The mission of Crows’ Feat Farm is to build community through a collaborative commitment to regenerative farming. That would be “mission impossible” without the array of talents and generosity of the community that already exists right around us. Indeed, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the “unsung heroes” of this permaculture farm, which depends to a surprising degree on a few ordinary but valuable things. For example: compost, cardboard and wood chips.
For several years now we have been sourcing the “black gold” of farming from Seacoast Soils in nearby Exeter NH. Proprietor Bob Kelly has always responded promptly to the call and delivered what we need to help our farm thrive. Once a solid soil base is established, busy worms and mycelium do the rest of the work – but we still rely on Bob’s black magic to extend and supplement the various vegetable and flower beds on our farm. Thank you Bob!
Anyone who has taken a look at Crows’ Feat is immediately struck by the gorgeous open fields and natural life they support – birds, bees, rabbits and everything else that loves wildflowers and grass. That same grass wants to inhabit our vegetable and flower beds – especially given the wonderful soil that lives there! To stop grass from conquering our farm, and to avoid the ugliness and petroleum reliance of plastics, we start with cardboard. LOTS of cardboard. It forms the margins of our beds, our walkways, and helps us as a first step in taming the grass to build new beds. Cardboard is readily available but…much less common are the large pieces we need, that are free of dye and plastic tape. That’s where Crows’ Feat friend and Kensington neighbor Peter Merrill comes in. His Sentinel Solar company recycles a great deal of cardboard for use on this farm, and we are so grateful to him! Peter and his family have participated in our monthly working parties – so they truly understand what we’re all about.
Last but definitely not least, it’s down to wood chips – and we use truckloads of them! They cover the cardboard, making walking through our beds easier and more beautiful. They help us control the ever-present grasses. And, over time, they break down and provide additional organic matter to the soil. If it weren’t for Bruce and his crew at the Royal Green Tree Service, our Kensington neighbor, we’d be spending all of our time chipping wood, rather than farming. Every time a tree is cut down, my heart breaks. I really am a tree hugger! But it breaks a little less knowing that Royal Green is bringing wood chips back to our farm to complete the cycle of life.
This post is a tribute to the unsung heroes of Crows’ Feat Farm – the individuals and small businesses who have brought immeasurable value to our work, often at no charge and with little recognition. WE KNOW how important they are to this community and the permaculture approach to farming – and now you do too!