: Onions! Lots of Onions!
If you’ve ever wondered what it is like to have bees and check to see if they are producing honey, then check out the video The bees pollinate the fruit bearing plants and crops while they are producing honey. The honey actually takes on a different taste depending on which plants are blooming. Good news… Read more: Bees on the Farm
It was nice to have a weekend where we just enjoyed camping on the farm, without working. The grilled creation was cooked over the fire in the black cast iron cookers. The shell was made of corn dog roll with hot dogs, chili and onions inside. Tasty! The Mayapples are growing. We never get any… Read more: Camping on the Farm
Check out our very happy elderberries! Please leave a comment, let me know how you want us to prepare them for you. Do you want jam or fresh, juice, sauce, tea, or something else? Just let us know. The cactus have bloomed and the deer enjoyed the tasty treat
This has been a busy week on the farm. We try to give a semi-annual update that talks about what is going on at the farm in detail. We’ve also been working this week on our potatoes, developing the back field and planting a few ornamental plants. I had a few days on the farm… Read more: State of the Farm and Pictures from This Week
I’m taking a class called “Insights for Innovation” with IDEO. Part of that class is doing interviews for developing empathy and better understanding customers. Niti was the perfect person to interview to better understand the farm-to-fork community. I learned a lot in the interview and hope you do too.
The last few weeks have brought us rain every week. We had hoped to start planting this week, but it was just to wet to prep the beds for the winter squash, pollinators and summer cover crops. Instead we worked on planting olive trees and a Yaupon holly tree. We also trimmed the grass in… Read more: Mulch, Mulch, Mulch and Soggy Potatoes
We planted our first hazel trees. This is a test planting to see how they do. We should have our first nuts from the hazel trees in 2-3 years, if all goes well. We also pulled up drip feed lines so we can trim and to make it easier to cut the grass. Drip irrigation… Read more: Planting Hazel Trees and Moving Pine Logs
Since we started the farm, one of the things I’m looked forward to is planting blueberries. We had a couple of delays putting them in, but now they are finally installed. My wife Connie, came up with a wonderful idea. She suggested that we plant blueberries in the Hugelkultur mound. This gives the blueberries a… Read more: Blueberries Go In! Bees Go In!
Walk with me on my update on the winter garden, cover crops and how a simple idea saves time while mowing the grass. Just a simple change of how where posts go in for the anti-deer fence means less time spend weed eating. Odysee embedding powered by embed.tube
Thankfully the damage was minimal. We did lose a few trees, but nothing major. Here are some pictures from after the hurricane passed through. The winter garden is coming right along and it chilly outside, just like it should be in October.
We get lots of questions from community farm participants. Here are questions that came up this week. 1) How do you know whether you should plant 1 seed or multiple seeds in the same spot? If the seed are purchased then the back of the seed packet will usually show planting information that includes desired… Read more: Questions from the Farm – #2 in an Ongoing Series
We get lots of questions from community farm participants. Here are questions that came up this week. 1) How do you store peas in fridge after taken out of their pods 1-2 weeks. If you dry them (unrefrigerated), they can last for 9+ months 2) Can you feed bad produce to farm animals? We need… Read more: Questions from the Farm
Come join us on Saturday, July 30th at the farm for our annual farm tour. You can meet the families involved in the community garden and see how it works. The farm is located in Bennett, NC. Get your tickets below.
Some days are easier than others. Being flexible helps turn a frustrating day into a productive and happy one! The zero turn is fixed and the garlic bed is weeded and hay put down around the garlic. The blackberries are starting to fruit!
