Fresh wholesome foodsAs we completed the purchase of our property – former farmland amidst former or still working farms – we were just becoming aware of problems with current systems of food production. The more we learned, the more eager we were to become part of the solution, by bringing our land back into healthful productivity.

We learned about the lack of access in some places to wholesome, fresh food. In both urban and rural areas, there are no grocery stores readily available; fast food restaurants and convenience stores are the only sources for buying food. A number of charitable organizations are working locally to overcome this difficulty, and we see possibilities for contributing our harvest to those causes.

We also learned about the downsides of industrial food production, characterized by monocultures requiring rigorous applications of fertilizers and pesticides, and by concentrated animal feeding operations often showing little regard for soil and water quality.

Permaculture offers an alternative to these single-focus intensive farming methods. Building on an ethical foundation of care for people, care for the earth and return of surplus, permaculture strives to create regenerative ecosystems while growing food (meat as well as plants). By combining plants in mutually supportive combinations, and by including animals in the right balance, it’s possible to produce food in abundance while also revitalizing the earth.

Of course, we first need to build a house. Finally the weather seems to be cooperating. The house foundation is well on its way, and barn framing begins this week. Rainwater harvesting tanks arrived on Friday, to be buried at the west end of the house. It’s all becoming real! And after the house comes the next big adventure: Beacon Springs Farm.

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