Food Forest Workshop – Success!

What a weekend! After months of planning, waiting for good working conditions, and trying to keep the poor potted plants alive in the heat – we did it! We had twelve pairs of hands helping us for the first two days, and eight on Sunday. A good time was had by all – especially the plants, who had been waiting in pots for over a year.

The best part of it is: we got almost everything planted. A few more of the guild plants (gooseberries and currants), some of the fence plants (olallieberries and grapes) didn’t get planted, but those we’ll plant on our own.

After Friday night’s lesson in the living room, we set to work in the field over the next two days. See some pictures!

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Food Forest Workshop

279 plants, twenty-five people, one teacher, and one plan for a beautiful form of food security

We are very pleased to open an invitation for 25 fine folks to come and learn about food forests. We’ll look into microclimates, benefits and restrictions of different soil types, different perennial vegetables, herbs, shrubs, and trees, food forest design, and the role our animals play in the preparation and maintenance of the food forest.

Our first workshop only just started the creation of this large food forest. Come join us for its completion!

Expert permaculturist Brandon Bauer, will be our teacher for this event. From the PermacultureBC website, “Brandon has been studying permaculture for 16 years and is actively applying that knowledge on various sites on Salt Spring Island and abroad. Over the last 8 years he has participated in teaching Permaculture Design courses at O.U.R. Ecovillage, The Bullock Brother’s Permaculture Homestead, UBC and at The Blue Raven Farm. He is a naturalist, organic farmer, biodiversity specialist, seed saver, herbalist, and soil scientist.”

He’s a fountain of knowledge, inspiring students with his enthusiasm and quirky sense of humour. This weekend will prove to be an intense, but fun, learning experience for all involved.

This will be an opportunity to learn some theory  and gain some practical experience in the art of food forests.

When: * June 12-14 *, 2015
June 12 from 7pm-9:30pm
June 13 and 14 from 9am-5pm

Where: Mossy Banks Farm!

Pricing:

$200 gets you the weekend with lunch

$230 gets you the weekend with lunch, breakfast and dinner

$230 gets you the weekend with lunch and camping access on the property

$260 gets you the weekend with lunch, camping access on the property, and breakfast and dinner

Register now!

Food Forest Workshop – Update

Recent wanderings through the future location of our new food forest led to the discovery that it is still quite wet, and working in it will be difficult. Therefore we are shifting the date of the workshop over to June 13-15. We apologize for any inconvenience.

There are still many spots available if you want to register! Click here for more information, or here to register.

Catching up on the Farm

It has been a very busy few weeks here at Mossy Banks farm. I figured it was high time I sat down and gave a run down on what’s been going on.

More Help Arrives

The first big change is an extra set of hands has moved in to Mossy Banks for the season – Dillon! I may yet catch a photo of him, but for now you’ll just have to take my word for it. He’s a hard worker and seems to prefer the more strenuous jobs do the mundane – which is pretty handy for all the fencing that needs to be done. He’s thinking of entering the farming game, but wants to give it a try before he dives on in.

Ducklings!

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Annie hatched out seven ducklings a week or so ago: four yellow (soon to be white) ones, and three coloured ones. Sam went broody, too, with over a dozen eggs under her in the food forest, and another white duck in the food forest has gone broody on the other side of their hutch with another dozen-ish eggs. We shall be overrun with cuteness in the coming months!

Tractored Sheep

Ewes in a Sheep TractorKia, Nibbles, their lambs, and the lamb from last year (who is for sale) share a tractor. Depending on the lushness of the grass, they only need to be moved once a day. Sparse grass needs extra moving.

Pigs!

2014-05-05-new pigs-00We picked up six pigs from a farmer up in Yellowpoint on Saturday. Here they are in a much-too-small pig tractor – an electrified sheep tractor. We currently have to move them every day. We will be extending the tractor to be 20×10 or 20×20 soon, and that should take them a couple of days between moves. It’s a lot more finicky with the electric fence!

The pigs are clearing out the grass for our food forest workshop next month – sign up for it here!

New Chickens

2014-05-05-new girls from poultry swap-00We bought a mixed batch of chickens at the poultry swap – some two month olds and some point-of lay. Our kids in the Cabin Coop are laying around thirty eggs a day! (Speaking of which, does anyone need eggs?).

The two month olds are following the sheep tractors in their own tractor, helping control whatever parasites we may have.

Other things happened…

Our new rabbits escaped from their tractor, which is a little bit sad. But life happens! I wish them well in their new adventures.

The gardens are slowly catching up to where they should be this time of year.

The plants in the small Food Forest are all protected from the ducks, and the clover is finally coming up where we tarped the grass away.

Seedlings have been started, hardened off, and transplanted…

This farm is getting into shape!

How to name animals…

You would think that with all the baby animals that are born at our farm, we’d be used to naming them. Alas, we still have trouble!

Help us name our new does! There are 3: the small black one, small brown one (both 7 weeks old), and a larger black one (11 weeks old).

Help from Abroad

Last week we had the pleasure of having Mykal and Nico help us out at Mossy Banks. They have been bicycling around the world for the last two years, and had a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with us. It was a pleasure working with them. If anyone gets a knock on their door from these two, I highly recommend inviting them in!

We accomplished many things with their help. We weeded a lot of the Household Garden, rabbit-proofed part of the Market Garden (there’s a bit more fencing to do to finish that up yet), planted 48 tayberries along the sheep field, planted many veggie starts, direct seeded some vegetables, and protected all the trees and bushes in the Small Food Forest from the ducks. We also had a lot of fun training the ducks in the Small Food Forest to come to us when we whistle, by throwing slugs and worms at them every time we did so.

Overall, it was a delightful experience. These two are hard-working souls who take initiative. I hardly had to explain anything, and they were eager to get things done.

They are also generous. They gave me a Kombucha baby that they’d been nurturing since Costa Rica, and now I’m brewing my own. They shared much of their food, and offered us some Kefir grains (though we ended up getting some from the cheese making workshop the Cowichan Green Community hosted).

Thanks a million, Mykal and Nico! Blessings in your journey ahead.

Nibbles’ Lamb!

Nibble's Lamb!I’m a bit behind on updating everyone… this little guy was born last week Sunday night! He’s quite the talkative fellow, and will often run up to me baa-ing his little head off. He is smaller than Kia’s lamb. Sometime I hope to get a picture of the two of them together – solid black and solid white makes a pretty picture!

an organic, permaculture based experimental farm located on Vancouver Island