Digging in toward the home stretch...
Since we extended the invitation for others to be part of growing our fruit n farm community by supporting our fencelifting campaign, we had an idea of what we needed ($5,900) to support costs and labor, and to build a long lasting, reliable and sustainable piece of infrastructure that would support the next generation of orchardists and fruit lovers.
With three weeks into our campaign, we are reminded that fence-building, like farming, relies on our ability to respectfully be in relation to the Earth and in relation with people, observe openly and learn before taking action.
What we have recently learned is that contrary to poetic insight, good neighbors do build good fences. Being a pragmatic opportunist, and having spent time building relationships with our farm neighbors, we were able to rally equipment to help with hole digging, and boy did our neighbors crank out 60, 4' holes in just over 3 hours! Wow, we are so grateful to Denny, Dave, and Diane for your willingness to rally, on a glorious October day, and help with our project.
I gazed admiringly down the hole and felt the different soil horizons between my hands (4' is about the depth which you can get a full glimpse of a soil profile - and boy did our Valton silty clay loam series glow in the autumn sunlight), I got to thinking. What if 60 people kicked in $20 each and Rob and I, as your farmers, would dig in and plant 60 fruit trees and shrubs as a way of extending our fruit filled gratitude. We are confident we can reach our goal. Drawing from experiences digging miles of holes in Alaska while doing soil survey work for the NRCS, and having planted ~ 44,000 trees and shrubs so far in my lifetime. What's another 220' of holes, and 20 more trees? What's another $20?
With just over a week to go the end results are looking to be greater than the sum of its parts (kind of like planting a food forest). We are so grateful to our 57 funders and hundreds of people who have helped with spreading the word, volunteering their time, and offering encouragement along the way. We would be so grateful to welcome in a few new funders and supporters with our campaign. Just think of all that future fruit! Thank you!
Meanwhile, here's a bit of campaign rationale from the back-forty:
We are a small farm, trying to grow food as sustainably as possible, experimenting with new techniques and crops in our region, and seeking to make both our successes and failures available to others as a way to collaboratively advance what we see as the future of farming. At the moment, near-constant grazing by deer, woodchucks, and other animals on our experimental orchards is setting our work back significantly.
While we typically consider financial sustainability essential part of sustainable farming, we also understand that the wider public has an interest in seeing forms of agriculture develop which can sustain the worl'ds population without destroying its soil, atmosphere and genetic integrity. We therefore thought we'd reach out in this instance for help funding a one-time piece of infrastructure that we can't otherwise afford, yet will benefit our farm and community for generations to come.