At Lone Birch a small flock of Icelandic sheep graze a sunny pasture overlooking Kachemak Bay. Behind them come small flocks of chickens and ducks. Rotating these creatures over sections of ground disturbs the plant communities in diverse ways attempting to mimic natural browsing relationships.
The structure and ecology of soil is responsible for moving nutrients and changing those nutrients into forms plants can readily absorb. Our soils are free from the compaction caused by heavy equipment or heavy footed animals. A lack of compaction means natural pockets deep into the strata are available for mycellium, insects and the myriad of biota that makeup the soil food web.
Garden space fills with annual veggies and flowers in steps and stages. Inter-plantings complicate the garden maps as the growing season progresses. Diversity is the strength of natural systems, when one plant type fails to produce food many others fill their gaps.
True friendship is displayed by the steadfast offerings of perennials, berries, medicinals, visual screens. When the garden task list is growing we look out to see the currants, raspberries, mints, monkhoods and more - growing, showing independence.
In effort to be efficient and tie these relationships closer we make compost with winter barn bedding and crop leftovers to feed our garden beds. We avoid pesticides, instead encouraging pollinating insects and birds to join in the songs of beauty and growth. When the farm creatures experience health challenges we turn to plant medicines, pulling from our medicinary of dried herbs, tinctures, and salves.
When approaching decisions about the water, soil, plants, and animals we call on our life experience, passions, and education.