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A History of our Growth


From a backyard stone terraced garden in downtown Bowling Green to a food forest by the river. 

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A History of our Growth


From a backyard stone terraced garden in downtown Bowling Green to a food forest by the river. 

It all started with an invasive weed pull at Lost River Cave on Earth Day in 2011. We came home to our cabin on 8th and Park that afternoon, covered in sweat and soil. As we pulled in, Tim pointed out that the same vine we had been wrestling in the woods was billowing over from a steep retaining wall up hill and covering a forth of our yard. We couldn't resist...

Hours later, as the sun was setting, we drug large coils of vine to the edge of the drive and looked back on the unveiled space. We had uncovered the ruins of a stone terraced garden with two tiers of small plots that were as enchanting as they were promising.

Working as a stone mason, Tim quickly restored the structural integrity of the beds and created a new bottom tier. It wasn't long and we were shoveling heaps of our compost into them and plugging them with seeds.  

I remember coming home that August after a two month stent in Maine as a camp counselor. I had been steeping in Tim's letters and lusting after the heavy tomatoes, pole beans climbing sunflowers, and amaranth hanging its head from the weight of its seed. I had longed for the humid evenings full of fireflies and songs carried up the hill from musicians on the square.  

When I arrived, I feasted on Thompson Prolific dent corn and Amana Orange tomatoes with fresh basil. Tim had been creating a work of art while I was away and my love for him and for Nature intertwined. 

Still a student, I tried to balance my studies with our burgeoning passion for urban farming. In 2012, I flew away again. This time to Bavaria for five months in order to finish my degree. I still remind Tim of how grateful I am for all he was able to accomplish that season without me. He was tending to five different gardens scattered across the county during a year of historic heat and drought while also working as a mason. Even his hands changed. They were made rougher and wiser from twelve-hour days laying stone and the neck of a shovel. 

He had established a market for the bounty that became of his efforts. The folks at Community Farmer's Market welcomed us with open arms and lovingly chided us when we rolled out our kitchen table on Saturdays to sell our goods. 

2013 was a year of change and adaptation. We lost so much of our work and intention to the hand of a misinformed property owner just as our labor was beginning to fruit.  But we gained so much knowledge and experience through that suffering and limitation and threw ourselves into the soil that supported us. I began to work as a legal assistant for mass tort litigations in order to float our ship while we drew nearer to our vision of full-time farming. 2013 was the year we were introduced to permaculture ethics and methods, created our first hugelkultur mounds, had our first consultations, and found inspiration in the wisdom of Masanobu Fukuoka, Sepp Holzer, Bill Mollison, and David Holmgren, among others,. The result was a rich urban farm created at breakneck speed that, by the end of the Fall, was the subject of university research and community gatherings. 

 

 

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Barren River


Barren River


In February 2014, we were presented with an opportunity that we couldn't pass up. Our friends invited us to come farm on their 27 acre property near the Barren River and rent the charming cottage adjacent to their manor. Having experienced so much frustration caused by lack of access to land, we knew that this would be a difficult but rewarding transition. 

We moved everything, including 7 seven dump truck loads of our hugel materials, in March. Once on the land, we began constructing hugelkultur beds on contour, bought ducks, and plugged the soil with peas, 100 pounds of yukon gold and pontiac red seed potatoes and 40 pounds of shallots. By broadcasting a mixture of lettuces, greens, herbs, flowers, carrots, turnips, beets, radishes, and other root crop, we were able to achieve a time-stacked harvest in a prolific polyculture. As the potatoes and shallots matured, we responsibly thinned the lush vegetative cover as to allow room for more growth.

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In May, the spring-fed pond was extended allowing more accommodations for our flock, two fluffy great white Pyrenees pups were introduced to the farm, we planted fig trees, our tomato and pepper transplants, peanuts, corn, squash, cucumber, and other summer veggies and began harvesting large amounts of greens for market. In June, two khaki campbell hens nestled atop a pile of eggs within the shelter of vine-wrapped river cane tepees, their backs protected by potato vines and their beaks the only sign that they were there. Ducklings and chicks have since broken their shells. The fertility gods were with us. Baby rabbits lay tucked under a soft pillow of fur in the hugel habitat waiting for their mother's touch. Worms munched on the thick biomass, churning our soils into a canvas for more life to paint itself upon. Like the plants, we were sending out our roots.

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Gasper River


Gasper River


A string of serendipitous events led us to our friends out in God's country. This is the place where David roams in the woods, acres of raised bed systems now wind, freshly-caught drum roasts over a campfire, a river bath rounds out each day, and community is found in the sweat-stained shirts of all visitors. 

It is amazing to think of how quickly we came to trust and be trusted by the folks that are eager to grow this place. We began renovating a 1982 camper trailer in October 2014. The process was long, messy, and incredibly rewarding. We moved in the second week in January and have since been enjoying life on the farm. 

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