Numero UnoJanuary 7, 2011
Welcome to Breezy Meadows Orchards and Nursery! This is the first of what will be many a blog posts. I figure the best place to start is the beginning or at least I’ve been told that before. And it seems like a good as any place to start. Well I guess its not quite the beginning but its somewhere in the right neck of the woods. I’ll be posting a more in depth history lesson of our farm a few posts from now but for now we will start with my entry to the world of farming. But first I should introduce myself.
My name is Josh Brill and I will be your farmer today and hopefully tomorrow as well. I started on a track that you would have not guessed farming would be at the end of. After graduating high school and not wanting anything to do with more schooling. I headed westward to be a snowboard bum in Keystone Colorado. After the season I moved back to the east coast and started going to community college for a degree in Computer Information Technology so that I could find a job near a resort and snowboard till the cows come home. After finishing at the CC I figured why not try to join a field where I can get payed to be out in nature and let others find themselves through challenging outdoor experiences.
I found myself in the adventure recreation program at Green Mountain College and by the end of the year I had made yet another revelation. I wanted to effect peoples lives but not just out in the wilderness. I wanted to do it on a daily basis and in a way that really could change people’s lives. This is when I started devouring information on farming. I had decided growing food was what I wanted to do and I wanted to do it in a way the benefited myself, the folks that ate my food and the things that lived on and around the farm.
This surprisingly lead me away from what we call “traditional” farming practices and towards “classical” organic practices. As I studied more I realized that for me organic was not enough. There were plenty of farms out there that were organic but still had the mining principle of traditional modern agriculture. Lots of inputs were brought in, soil was still being washed away and labor was being treated as machines. It was not what I wanted to have for my farm so I looked for alternatives. While I was planning for my own farm I wanted to get more hands on experience.
A number of my friends had worked for Greg Cox at Boardman Hill Farms, and he is one of the great organic farmers in our area. He is especially good for future farmers and is willing to answer questions and tell you not only what you are going to do but why. At Boardman Hill Farms I got to experience a wide variety of tasks that helped me figure out what would work for me and ideas for changes that I would implement on my farm. During that summer I attended a permaculture design class that inspired me to push the boundaries of what farms could look like. It’s to much for this post so it will be getting its own post soon.
The next summer Meadow and I struck out on our own with a little market garden in Corinth, Vt. On the site I had a surplus of old goat bedding which I used to make many experimental beds. We sheet mulched some, double dug others and one we just buried the sod under 12 inches of composted goat bedding(it was weedy but grew some big onions). We sold our produce at two markets and did okay for the volume we were producing. I learned a great deal about my skills and what I needed to improve. We learned that Meadow can make any vegetable look good with her stand layout and that our little VW Golf can fit a whole heck of a lot of veggies.
We had decided early in the summer that we were going to be moving back to Tinmouth in the fall so I missed out on planning a full years worth of crops. But now that we are back on the homestead that Meadow’s father built and ready to tackle another season.
See you soon with another update from the farm.