Hey! What’s Growing On?

While, there are some aspects of Beacon Farmstead that look reminiscent of what you’d expect from a typical farm or garden, much of our homestead is producing food in a far less conventional way. 

Because I am enormously inspired by the regenerative qualities of Permaculture design, I am often trying to find ways to stack functions–that is, creating productive and beneficial connections between different actions and elements on the farm. One seemingly magical example of this is the area of feeding our pigs. 

A main staple of our hogs’ diets is bread, fruit, and veggie scraps from a local health food store. Each time we feed them, many of the seeds, rines, and peels get left and mashed into the soil by those powerful pig trotters, which turns into quite a lovely bit of organic matter over time. We then shift the pigs in a woodland form of rotational grazing, leaving those “lost” seeds to do as they may without being disturbed and rooted up by those nosy pigs. As a result of this approach, we now have a plethora of patches all over the property growing cucumbers, tomatoes, a variety of squashes, and more! It has a very similar result of Masanobu Fukuoka’s “Do Nothing Farming” (though our approach is far from doing nothing). I highly recommend reading his book, The One Straw Revolution. Check it out!

 Here are some photos of things that are growing all about the farmstead (and some othe pics that I simply thought were pleasing to the eye). Enjoy!
    

Zucc’s in hand, with herb garden in the background.

  

Siamese twin summer squash

  

A handsome zipper- spider on the handle of our rabbit feed bucket.

  

Not raspberries–just one cluster of many unripened blackberries from around the property.

  

One of the many “volunteer” butternut squash that are sprawling about on the farmstead

  

A beautiful display of some giant poplar leaves that Judah created. He was very pleased with himself (the leaves were then fed to the goats who LOVE poplar!).

Some Spring Photos from the Farm

 

This is our little nigerian dwarf yearling, Bitsy. She’s out enjoying our new bit of pasture.

 

These are some of our heritage breed hatchlings enjoying some fresh veg.

 

Here’s Lulu, our un-farm cat, doing what she does best.

 

Yup… there was a lot more amphibian lovin’ this spring (I knew everyone needed another dose of that–note the passion in those eyes!)

 

We hatched out our own chicks this spring with eggs from our own flock. we had noticed a much higher viability rate compared to the hatching eggs we ordered last year… I mean look at the spunk and attitude in that chickie’s face! “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

 

We’ve been very fortunate to have minimal predation, but this has been our farmstead’s primary predator. Introducing the black rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta). Thankfully it’s a constrictor and not venomous, but it’s kind has consumed too many of our young rabbit kits, chicks, and turkey poults.

 

I found this gargantuan yard beast in a wheelbarrow filled with blackalicious compost!

 

And finally, our wonderful american guinea hog’s gave birth, another bit of new life at Beacon Farmstead this spring.