Growing The Growers Filming Trip 2010

Diary with pictures of our trip to the USA and England to meet with people that have successfully encouraged more people to garden and farm organically

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Polyface Gardens

Polyface is an example of sun powered farming. Of course there are trucks, tractors, hand tools, lights etc... that use fossil fuel but the driving force of the production system is pasture, grasses, legumes and herbs which grow by harvesting sunlight. On top of the pasture is a vertically integrated stack of animal production. Cattle are followed by chickens, and rabbits. Pigs are also moved about on the fields. Careful grazing programs fertilise the sod and allow the grasses, legumes and herbs to flourish creating excess. A bounty that can be made into hay, the mainstay of winter feed. 
When you use a power source as big as the sun thoughtfully then you will have produce to spare. Meat and eggs to sell, manure and hay to spare.  Manure and hay that can be composted to make the ultimate in plant food.

The dark humus (compost) we found in this trailer is the stuff that builds beautiful, healthy, fertile garden soil. 

Everyone at Polyface enjoys eating vegetables in some form or other. Joel, Teresa and Lucille have dreamed of having colourful summer flower beds around the houses and a bountiful vegetable garden as well. However Joel's expertise is meat farming and his offsider Daniel has a positive aversion to horticulture. The solution has been a share farming arrangement with a young grower who's dream is to have a market garden and who realises the potential a farm like Polyface presents for intensive growing.
The landscaping and the large vegetable plot behind the house are a tribute to his work. However a quick look back at the expertise obvious at 4 season Farm make us think that Joel aught to make sure that  Polyface growers have a chance to do a work stint with Eliot every now and again. 
Here are a few photos of the kitchen garden at Polyface.

and we have to include a picture of the curved tined style broadfork that Eliot likes which was found leaning against the wall of one of the polytunnels.

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