Ron Cook wrote:Plus, I've developed my own variety of okra, called, "Heavy Hitter Okra." I sell seeds each winter through our at-home-farm-store. https://www.drycreekfarmstore.com/
Ed Waters wrote:Greg, was wondering if you ever offer tours of your Forest Garden.
Kai Walker wrote:Drat I used that dreaded S-word again. Sheesh (slaps self on the forehead).
At least it was directed at my dumb self.
Sorry mods. I will edit if you want me to.
Travis Schulert wrote:
I have 9.5 acres that now have poly culture planted swales and berms. A half acre intensive market garden that pays all the bills, plus my wifes income, and after everythings paid still puts money in my pocket.
It took only the first 2 weeks of market this spring (2019) to pay for the years farm investments. We are completely killing it weekly at the farmers market. We only do one market a week and its paying very well. We stuck it out, and were finally making good money doing this. I say "good money" but for many living in the modern world it would barely be enough to get by, but for us we live good on it. Because we spent the last 7 years building a frugal, simpler life.
For the market garden- I used 20 year landscape geotextile fabric, and a fully automated drip irrigation system. We applied this to a no-till garden. Yes I know there are other ways to do it, and other ways to make money without using any plastics of any kind, and I encourage you to go out and be the example needed to show you dont need any plastic to be productive. But let me tell you we battled weeds and native rhizomes for 5 years, spinning our wheels. The first year on our new property, we tried doing the 20 year fabric and drip irrigation, this literally quadrupled the profits, for about half the work load as previous years. It literally saved our garden because I dont know how long I'd be able to farm and not make a good enough profit. But, that was my decision to use plastics on a half acre of my 10 acre poly culture food forest. But that half acre literally pays for the other 9.5 acres, and paid to have almost 500 trees planted in the last 2 years, another 500 this fall...
For the other 9.5 acres- we have 450 feet roughly of river frontage, places to hunt and fish along the river, I've kept 7 acres of the 10 to be zone 4. Because I like wild forested spaces, and I can produce enough food on a smaller scale to not have to use the rest of the property for anything but forest plantings, hunting, and fishing. We have dozens of edible and medicinal species, which I'll rattle off a handful right now, but missing some:
Elderberry, hazelnut, paw paw,gingko, poplar, spruce, mulberry, apple, seaberry, rugosa rose, perennial clumping grasses, currants, serviceberry, and many more I cant think of at 5:30am. Most of which is thriving and surviving and growing quickly.
New outlooks: I hate to say it, but permaculture folks have left a very bad taste in my mouth in the last couple years. I considered myself a permaculturist since about 2008, I took Lawtons PDC. But then I started using landscape fabric on a half acre, which has upset dozens and dozens of people online, and many permaculture instructors have made it a point to attack us and our farm. It's kind of sad really, that we went through all this work, all this sacrifice, only to be booted out of the community because 5% of our paradise isnt perfection. And the catch 22, is our farm is called imperfect by them, and shunned because it doesnt resemble someone elses idea of perfection. Well, that my friends is a very subjective idea... perfection...
So, at this point, I've realized that most of the people criticizing farmers for not farming right, are mostly people who are still too scared to become farmers. I remember reading the "can you actually make money with permaculture" thread many years ago on this site, and I still wonder if you can.... the 9.5 acres of permaculture food forest are in their infancy stages, so many years before I'm picking fruit and nuts, instead of salad mix and broccoli. But the salad mix and broccoli (there are about 15 other crops we make money on) are what pays to continue "playing" permaculture. There are people out there "playing" farmer, I played farmer until I switched to something that kept the weeds down in my no-till garden... Now I am the farmer, we are farming, because we give the giant veggie farms at our market a serious run for their money. We have the premier quality product at our market, everyone else struggles to meet or match our quality, and we continue to sell out, year after year. We struggle to grow enough to meet demand, because people are thirsty for really high quality, really clean food.
The relentless frustrated criticisms by all the people out there in internet land finally got to me, and I quit trying to push my message online. People get hung up when they see the landscape fabric and cant look past it. At this point, I have lost a lot of faith in the permaculture world and movement, and I see it on the downword spiral. Mainly because of where it's gone, you have a handful of people making a lot of money in permaculture, and it's all being taken from the pockets of kids who have dreams of doing great things, but then they get out there and realize the world dont fart rainbows and unicorns. It's a tough world,you better be ready to make a good profit, without acquiring a shit load of debt, if you expect your farm to make it long term.
I have the beginnings of a permaculture food forest, in 10 years, most species will be producing, maybe then I'll write a book about how you need market gardening in order to subsidize the permaculture side of things. This is no fairytale world, there is no utopia. You can spend 30 years getting somewhere slowly with permaculture, or you could be there in 10 years by incorporating a half acre market garden into your permaculture... I was told by multiple permaculture educators that my methods and systems are a complete failure, and terrible advice. This has been thrown at me many many times now in the last couple years, whilst trying to promote my message and farm.