Welcome to our “novel” farm! We strive to produce a variety of organically grown produce on our 4.5 acres in central Indiana. Permaculture and a return to common sense inspired us to adopt a more natural approach to farming. Our main goal is to live a simple life and continually grow closer to God and His creation.
Our story starts with three Dominique chickens or “dominickers” as the old-folks call ‘em. These barred chickens are also known as the “pilgrim fowl” and many consider them to be America’s first chicken breed. Honestly, nothing else would do for this patriotic teacher and his Army veteran wife.
We were a little surprised to find raising chickens is easier than keeping your front yard free of pesky weeds. Unfortunately, your meticulously tended lawn won’t provide you with fresh eggs every day in exchange for the care you provide it. You might say chickens were our “gateway drug” when it came to backyard homesteading.
Gardening was a natural next step in our farming journey. We planted our first “Back to Eden” garden the following year. If you’re unfamiliar with “Back to Eden” gardening, then you’re in for a real treat! It is a no-till method that involves applying a covering, preferably wood chips, to protect the ground. You should see the earthworms crawling through every spadeful of dirt when we transplant tomatoes each spring! (In case you aren’t sure, earthworms in a garden are a good thing- a very good thing if you like healthy soil, which you probably do if you enjoy delicious, nutritious produce).
A B2E garden helps encourage a natural environment where vegetables and fruit flourish. Many modern farms utilize tilling and other methods that quickly tear down the soil’s natural ecosystem. These practices not only negatively impact your garden’s health, but they also drastically affect the yield of your produce. Research has shown tilling your garden causes more problems in the long run than benefits. When you consider B2E gardens require virtually no watering and minimal weeding, then it’s no surprise gardening quickly becomes a pleasurable pastime.
We recently began raising meat rabbits and realized they were even easier than chickens! Each litter of rabbits was raised on pasture where they access to fresh grass. They also received plenty of greens and organically grown beets. It was truly amazing to watch how quickly they grew.
Our farm is definitely in its beginning stages, but we hope you’ll join us as we share our adventures. Hopefully, you can find some advice, insight and inspiration along the way!