Being stewards of the land makes one constantly aware of the cycle of the seasons. Each year passes, we work to arrange things so that the Solar energy can grow the plants we need for food, The plants offer themselves up to be destroyed and crushed inside of us and so maintain our life, We eat the plants so that we have the energy to work and we work so that once again we have food to eat. The year ends much the same as it began. Life is not linear but continues in a circle, reminding and pointing us to the truth that we live our days in the light of eternity. The Solar energy rays down to earth and lifts everything upwards, an image of God's Grace. The plants offer themselves to be crushed and destroyed to maintain our life, an image of the Son, the Mediator. Our task is to arrange things so that the plants capable of using this Solar energy and transmitting it to us will receive it in the best possible conditions.
In spring of 2021 we planted Walnut trees, Heartnut trees, Honey Locust, Elm and Oak trees. They have grown amazingly. It feels deeply rewarding to plant trees here on the farm. If there is only one thing you can do to help Mother Earth at the present time, plant trees! They are amazing beings and do so much for us and for the planet, from regulating water, preventing soil erosion, promoting soil health, producing the air we breath and sinking carbon, as well as providing habitat for all kinds of creatures. Nature wants to become a forest. And besides, they are just so beautiful!
When we moved to the property there were two apple trees and a pear tree, and in the spring of 2021 we planted two more apple trees, two plum trees and a peach tree. We had a great harvest and will be planting more fruit trees in the fall of 2022.
This spring (2022) we discovered that 2 of the Walnut trees did not survive, and one of the Honey Locust did not make it, but the other trees are all thriving. We also discovered a small little Chestnut tree that took root in our vegetable garden. We have started a little tree nursery where we have a number of small oaks and maples growing and so we transplanted the little Chestnut tree over to the nursery until we decide where to plant it permanently.
We also planted high bush blueberries in 2020, and this year they are producing well. Figuring out how to keep the birds from getting them all is a challenge but we have managed to build a simple low cost, bird netting cage that seems to work very well!
This winter we have also enjoyed the abundant harvest of berries from our haskap, raspberry, current, elderberry and gooseberry bushes.
For over 5 years Solomon Brook Farm was home to a 1 acre vegetable garden operated by a group called Soil Mates Cooperative. Soil Mates Cooperative consisted of three wonderful and very energetic people - Robin Johnston, Marena Thomson and Mykal Koloff. They are enthusiastic first generation farmers passionate about growing high quality food in an ecologically responsible way for our community.
In 2020, Soil Mates were able to purchase their own farm, just across the road. After leasing an acre of land to them for more than five years, we are sad to see them go, but excited for them. Their hard wok has born fruit. It was a simple but powerful way to support local food security. We made land available to people who were keen to grow food. They could invest in their dream without having the added burden of purchasing land and paying a mortgage. The price of the lease was simple. We got all our veggies for our family for free. It was a win/win. We wish them all the best!
As a result of this move, we have scaled back here at the farm, but continue to grow and harvest food from a much smaller garden. We have implemented a rainwater collection and irrigation system to water the garden and we plan to expand the garden in the spring of 2023.
To continue to follow Soil Mates Cooperative
visit their web page by clicking the link below