Those of you who know me, know that I have a tendency to over share and have a hard time hiding my excitement about future projects.
The future is now. Pretty much, I had to go to Europe and not have Internet for close to two weeks to stop from writing about how excited I am about this.
What is this?
Trees. We need to plant thousands of trees. At first the idea was ridiculous, a dream, far out there. But the more we learned, studied, visited other farms that practise Permaculture, this idea took root and wrapped its tendrils around our imagination. We can do this.
Events conspired, as it is said......Chad quit his job. He was mentioned by name on Permaculture Voices Podcast and was soon invited for an interview. A friend of ours ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign and we started to see this kind of fundraiser as a potential funding source for our own project. What was once a crazy unattainable dream? It's possible. We can do this.
The next time someone asks, 'how can we feed the world without these industrial monoculture systems?' I want people to be able to point to our farm and say, "that's how."
We chose Indiegogo to host our fundraiser because they allow us to keep funds raised even if we don't reach our goal. As farmers, we face incredible risk every day with inclement weather, insects, chemical drift, escape artist animals with attitude, and changing political policies. We chose less risk this time because we could!
Here is a link to the entire PDC design that Chad completed recently. It is pretty long and technical, but if you are investing with us, take a look.
The money raised here will go directly to planting trees and installing the infrastructure necessary to support them. Tree plantings of apples, plums, peaches, hazels, chestnuts, and mulberries will be interspersed with black locust and other trees designed to fix nitrogen and nurse the main tree crops into production at small intervals designed to be thinned as necessary. These trees will be planted along swales running on contour across what are now our main pasture areas. Fencing will protect the trees from the livestock that will be grazed down the aisles created by these tree lines. If we are successful, we'll be able to put 1000 trees into the ground. Every $20 we receive will be able to plant one tree and install the necessary fencing and other infrastructure necessary to care for it long into the future.
These trees will be a cornerstone for showing a future generation of farmers how we can feed the world without destroying it. Our future projects include building a test garden and classroom/community space, holding workshops, and hosting retreats. We hope our farm can also be an incubator for others' farm dreams and small businesses. Teaching others about Permaculture is our lifelong calling and we hope to be doing it for a long time. We've begun this outreach already by holding the first meeting of the Central Iowa Permaculture Guild.
Help us continue to pioneer new techniques for feeding the world while caring for it. Our plan includes perennial tree cropping combined with multi-species grazing smack dab in the heartland of industrial agriculture - Iowa.
Even if you can't donate, tell others about us and about Permaculture farming. It's important work.