Living Soil is our First Crop
Peter Bane and Keith Johnson started developing their sandy 10 Acre site in Montague Mi, in winter 2014. They’ve had many years of land design experience as gardeners, landscapers, consultants to farmers and homeowners, and homesteaders (in HI, TN, MA, NH, CA, NC, IN). Peter published / edited Permaculture Activist Magazine and Keith remains on the editorial staff and serves as web manager.
Farming in beach sand is no small challenge, especially with hot sun and drying winds. Nevertheless, with minerals, mulch, and compost the land is changing to one much more supportive of life. The critically necessary 4-row windbreak / coppice and orchard trees are finally growing taller than us thanks in particular to consistent drip irrigation and chicken tractors in the alleys between the tree rows.
Eventually we will employ pigs and other animals to help increase organic matter, to restore soil fertility, improve crop nutritional density, increase drought-resistance, and reduce pests and disease.
Greenhouses and cold frames extend our growing season enabling us to enjoy good home-grown food year-round.
Water catchment systems like lined ponds and rainwater storage tanks will provide backup water for our needs. Our first of several ponds went in late summer 2019.