There are old outbuildings in our backyard. Split rail fences surround what must have once been a pasture. And rocks - piles of them. Proof that this land must have been worked many moons ago.
And yet by the time we purchased our homestead in 2014 this land that would have fed families once upon a time had fallen subject to the invasive whims of tree species like buckthorn and prickly ash. Biodiversity was all but eliminated.
We have begun the long yet hope-filled task of working our land. Space is being made for different native species to thrive. Our first growing season found us focussed on freeing the orchard and planting elderberry, raspberry and serviceberry to slow the spread of the invasive interlopers.
Inspired in part by the principles of Hugelkultur, raised garden beds took shape atop the marginal soil and bedrock. As did the motivation to begin building up the soil after years of disuse.
Now, with the 2017 growing season close at hand, plans for expansion are taking shape. Our herbs, flowers and veggies will be available for purchase from our local health food store as well as directly from our homestead.