Here at Jade Meadow we are striving for a wholesome and holistic stewardship of food, farming, and relationships. We know that God has a lot to teach us and in his great wisdom he created a perfect synergistic universe. Every piece working together in amazing harmony. We are striving to slow down and listen to his composition. From the soil to the stars God’s designs are truly astonishing. As we discover and understand how each aspect effects the rest, and how they depend upon each other for a healthy system, we are amazed at God’s craftsmanship.
At the root of the farm is the relationship with the soil. Caring for and creating healthy soil is the key to a healthy farm and food. The garden soil is important, but just as important is the soil in the pastures and in the orchard. Healthy soils create nutritious pastures which feed the livestock who create the compost for the garden. The garden feeding people and animals alike. Treating our soil with great care ensures the health of our garden, animals, and our community.
Soil & Pasture Care
Rotational Grazing with multiple animal species fertilizes the soil, encourages healthy plant growth, and protects the soil from compaction. Rotating livestock into a new, limited size, paddock after a short time helps with pasture weed control, as well as providing the animals with the most nutritious plants each day. In a large pasture, animals tend to eat their favorite plants first and then have issues when the only plants left to eat are the less nutritious ones. Continually having animals on the same piece of ground doesn’t allow grasses to form a strong root system and when grazed to the ground they die off. This leaves a pasture full of weeds that easily propagate without the competition from grasses and legumes.
From our day old chicks, to our hogs, dogs, and dairy cows we use a holistic approach to raising our animals. We use rotational grazing for our meat poultry, rabbits, sheep, hogs, and cattle. And we supplement everyone with barley fodder and alfalfa hay in the winter. Our laying poultry are also supplemented with organic layer feed. Our animals always have access to a complete range of free choice minerals and fresh water. We feed our dogs a high protein diet and supplement with meat we grow on the farm. We use natural dewormers and poultry for pest control. When needed we use Cedarcide or artificial vanilla extract to treat external pests. For fly control we also use predator wasps.
Under our breeding rabbits we raise red worms and use their castings and bunny berries for a rich garden compost. We also have an outdoor compost pile that our chickens rotate for us that is made up of plant debri, hay, and mulch. We use our hogs to dig up a nice garden plot, fertilizing it and breaking up the soil. Then we treat the soil with a healthy dose of our own compost. We use the biodynamic calendar to plant, manage, and harvest the garden according to the stars. We use biointensive gardening for weed control and proper management of plants. We hope to water the plants with the property’s well water in the future. For pest control we grow plants that attract beneficial insects and predator bugs.
Situated on a peaceful southeast facing hill our orchard is a variety of fruit trees that will feed bees, livestock, and people alike. We will use compost and mulch to fertilize our trees, bees to pollinate their flowers, chickens to control pests, and pick up the grounded fruit to feed the hogs and prevent pests from laying eggs. Our orchard is still young and was started with grafted trees. We will be using natural methods to control apple worms and other pests when our trees are established and fruiting.
Using biodynamics, Babydoll Southdown sheep, and natural practices we will be growing and caring for a small vineyard. More information coming 2016.