Hayden Wilson and Bethany Gardner of Midwest Permaculture
Hi Friends of Midwest Permaculture.
Bill, Ernest, Hayden and I ( Bethany) are at our
farming PDC course here at Fox Hollow Farm in Ohio. Bill is doing most of the teaching while the three of us support the delivery of the course along with the Rickard family (the farmers) and staff.
Bill asked me and Hayden to make a brief photo-log of the course and to drop the pictures here into a single blog post.
We’ll break it down into daily selections which we hope will give you an idea of what happens at a typical PDC course along with the unique aspects of this wonderful farming course. We’re having a great time.
Hope you enjoy…. Bethany
Day 1 On day 1 we toured the farm meeting one of the Rickards horses, Polly. It is a halflinger breed used to pull logs and other heavy items around the farm.
Ernest shows us how to use the outdoor shower that he built. Ernest also built a composting toilet as a back-up to the indoor bathrooms with showers. Jesse Rickard shows our students their pigs and explains a little bit about how they are pasture raised with the chickens. They are also used to work up the soil when and where needed.
After the tour, some of the students are discussing their thoughts on the farm. Day 2 Hayden showing the students how to use an A-frame, which is used to mark contours on the land for swale digging. Here we have one of the students working with the A-frame. After they find level ground with the A-frame, they look through the site level to learn how to use this instrument and to double check their work. Bill hosted this section. While the students are busy learning, Chelsea Gandy and her staff prepare the next meal. Chelsea and Jesse host a ‘Farm to Table’ business serving gourmet meals right from the farm so cooking for our group of students is right up their alley. Hm, yum! Chelsea’s friend Janai is working with her in the kitchen to prepare the next meal! Day 3 Bill teaching with heavy enthusiasm! Chelsea holding class on a shaded hilltop that looks down over the farm. A perfect classroom! Here is the view from the tree classroom as we worked our way down hill. Students loading up in the pick-up truck, to ride over to the distant pastures. Learning about various pasture characteristics used for rotational-mob grazing with sheep and cattle. Jesse and Bill host a conversation about logging during lunch. Day 4 On the 4th day, Jesse and Chelsea explained day to day life on their farm. On this particular day, the sheep got out and here we watched as they get the sheep back to where they need to be. With the sheep back where they belong, Jesse explains more on mob grazing. Now moving towards the evening, Jesse took us all out to see how they do their milking of the dairy cows. On average they get about 9 gallons of milk a day. The cows are milked twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Students look on as Jesse begins the process of milking cows. After supper, Ernest shows us all about rocket stoves and how useful they can be. What would a rocket stove lesson be without s’mores!? Here, a student is demonstrating one of the wonderful benefits of a rocket stove.
Day 5 On day 5 here at the farm we are talking about woodlots and logging. Here Jesse is using Molly and Polly ( the 2 horses) to not only escort one of the students up the trail, but also to show us how amazing and useful they are here at the farm. During the lesson on woodlots, we took a walk on the trail and came across their mushroom patch. After all of the fun today, students had the chance to share a little more about themselves during the Variety Show! Students are having a great time during the variety show playing a game. More of the students having fun during the Variety Show game. Two of the students came up with a Rap Battle between an Industrial Farmer and a Permaculture Farmer.
Day 6 Kaitlyn and Anya use the A-Frame to mark the contour where the Hugelkultur Swale will be dug. All of the students work hard on digging out the swale. Trevor eagerly awaits his turn to dig. The Students are making great progress on the Hugelkultur Swale Hayden is cutting wood to fill the Hugelkultur Swale. The Hugelkultur Swale is coming along well as the students fill it with proper wood. Jesse does a short demo on how to properly and safely fell a tree. Bill is getting his sandals dirty while he helps finish the Hugelkultur Swale Mission Complete! Hugelkultur Swale finished! BANG. DOWN. OWNED.
Today the students are working on their design projects. I want to take a little bit off of the students today and have some pictures of “Behind the scenes” Staff and a few foliage pictures that I could not resist.
A Clematis flower- what’s not to enjoy? Jesse of Fox Hollow Farm and Hayden of Midwest Permaculture in deep discussion Students working on their design projects. Chelsea in the kitchen holding a ham that will be for Supper. Chelsea and Janai working hard in the kitchen! Thanks to the kitchen crew! The food has been so delicious! I’ll end this day’s post with another flower -the beautiful Black-Eyed Susan a.k.a. Rudbeckia
Day 8 – Graduation Day! Bill awarding a Midwest Permaculture Hosting Award to Chelsea and Jesse Here is the entire support team. This is how many people it took to deliver the course and keep the farm running for the entire week. Kneeling: Hayden and me (Bethany). Standing: Bill, Janai, Chelsea, Jesse, Lisa, Bruce & Ernest.
Thanks for viewing. I enjoyed taking and posting these pictures. Maybe you can join us for one of our future courses…!!! Bethany