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Back of Beyond Farm is a small, family run operation in Rist Canyon, Colorado. We work closely with natural rhythms to create wellness teas from indigenous and naturalized plants. 2013 marks our 4th year of supporting our community through tasty teas. In the year ahead, we hope to continue our work of not only producing healthful teas, but also exploring the edges of what it means to farm and be a part of a place.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Putting Up Wood

One of the things we harvest with the sole intention of keep at home is our firewood supply. We heat, almost exclusively, with our wood stove. Among the causalities of the fire was our 2 1/2 cord supply of firewood we'd already put up for the coming year. We burn 4-6 cords, depending on the Winter.

So, this weekend we went back into the forest to make up some of what was lost. Lower temps - 80 degrees - made us think that we'd be able to get some wood in and not be overcome with the heat (that and the extra hands on my father-in-law).

We pulled some dried out beetle-kill from the unburnt area down by the creek and also worked on some of the scorched logs, piled in the forest. We have a start and could handle one of those early-mid September snows that seem to come every couple of years. So that feels good.

Firewood is best made in the 50s weather of Autumn days. Looking forward to those - the coming gold of Aspen and reds of Sumac. There have been hints of it in the past few days - cooler mornings and cooling in the evenings. The Arc of the year is bending again. 

Planting and Harvesting this Week: Tomorrow, Monday, is a bust - skip it if you can. Tuesday, into Wednesday morning are good time to work your root crops, with Thursday through Friday at noon, again, iffy time for any harvesting. Saturday should be a good day for working with leaves and Sunday afternoon a good time for harvesting fruits. It's in the stars!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Landscape Scale Wildynamics

How do you take a large affected landscape and assist it in being restored to health? I use to be a "let nature take it's course" but then I realized that there is not one landscape that I have been in that has not experienced human influence - whether logging or suppression of fire, flooding for new reservoirs or drought from overuse of water. So, I figure, I might as well be part of the restoring process of the Earth.

Let's say you have a 2-5 acres section of land that was intensely grazed for years, and not managed for weeds. You probably have issues with soil compaction, massive stands of weeds, and due to the compaction low levels of sub-soil moisture. There are probably other problems too. How does wildynamics approach this?

Weed management first. Avoiding chemicals at all costs, we'll look for the least costly and most ecologically fitting. That might mean, if appropriate, spot burning weeds. Using a propane fired torch, we consume plant and seed in fire. Next up entice birds to the area to pick through for remaining seeds. Sometimes a bird path and perch is all you need in the middle of an area to get doves and other ground seed feeders in poking through. If the landowner has them - get the chickens in their tractors and get them stirring the land.

Next up is seeding. I want to get as diverse a seed mix of natives as possible - I want grasses, warm and cool season, wild flowers, forbs, a huge mix and diversity. Quick run of the rake or harrow, and then seed in, another run of the rake or harrow and then a mulch of what's available and appropriate.  I like to hold down the mulch with wide-spread compost - made on site quickly or hauled from BoB.

Then, it's time to apply wildynamic preps - to send  the messages of grow well and prosper to the plants. We're helping to build strong roots, great cell structure, superb nutrient exchange.

And we do all this by the stars. The result is biodiversity, beauty, resilance, and no chemicals. It does take a little more work, but probably not, given ongoing delivery of poisons won't need to happen. And we can extrapolate this over the whole landscape - taking it in chunks of 2-5 acres at a time. Depending on locations - we use different methods, but always the same concepts.

A rake and a how and some seeds to sow -

Planting: Sun-root, Mon, Tues, Wed AM flower, Thursday - leaf, it's in the stars.