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[Recovery and Regeneration Project for 2020 Season]

Given the ongoing crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, we launch an urgent Recovery and Regeneration Project for 2020 Season. The new reality has made it painfully apparent that failings in large-scale agriculture and food production have diminished health throughout the populace, making many of us more susceptible to health problems. In the short term, there is a need for food, medicines and financial recovery; in the longer view, the importance of local, healthy plants and fungus for food and medicine may foster healthy immune systems and a more resilient populace.

Participation:

We invite growers of various experience levels to join in a group of related efforts that will build up the soil tilth on more of the fallow pastures on the farm, create food which may be shared with participants and the community as soon as practicable, and establish permaculture plots that will provide soil, fungi, fruit, and herbs for many seasons to come. Some of the program areas follow:

Mushroom Cultivation - Addition of nameko logs and stropharia wood chip beds, pest control, maintenance and harvesting of existing shitake, wine cap, oyster cultivation. Propagation of new species using spores, tissue and liquid cultures, new grow media.

Seed sharing/starting – we have been starting more plants from clones or seeds indoors, building cold frames, hot frames and window sill mini-greenhouses. May use these sheltered grow spaces for micro-greens later in season/fall.

Expansion of perennial herb garden, weed and disseminate existing Jerusalem artichokes, hops, horseradish, comfrey and asparagus.

Recover pasture land in new radial garden plot. Central soil, manure and mulch hub, planting beds  follow downward contour, circumferential access ‘tracks’ following existing deer trails.

Riparian buffer garden.  Featuring native aquatic plants, bordered by clones of elderberries (currently rooting), plant additional aquatic plants and herbs in existing wetland zones already populated with watercess, willow, and mint.

Orchard extension – we currently have 20 mature heirloom variety apple trees in deer fencing, half a dozen free range apples, plum and pear trees.

Berry patch – recently acquired black currant, raspberry and strawberry plants which need to be planted out near radial produce beds and existing volunteer blackberry plots.

Wildcrafting, canning – we have already harvested mushrooms, wild leeks and knotweed shoots. We invite participants to participate, remotely if necessary, in preserving these wild foods and medicines through dehydration, tincturing, canning and other methods.

Biochar – have built two prototype retort kilns. Char can be processed and inoculated onsite or shared out to other grow operations once we fine tune process and increase volume.

Cover cropping, companion planting for orchards and produce beds.

Material supply-  acquire or make and distribute woodchips, composted manures, mulch hay, and topsoil.

Participation may include contribution of labor, starter plants, seed, grafting scions, and materials. We may have to employ some labor but encourage barter for harvests* from CycleX. Due to ongoing structural work, housing in the main farmhouse will not be available initially. Day use area and camping are options in the interim. Participating groups could schedule small number of work days, while staff and other participates maintain and work crops, as an inducement to participants based farther from Andes. We have a lawn tractor and wagon as well as many hand tools. We also have repair and maintenance needed for rototillers, woodchipper, and chain saws .