2015-2016: Upper Lake California
Information to come! Check back in Sept 2016.
2014-2015: Ukiah, California
Mendocino County, California’s national notoriety stems from its wine, wilderness, and weed. But there’s more to Mendo than that. Homesteads, temples, and educational retreats can also be found in this peaceful, bucolic landscape. Amidst the golden oak chapparal hills, lichen forests, and old vineyards of Ukiah Valley, you can find me farming.
Thanks to a partnership with Pure Vitis and support from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, I’m transforming five acres of land uncultivated for over thirty years into a production farm. I aim to grow ethnic grains and vegetables while using place-appropriate methods that improve the environment, not deteriorate it.
To preserve the quality of the soil, no tilling has or will take place, and humans and animals work the land. Sheep were brought in to mow the grass, horses to broadcast the seeds. Working with animals rather than tractors minimizes pollution from synthetic oils, fuels, and chemicals.
To respect the limited water resources in our region, all crops are dry farmed. This means the only irrigation comes from rainfall.
This farm and the surrounding vineyards are CCOF certified organic.
1) The first planting is of heirloom wheat, rye, and millet. Grains are great for low water use, carbon sequestration, and reading nuances in the field, which is important for knowing what to prepare for the next season.
2) Once the grains are harvested, the remaining straw will be left in the field. Straw on areas that need nutrients will be inoculated with mycelium. Doing so hastens decomposition of the straw while increasing soil nutrients.
3) The more nutrient rich areas will be designated for vegetable production in 2016.
If you have any questions about my no-till, drought-resilient, and organic farming process, feel free to contact me.