more photos from our Mastodon summer

Now that it is winter, I thought I would post photos from the summer. We certainly didn’t have much time for posting on blogs when there were tomatoes to harvest, but now that the snow is flying we have a little time on our hands. I (Emily) am leaving for Europe in about a week for a couple of months to work on a few small organic farms in the UK with my sister and niece. Before it is too late I’d like to share some of the lessons we learned from this last summer. I spent a number of days making detailed records of each enterprise we had this summer and came up with some numbers that I’d like to share with you all. But first, here are some photos!

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our tomato tunnel

Here is our tomato tunnel in full swing! We could hardly keep up with the harvesting and many of the tomatoes ended up as animal feed. We had always wanted to have too many tomatoes and it was fantastic! We were able to can to our hearts content, sell tomatoes at a reasonable price (well, a little too reasonable), and eat them for weeks!

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Potluck and Screening of “INHABIT” on APRIL 23, 2015

We will be hosting a screening of “INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective” on Thursday April 23, 2015, at 7pm in the AgriVino Event Center at Abbey Road Farm, in the Yamhill/Carlton area.

“INHABIT” is a beautifully done documentary following at least a dozen small farmers and permaculturalists from the Midwestern and Eastern States with a positive message of change through permaculture principles. If you are an organic farmer, student of permaculture, or interested in learning about a positive, hopeful path into the future, come watch the film! If you cannot attend, you can also rent, stream, or buy the DVD. To find out more about the movie itself, click on the picture below:

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We will also be hosting a potluck dinner, and providing a smoked, pastured turkey! Bring a side dish or dessert and drinks & YOUR OWN PLATES AND SILVERWARE.

We are hoping to gather a good group of people, and hope you can make it.

Please RSVP by emailing nomadic.farm@gmail.com

“INHABIT” the documentary: a permaculture perspective

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I recently watched an early screening of a film called: “INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective” with the makers of the movie at the Permaculture Voices Conference in San Diego. It is truly worthwhile — the best of the food and agriculture documentaries that I have seen. I believe this film has the power to inspire and inform people of all ages and walks of life with the hope that there are good and positive changes happening in our food systems. The film is released on April 22, 2015, and can be viewed here on our blog. I am planning to buy a hardcopy and show this movie to as many people as possible!

Synopsis

Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our planet? This is the premise behind permaculture: a design process based on the replication of patterns found in nature. INHABIT explores the many environmental issues facing us today and examines solutions that are being applied using the ecological design lens of permaculture. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States, Inhabit provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices ranging from rural, suburban, and urban landscapes.

Permaculture Voices Conference #2 is fast approaching

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We wanted to put a quick plug in for the Permaculture Voices Conference, which will be held in San Diego March 4-8. Last year, Tony and I attended the first annual conference and were blown away with the quality, inspiration, and information we gained in 4 quick days. We heard talks from people like Michael Pollan, Geoff Lawton, Allan Savory, Joel Salatin, and Willie Smits, among dozens of others. We were incredibly inspired and walked away ready to change the world by permaculturing a midwestern corn field, or greening some desert somewhere. Of course, in reality we’d like to settle near some mountains and in trees but the information we gleaned about properly managing animals, soil health, setting up a small dairy or starting our own business was well worth the investment. Perhaps the most inspiration we’ve taken away from last year’s conference, and Diego Footer’s podcasts (which are well worth your time, by the way, and found here) is our motivation to get serious about our goal to start a farm by thinking realistically about the business end of farming. Continue reading

why we march against monsanto

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We passed our EMT class yesterday, but still need to pass another skills exam on friday before we are finished. Then it’s off to Wyoming on Saturday! But before then, we will be participating in a peaceful protest — the March Against Monsanto on saturday afternoon. This is going to be big, and should be covered widely in mainstream media, although I wouldn’t be suprised if it isn’t.  Continue reading

hugelkultur and strawbale kitchens

This last weekend was International Permaculture Day (May 5th) so Tony and I decided to celebrate by offering our hands at two events. It was inspiring and informative. Our first stop was Sky Mountain Institute, where we helped a new family in the neighborhood start a garden using permaculture practices. We built a hugelkultur bed and a eucaylptus trellis. Hugelkultur is a popular permaculture method of building a mound of logs, organic matter and soil to create a self-watering, self-reliant garden bed that decomposes to slowly release nutrients and hold water like a sponge to support your plants. It is easy to build and very low maintenance. Check out Paul Wheaton’s article on hugelkultur here, and his short video here for some fabulous information.

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Joel Salatin’s “Folks, This Ain’t Normal”: a book review.

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Hello folks!

I just finished reading Joel Salatin’s book Folks, This Ain’t Normal and am eager to infect some more souls with the knowledge and excitement that I came away with. If I could force the entire country to read just one book this would be the one. People might just realize how messed up our world has become, or as Joel says repeatedly “Folks, This ain’t normal.” Continue reading

Strawbale Building Work Party

Shaping bales with an electric chainsaw

Shaping bales with an electric chainsaw

Hello, Tony here! This past weekend Emily and I had the pleasure of attending a work party at a developing site. We heard about the event through a fellow named Erik, whom we met at the San Diego Permaculture convergence. He was filming the whole shebang, and hopefully that footage will be available in time. This guy is a big personality, and seems to have some big dreams for Permaculture and changing his corner of the world in southern California. It is exciting when talking with him, because change just seems so DO-able. He is one who has the energy, the ideas, and perhaps most importantly, a huge web of personal and professional friends. More and more often I am seeing that it takes people working together to get great things done. Eric was able to wrangle Emily and I, and about 35 other folks into attending this Strawbale party over the course of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Continue reading