Filling a void (the sharecrop and fall planting)

Earlier this week a new friend, Marco, and I began a contemporary voyage into (the once abused term) ‘sharecropping.’  Pat Pulliam's 1 editPat Pulliam's 3 editAt two households that have, for all practical purposes, been in fallow for years (visual of one), the lords of the land are letting us fill the void by weeding or tilling, llama manuring or composting, and planting this week.

I’ll provide an updated photo showing the progression tomorrow.

Our goal is to return this ground to a more holy state–not that we’re improving on nature’s inclinations–what I mean is more directed at the ecstatic skin of the Earth, the soil. As Franco put it importantly, “we are growing the soil, not the plants.” Astrologically, Leo (July 23-August 23) is the best time to work the soil.

Our plan is to work a bit with the moon cycle, grow some species of the root (radish, beet, carrot) because today was the first day of the full moon. [To be full-fledged biodynamic guys, we would incorporate many other techniques, but I feel like especially at this late juncture, we are making an effort to become connected to the seasons & intuitively (suprisingly) timing our work together. We’ll expand our repertoire next year.] It’s really an experiment and even with the infinite powers of natural cycles, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can pull of this late season dance. If you’d like to bow to yer neighbor and do see do, we’re willing to sell directly to you. Let me know if yer interested and I’ll get back to you in approximately 48-70 days letting you have a pick of the roots, basil and cucumber.

Has anyone tried garden cover crops before and have advice regarding winter wheat/rye or tritacale? Would anyone like to give it a go fer the first time and buy bulk with us? The plan is to plant whatever we order in September.

This crop serves such a dual purpose–one leg of which belongs to a hairy homebrewer. I’m pondering using a bit of the grain in an ale this spring with hops grown by Lifeline Farm. It could be a loco local beer. We’re also going to be gleaning the neighborhood of its apples, making cider (hard and soft), applesauce, jam and pie. Let me know if you’d like to be a part of any or all of this process. By the way, if you’re a member of MUD you can vie for access to two cider presses in these, the Apple Days.

Peas, BBH

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One response to this post.

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