Permaculture alive in Daufuskie Island orchard

The Community Farm’s orchard 20 months after planting

The Community Farm’s orchard 20 months after planting

The orchard was established to produce a bounty of fruits for our community. Until recently, the orchard’s slightly sloped and sandy terrain led to much water loss. Keeping with the vision of permaculture on the farm, swales have been dug to catch rain water and establish a higher water table. Since then, we have experienced a large surge of growth and beneficial wildlife in the orchard.

The Daufuskie Island Community Farm’s orchard at planting.

The Daufuskie Island Community Farm’s orchard at planting.

Permaculture, while a fairly new concept in the United States, was first coined by David Holmgren and his professor Bill Mollison in 1978 when they began developing a way of permanent, sustainable farming model by following nature on the southern Australian island state of Tasmania. It is based on three core tenets: care of the land, care of the people and return of the surplus.

Permaculture is also implemented here at the farm through our layered food forest. 

• Ground cover crops such as squash, pumpkin or melons shade the soil to reduce evaporation. They also fix nitrogen into the soil.

• Berry bushes add to the food forest

• Fruit trees tower above the rest, providing important shade and offering a bounty of fruits for the community.

• Soon to come, more ground cover crops such as clover and wildflowers, planting more “people food” crops such as melons and beans and crops to feed the animals on the farm.

Our orchard manager Darnell Brawner, with the help of many of our wwoofers has really pushed the orchard to a permaculture outlook. A special thanks to Susie Thompson, who oversaw the beginning of this wonderful project.

Farm Animals

The farm animals continue to be a major draw to the farm. Our animal manager Lynell Linke was kept very busy as were her trusted volunteers and wwoofers with the busy kidding season and several baby goats that needed bottle feeding.

We had a total of 12 kids born to 8 does.  Our newest Royal stud, Ferdinand did a great job giving us some absolutely gorgeous babies. Currently there is a total of 25 goats at the farm.  The jersey cows Muffin and Bagel are to be bred this month for babies in the spring of 2017.  We have approximately 60 chickens at present. They are getting past their laying age and will be replaced with 70 new layers that are currently being raised to egg laying age at the farm annex, (Pat’s Place). We should have a fair number of Easter eggs in the spring (brown, white and green). Only 4 guineas have survived the predators at this time. We will be building a tree house for future guineas since they like living very high up. About one dozen very colorful ducks are bringing much joy to the farm.  The geese and Sir Simon the pig are also major attractions.

Garden News

Our new garden manager, Vicki Rotter, has been working hard with her volunteers and wwoofers to keep the garden looking good despite the intense heat and lack of rain this summer. Many of the raised beds need to be replaced and that work has begun in earnest.

Our first Hugelbed has been built. This is part of Hugelkulture, which involves placing a large number of logs in a raised bed and then covering them with topsoil and compost. As the logs decompose they act as a sponge, absorbing rainwater which they release to the plants during periods of drought. This is another part of the Permaculture Plan. Special thanks to our previous garden managers Dave Carlson and Jodee Brunning for their part in getting it this far.

Biscuit Business

Biscuit, the purple calf, is ready to help bring joy to some special person. For a $25.00 donation to the Daufuskie Community Farm, Biscuit will be hand-delivered to an extraordinary friend’s door step or will grace an entry way for a funny surprise. He will have a neck sign to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, graduation, engagement, get well or anything else you can think of. Biscuit wants to see the world starting with Daufuskie Island. So far, Biscuit’s humble beginnings include four homes and he is getting restless. Please consider opening your heart to this adventurous little conversation piece with a noble cause. If interested call Pat at 678-897-0942.

Volunteers?

The Daufuskie Community Farm is always looking for volunteers to help at the farm or to be members and a part
of this farm community. If you are interested please contact Pat at bowwow@hargray.com.

WWOOFers

Our gypsy caravan is currently our Farm Security Office, housing 2 retired Atlanta Police Officers. They are currently doing a WWOOFing Tour at Daufuskie Community Farm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.