An Abundant 2012–early winter update

Despite some droughty spring and summer weather, and an excessively wet September(all record setting!), we’ve had a truly abundant year. Here is a list of some of what our site and our labor have yielded, though i won’t mention most of the market vegetables:

buckets of dry beans, both red and black, over a gallon of hulless pumpkin seeds, many herb teas, dried and frozen seabuckthorn berries, dried&crumbled kale leaves, pears&apples, an excellent garlic crop(which serves as a very tradable currency), plenty of root vegetables, squash, onions and leeks. A freezer full of goat meat and ducks(we still have beef from 2011),  a traded for organic turkey, as well as excellent breads we trade our garlic for. A number of hard goat cheese rounds, as well as kefir and yogurt–and of course eight months of daily milk supply. Buckets & jars of ferments: leeks, snap beans, saurkraut and pickles. Along with all this of course we got a lot of exercise and fresh air, as well as lots of new learning.

From our goats we also got a young buck, who after a good life and impregnating some does is now in the freezer. The ducks(khaki campbells) too, as i mentioned–and although the meat is excellent, i would say our most valued yield from them was slug control, and three remain(now foraging in the greenhouse) to carry on again next year, just as will the three goat does, who are now enjoying an excellent hay crop. Of course our market garden also brought us a not high but certainly sufficient amount of money–that funny yet still necessary stuff so many of us confuse with real wealth. Ah–i almost forgot to mention all the electric power that came in from the sun via our photovoltaic system, which then yielded lots of hot water and cooked food etc etc. Also a plentitude of firewood–all from here.  So that’s a fairly comprehensive view of many of the material yields we’ve obtained this year. The non-material yields are quite substantial too, and we can only be grateful that the conditions came together for all this to  happen, and of course the permaculture principles play a big part too.

Although the permaculture internship program did not come together this year, we did receive quite helpful and productive visits from some very interesting, youthful volunteers/woofers, and i was also able to get away to give a few talks and consultations. Anna, my daughter and a key collaborator here, also had a good first year with a CSA and her biggest and best garden effort yet. On a sadder note Scotty, our faithful Clydesdale drafthorse for almost twenty years passed on–but our Belgian horse Charlie remains, albeit a little lonely. A new addition is Belle, a trusty little “Parson’s Russell” terrier(4 yrs old)– our permaculture “solution” to our rat situation.

As there seems to be more “free” time these days, i’ll soon be updating a bit more, and will also be posting re the 2013 permaculture internship opportunities. Cheers, alex.