Lets take a walk around the farm and see what is growing! One of the topics that comes up in the video is the concept of imposing my will on the farm. Planning for the growing season requires creating a calendar of when to do what. Different crops need to go in at different times… Read more: Gemba Walk after Mowing
What Can You Do This year has been a challenging year when it comes to supply chain issues and inflation. The rising price of gas and food has impacted all of us at some level. People with the least disposable income getting hurt the worst. At some point, rising food prices will lead to political… Read more: Why You Probably Aren’t Planting a Garden / You Can Farm
The last two days have been a blur. We have been busy. Even with 4 people on the farm working hard, we still have more stuff to do before everything is been planted. We are on still on a rapid learning curve as we work hard. The garden area in the pictures below was pasture… Read more: Planting Time
It is the time of year where you never know if it is going to be an 80 degree day or a 40 degree day. We are still getting ready to start planting our summer garden. This was also the first time I mowed the grass for the season. More and more plants are starting… Read more: Flowering Mandrakes / Almost Time to Plant
The weather on Saturday was kinda crazy. It started out fairly warm and then just kept getting colder. Sometimes You Can’t Do What You Plan We had planned to plant beets, peas and radish. The plan was to pull back the tarps and build beds to plant in. The silage tarp has been down for… Read more: Getting Ready for Spring – Putting Down Hay and Weedblocker
What a busy few days. When it comes to homesteading there is always a lot to learn and share. We worked on the following: installed an anti-deer fence installed 15 elderberry plants with a biodegradable mat around them with hay on top planted 7 fig and 2 peach trees planted a lantana in the pollinator… Read more: 2022 Spring Homestead Experience
Getting a farm up and going has been a big project. Sometimes it seems like the world has gone crazy, but on the farm there is a peace and serenity. We’re getting ready for growing season and the plants don’t care about politics or ideology, they just want great soil, rain and sunshine. So after… Read more: New Tractor, Putting Up Blackberry Trellis and A-Frames
Let’s start off with what is a Hugelkultur mound. Here is a great video that explains Hugelkultur Our First Hugelkultur Mound We built our first hugelkultur mound in our garden at home. The mound is about 35 feet long and used trees that we had cleared on the back of the property. It has worked… Read more: Covering the HugelKultur Mound
Why – Cost of Food is Increasing, Availability is Decreasing https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-10/price-shock-at-the-meat-counter-worsens-u-s-inflation-jitters – as an example beef is up 20% this year I’ve seen numbers from 6 to 20% for other sectors of the food supply. Lets do the math. Here is one analysis: $1 product in 2020 became a $1.20 product in 2021 (using 20%… Read more: Shopping List – Main Items that you need to preserve food
Why Have a Community Garden The last few years (2020-2021) have difficult years for everyone. When we originally bought the farm from a friend in 2021, we had intentions to just having place for a larger garden / fruit orchard, recreation and eventually build a house. The growing possibility of food insecurity and food cost… Read more: 2022 Community Garden Info
My wife and I have this love / hate relationship dynamic with horseradish. We only eat a small amount of it, but we have several family members and friends that really like it. We mostly use it in Connie’s homemade cocktail sauce or on roast beef. Here is a chart showing the pros/cons with horseradish.… Read more: Making Horseradish
My wife and I love spending time outdoors. Having a farm and garden is a great way to do that. It also means we have more nutritious foods. Many of the people we have met on this journey like similar things and that makes it even better. I’m a mechanical engineer turned weekend farmer, so I’m just smart enough to know that there is a lot that I don’t know especially when it comes to farming, permaculture and food forests. Come on the learning journey with us!
We would love to share what we are learning so that you can grow at least part of your own food. It is within your grasp to grow part of the food that you eat. You can improve your food security and enjoy higher quality food in the process.
We also have limited opportunities for you to camp out on our farm, enjoying the serious peace and quiet. Sometimes we hold classes, usually on Food Preservation. Join us for those too.
Meet the Farmers
I’m a mechanical engineer turned weekend farmer, so I’m just smart enough to know that there is a lot that I don’t know especially when it comes to farming, permaculture and food forests. I’ve been heavily influenced in my love of farming and permaculture by my Mom and Dad and also by people like Jack Spirko (TSP) and Dan (Plant Abundance)
Connie has her certificate in Sustainable Agriculture from CCCC. She really enjoyed the classes at the community college and learned a lot. The program was a mixture of classes and work on the school farm. What she learned has really added to our technical proficiency on the farm.