What we grow here at Kindred Acres is not only super high-quality food for us but food for pollinators, food for the worms and soil-dwelling creatures, medicines, and so much more. We put our love and energy into this space and it has gifted us so much more in return. To me, living like this is medicine in itself. Take a look at these pictures for yourself and tell me it doesn't bring a smile to your face or fill your heart with joy to see all the beautiful colors, flowers, nature creatures, etc.? Imagine the energy you would feel stepping into this space. The sweet smell of the air. The sounds of the songbirds (and of course our crazy rooster BAHAHAH). It's enough to warm anyone's heart.
First let's start with the before picture. As you can see it was a pretty blank canvas in need of much love.
This 'after' picture does no justice because my camera cannot get the full angle to show how lush and full the far left and right sides of this space are. In the original above picture, you were able to see the entire space but the camera I have now does not show it all. I have a friend that offered to take a panoramic view for me so once I get that I can post it. :) Also, it's October....fall...so the 'after' picture isn't even as lush as it was a month or two ago yet still you can see this massive transformation.
I still have a long way to go but this is only a small portion of our food forest in the making. This is maybe 1/3 of it if even that. We have 3.5 acres in total. This is just the back fenced in yard. We will be working up the side area next (putting in a Sacred Circle, Curly Willow Trees, and a few other things) and then a nut orchard in the far front....so much more to do to pull my food forest project together but focusing on one small area at a time helps me to stay sane, focused, and on target. I did most of this by myself. I don't have special equipment....just a pull cart, shovel, and rake. It's a LOT of hard work upfront but when done RIGHT it runs itself and pays you back tenfold! What we do here is REGENERATIVE growing. We use BTE/No-Till/Lasagna (whichever term you'd like to coin it) methods. We live SE of Raleigh NC. It's hot here! We hit triple-digit heat often. This year we had a drought for MONTHS and were in triple-digit heat EVEN IN OCTOBER....yet I still hardly had to water.
We had a workshop a few days ago and I had the participants pick any spot they wanted to dig down into the woodchips to see just how moist it was below. They were in shock. I was able to show them chocolate cake soil that I had built up, the earthworms by the handfuls, and allow them to taste the super juicy, flavorful, and nutrient-dense food we were growing. The food has more flavor than anything you will get in a grocery store. I was so happy to share this with others and help inspire them! It really made my heart skip a beat when one of the participants said she couldn't wait to get home and implement this in her own space! YES!! That is what we do here at Kindred Acres!! This is why I offer low-cost workshops! This is why I blog! To teach people FOOD IS FREE! And you CAN grow food responsibly and using regenerative practices!! We do NOT fertilize using store-bought fertilizers. We hardly use water for our gardens. We are BUILDING the soil up vs destroying it. YOU TOO can do this!! Follow along on our blog for tips and ideas!! For now, take a look at some close-up pics from today's stroll around the food forest. :)
Iris flowers looking great! They have bloomed all year.
Thai Basil, Lemongrass, and Roselle make a beautiful wild area.
We have a few types of sunflowers around.
Okra flowers are so pretty :)
Roselle flowers (Aka Jamaican Sorrel, Florida Cranberry, Cranberry Hibiscus) ....similar in look to okra. So pretty.
One of my favorite pumpkins if not THE #1 in my book....Thai Kang Kob. We have 6 almost ready. :)
Long Island Cheese Pumpkins still doing good! We will have 3 in time, and 1 that might not be fully ready before the freeze but will still be edible none the less (or chicken food)
Another LI Cheese pumpkin
This pineapple sage has been a big source of food for so many living things. Can you spot the creamy colored butterfly?
And there on the left, hanging off the branch is a yellow butterfly.
A very low type of sunflower. These just barely come up to my knees. Super cute and great for filling in.
Sweet potatoes are flowering
Lettuce doing well
The long run....I started dividing the banana trees. Took two young ones off today. In about a week I'll take another one out of the cluster. Most are being gifted to friends and family. One was moved to the larger food forest area and of course the mama plant will stay where she is.
Jerusalem Artichoke flowers with goldenrod growing in the background. Goldenrod may be considered a weed to some but to others it's a medicine. If you aren't familiar with this plant it's worth looking up.
;) Also, you can see the turmeric peeking up in the mix of it all and beans mingling around, wrapping the chokes in a loose hug. ;). Haha. The type of turmeric we are growing this year is Hawaiian Gold. Turmeric is super medicinal and we use a good bit of it so why not grow it fresh!!??
We had a monarch visit us here at Kindred Acres during our workshop yesterday. I was pretty shocked because it is late in the season for them. She was eating from our Jeruselum Artichoke plants. We just obtained milkweed seeds and will be planting some so next year we should have food for them!
Lots of peppers still coming in. We have several Arjvarski bushes, a few sweet bells, a few Hungarian peppers, a few Italian Peperoncini, and a few hot peppers of some sort. These are Arjvarski in this picture....my favorite of all sweet peppers.
And these are a hot pepper of sorts....
Chinese long beans still going strong!
Daisy flowers opened. :)
More sunflowers. :)
All-Heal ( Prunella Vulgaris) herb filling in nicely. A must-have herb in your apothecary garden.
And one of my favorite pictures. Yes. Plants can hear you. Plants can feel your energy. And yes, my plants know all my deep dark secrets. Haha. They make the BEST therapists. ;)
Leave us a comment with your favorite or 'must-have' plant. We'd love to hear from you.
With lots of love
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