We have shared in the past that one of our goals is creating community by finding partners who share our goals - individuals, organizations and businesses. This summer, we have been blessed with the presence of Ben Weiss and Ella Usdin, who are coming one day a week to work with the animals, in hopes of incorporating livestock into their lives and businesses in the future. Ben is the owner of Susquehanna Sustainability Enterprises, which includes Urban Edge Farm, Susquehanna Apothecary and Rebel Garden Tools, and Ella is his partner and manager of the Apothecary. They are shadowing Harrison, learning how we graze our cows and sheep with daily moves in a silvopasture system, along with the pastured pigs and layer hens. In return, we benefit from their insights into our permaculture systems, herbal medicine, and growing methods that they use. Ben is certified permaculture design teacher, and he co-teaches a Permaculture Design class with Robyn Mello. They bring their class here for a day each session, to give them a taste of how permaculture principles can be applied on a small farm scale. It's a wonderful partnership, allowing us to share what we do with folks who are interested in our work, and it gives their classes a more hands on experience than just showing pictures of rotational grazing. We treasure the presence of Ben and Ella in our lives. Check out their website, and find them on Facebook.
June is always a beautiful month on the farm. The grass is at its peak height for the year, there are many cute newborn lambs and calves, flowers abound on many types of plants, and everything just has a health and vigor that comes from the spring rain and warmer weather. This year in particular has been especially beautiful. With the addition of 1400 trees planted last fall in the pasture and another big growth spurt from previously planted trees, our fields are just beginning to actually look like the savanna we envisioned 5 years ago when we started planting the first trees in the pasture. The cows and sheep are beginning to reap the benefits of this ecosystem too with small bits of shade to lounge under on hot days, low hanging branches of tasty leaves that they flock to during each fresh pasture move, and the added benefit of many types of birds living in the pasture that eat flies off of their backs. It is gratifying seeing some of these plans come to fruition and that it is already resulting in healthier animals and greater fertility. We had the best lambing year we have had yet (28 pearly white little lambs from 13 ewes) and it has been a long while since we have had any notable health issue with cows, sheep or pigs (knock on wood, please). Many of the trees and the grasses here are also showing robust growth this spring even after last year's historically hot and stressful summer. The hazelnuts and our 3 peach trees may even give us a first crop this year and the wild plums are covered in small green fruits to ripen late summer. It has taken a lot of patience to start everything from scratch but we hope that the work we have done here facilitating the healing and abundance of this land doesn't go unnoticed around us. Maybe more and more people will find this type of land stewardship and farming to be as irresistible as I do looking at a healthy savanna and young tree crops in June! - Harrison
JUNE PLANT WALK - June 26 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm ($20)
Our friend and foraging aficionado, Jon Darby of Riverbend Foraging, will be hosting another plant walk in June. Come walk the farm as we are introduced to, or reacquainted with the existing, nutritious, and very edible landscape. You can sign up on the riverbend foraging website here.
YOGA AT THE FARM - Every Friday 11:00 am -12:00 pm
Emily will be teaching an all levels yoga class outside by the beautiful Little Chiques Creek. Bring a yoga mat, blanket, or beach towel to practice on in the grass. You can signup through through Dillsburg Yoga or contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-502-2870 with questions.