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Comfreyville - a vegan organic micro market garden/homestead  RSS feed

 
Mikael Ingvesback
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Hi!

First post, complete beginner, lots of theory, no real practical experience, BIG DREAMS

Comfreyville will be a vegan organic micro market garden/homestead/world within the world with a permaculture mindset in LappfjÀrd, Finland, at 62 degrees north.

Starting with a field of about 1.5 acres which will be planted with vegetables, berry bushes, and fruit trees. This field hasn't been in use for more than 15 years and sadly I'll have to begin by tractor plowing it, as I don't actually live in Finland at the moment and only have a few vacation weeks this summer and fall to prepare as much as possible for next season when I move there. After the initial plowing it will be strictly no till, hand powered only with permanent, slightly raised vegetable beds.

In case you're wondering, vegan organic doesn't mean than no animals are involved, as that would be impossible. It simply means that I wont force any animals to do anything, nor will I use any brought in animal products to grow my food. I will however create conditions that invite beneficial insects, frogs, and toads to come and hang out and do what they naturally do. No earthworm breeding, but plenty of earthworm high fiving They're my friends and it kills me that I have to start by plowing, but it's my only choice when circumstances are what they are.

We've had some trouble with flooding the last few years so the county built mounds on 3 sides of the field as you can see in the picture, and they're sloping in towards the field quite a bit. This should mean that I have some built in wind protection on those sides, and from the buildings on the south side. Since I'll be planting fruit trees I'll need to plant something else on top of the mounds to serve as further wind protection. Haven't figured out what to plant yet.

What WILL be up on the mounds is comfrey, and lots of it. Starting with 50 roots this summer but then I'll keep propagating until I have comfrey coming out of my ears. It will, together with shredded leaves, be my primary means of both fertility and mulch. Unless I have too many wireworms and have to start by planting the whole field with mustard, I'll plant white clover in all the pathways and places where other stuff isn't growing, and that will add to the fertility as well. Then some green manure crops where ever I can fit them in, and I should have all the fertility I need. Will be doing some composting as well, but mainly just putting stuff on the surface where things are growing.

The upper edge of the field faces north, so there's a nice big south facing slope facing in towards the field, which will be good to plant in early in the season.
I haven't decided where to place everything yet. Think I'll go with straight 30" wide permanent beds of which most will be placed on a north/south axis. But then I have tons of berry bushes and some fruit trees to place also, as well as a couple small ponds, nettle strips, and a lot more.
If anyone with more experience(all of you) has some suggestions for how and where to place things I'm listening with both ears!

Besides all kinds of vegetables, I'm planning on planting a few sweet cherry trees and sour cherry bushes, a few plum trees, gojiberry bushes, honeyberry bushes, saskatoon berry bushes, minikiwi berry bushes, vertical strawberries, vertical dwarf grapevines, and lots of sunflowers to begin with. I'll be trying to cram as much food as possible into this field, to show people what's possible if you just have a bit of vision. Lots of use of vertical space and as I get more experienced, more and more polycultures. All of this without hurting, using, or abusing anyone or anything.

I fly to Finland on June 2nd and will stay for 2 weeks and try to get as much done as possible. Then another 2 weeks in late September So I can gather and shred a bunch of leaves and store them for next season. Also plant some more fruit trees and berry bushes. The only thing grown with a harves in mind this season will be the sunflowers. The rest is just preparing for the future and the first proper season of growing next year.

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If anyone has ideas and suggestions, or criticisms for that matter, feel very free to chime in! I feel especially clueless when it comes to the ponds, and where to place them.

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