We have only been on our new farm for
approximately 5 months now, we have accomplished quite a lot in this short amount of time! We purchased some laying Buff chicks, two out of the lot ended up being roosters, not too bad. One will be re-homed.
We built a chicken house back in late June.
The chickens were temporarily contained until we finished the parameter fencing. They are FREE now!
These laying birds will live up on this end of the property permanently to cruise under our heritage apple tree orchard that is being planted in the month March 2017. We have a heritage winesap apple tree that we are working to preserve with both seed and grafting.
Happy free roaming Chickens!
We will be adding 25 mixed laying breed chicks (my list of breeds is in an earlier blog) in early Spring that will go down in the bottom pasture to free roam for both insect control and egg production.
I am encouraging the growth of fungi, microbes, protozoa and tons more healthy bacteria in my compost piles! I have been diligently working on my no till beds and market garden fields.
The semi-dwarf Peach trees were planted in late June, they have done exceptionally well and have grown A LOT since planted!
My mulch piles are looking very healthy!
The dairy goat permanent fencing for rotational grazing is in place and they have been rotated 3 times already! They have constant, clean pasture and housing. I am growing fodder for all of the livestock and chickens this winter, it is packed full of nutrients that they really enjoy through the winter months along with their free grazing.
I am currently working on the NO-TILL market garden field, building soil for Spring.
Around 700 gourmet garlic bulbs have been planted for the 2017 harvest! I was a little late getting them in, but they should do fine. We are almost finished with the main cabin remodel. The guest cabin was completed. More photos and posts coming soon!
O.K., you can't live in the South and not eat biscuits!!! Here is a healthy (not)! biscuit recipe with a twist~ organic ingredients...
BTW, I LOVE these biscuits!!
Super easy and deliciously healthier biscuits
Experiment with whole grains too!
1 1/2 Cups Organic self-rising flour
3/4 Cups Organic Milk
2 Heaping Tbsp. Organic Mayonnaise
pinch of Sea Salt to taste
Mix and drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake at 450 Degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden! YUMMY!!
Here at Orchard Creek farm we implement permaculture design for a healthy and balanced ecosystem. To achieve our goals of healthy, balanced soils our hand tool of choice for our no-till farm is the broadfork. This tool is a hand tool used to break up and aerate the top soil without turning it under. A rototiller for example destroys the beneficial microbes and living organisms by tearing up and turning the soil over with blades. These organisms live with, in and between the soil particles. The pH balance, moisture content and soil pore size create different habitats for these living organisms, known as the "soil food web". This "soil food web" is made up of a multitude of living organisms; earthworms, bacteria, fungi, arthropods, nematodes and protozoa. Basically all soil life that can be eaten and broken down, makes up the "soil food web" cycle.
One of the best known good fungi for example is Mycorrhizae . We encourage the healthy growth of mycorrhizae. The broadfork is an excellent tool to use that will not destroy what we are trying to maintain, it also helps to suppress weed seeds that lay dormant under the soil, when rototilled these weed seeds come to the surface, a broadfork will keep the majority of the weed seeds dormant by not allowing them to come to the surface.
The broadfork uses your body to operate, and it is a workout like no other! I personally would much rather have the broadfork body workout and save my living soil than get vibrated to death and destroy my living soil with a machine.
Furthermore we spend no money for fuel or machine maintenance, which is another sustainable plus.
To maximize the roots and health of your plants and trees the soil needs to be aerated for nutrient and water penetration.
We can't wait till Spring to use the mighty broadfork again!.