April 14, 2009

Anne and Eric Nordell

Photo from New Rodale Institiute : A truley regenerative farming

These people are my hereos:

"Beech Grove Farm is located on 90 acres in north-central Pennsylvania. The Nordells
operate their diversifi ed vegetable farm using their own hands and four draft
horses. They grow the bulk of their cash crops on a well drained six-acre fi eld that
is divided into a dozen half-acre lots. At any one time in the growing season,
half the cropping area is in cash crops and the other half is fallow. A field of springplanted crops next has a year of fallow,
then summer-planted crops. On the fallow sections, they use two cover crops and
a bare fallow to control weeds. With this rotation sequence, they build their soil and eliminate weeds."

From Attra:
A Whole Farm Approach to Managing Weeds in Onions,
Eric and Anne Nordell’s Beech Grove Farm, Pennsylvania:


Anonymous said...

Very good farmers, but hardly fossil fuel free or sustainable: ".. the Nordells have to purchase feed (oats, hay and minerals) and bedding (straw and other materials) for the horses"

That's a big loop left open.

anne said...

Yes, you're right, that is a big chunk out of the system. I guess I assumed they made hay - they have 90 acres - I find out more. Thanks

anne said...

My comment above doesn't imply, however that are not lots of people who have found the time, skills, people and land to complete the circle. There are 2 farms at least in the west Kootenays who grows food for Nelson with horses fed with hay and grain from the land. Small Farmer's journal is a good link for folks who are farming this way.

Anonymous said...

I wish there were "lots of people". Its seems to me that the skill set, time, money and mindset to be able to horse farm successfully is so very rare. If we even had two successful farms in each area that would be great - and yet still not enough...
Maybe we need really hard times for this type of farming to come alive again. Its such a commitment. But by then most of the skills maybe lost.