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Breezy Meadows Orchard & Nursery is an expanding permaculture farm in need of a 2 wheel bio-diesel tractor

We've made our goal with few days to spare!  

Now very $5 pledge gets us one more hazelnut tree on this year's tree order.

Breezy Meadows was founded with one simple idea.  Create a modern hillside farming ecosystem that combines natural processes to holistically produce a bounty of food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizer, "farmaceuticals," and fun for us and wildlife.

With this idea in mind we have been working for three and a half years building and experimenting with different growing systems and plants.  We grow annual veggies in permanent raised beds called Hugelbeets, that are sometimes covered with one of our two mobile high tunnels.  We came to Kickstarter backers in the fall of 2011 to fund our acre of terraced rice paddies. This helped to make us the largest hillside rice grower in New England. 

We started planting trees the first spring we moved to the farm.  We are modeling our tree plantings in the style of a savanna(see below).  Rows of hazelnuts, chestnuts, elderberry, raspberries, apples, peaches and pears are spaced wide enough to allow animals to be rotated through.  The animals eat the drops from the nut and the fruit trees and fertilize the trees, shrubs and pasture.

Two Wheel Walk-behind Tractor 

107d with tiller attachment
107d with tiller attachment

In Europe walk behind tractors can be found on many small farms.  They are more than just tillers.  They have almost as many attachments as the full size tractors that we use here in America.

Here at Breezy Meadows we need to add a two wheel tractor to help us keep up with our growing needs.

Our rice paddies need a big increase in organic matter and major nutrients.  To help increase these we are going to integrate cover crop and compost.  With the rotary plow we will be able to loosen the soil and mix the compost deep into the soil.  With the crimper attachment we will be able to try a no till system in a few paddies and compare the effects.

Rotary plow
Rotary plow

Savanna Agriculture

 When we started planting our trees three years ago we were attempting to turn the forest gardening design into a model that would work for a farm scale production.  What we didn't realize at the time was that changes we were making to the design were shaping a system that more resembled a savanna. 

With an over-story of trees surrounded by smaller shrubs and herbaceous plants spaced out with grass all around the clusters, savannas are the best ecosystem on earth at supporting large mammal populations.  Since we are mammals and most of our domesticated animals are mammals it just makes sense to try to design a system with that in mind.

It also means that we are looking to shift from an annual based agricultural model to a perennial model.  The hazelnuts and chestnuts we have begun planting will replace corn and soy in our diet.  The lower shrubs will provide needed vitamins and nutrients for us omnivours. As the mix of dynamic accumulators shed their leaves and are eaten by our animals nutrients will be spread around the pasture fertilizing the field and the trees.

 As well as accumulating nutrients for the trees that will be spread as the plants lose their leaves in the fall or as animals convert them to fertilizer after they eat them.

We are also creating a multidimensional structure.  Not only are we mixing a large variety of crops in a single acre but we are varying the height of plants.  The larger trees will tower over the under story of shrubs that will grow above the grass.   With multiple layers of plant growth we can maximize the amount of sunlight being collected during the year. This will help us reduce the need for using stored fossilized energy which should be one of our main goals moving forward.

Permaculture Design Course

In addition to our weekend classes we will be offering a PDC for the first time this summer.  Our PDC will be a little different than many courses you can find around the country.  We want to focus on hands on skills that are reinforced by lectures not the other way around.  During our course you will stay at our off the grid working farm, interacting with our farm animals and our farming practices everyday, and thinking about real world permaculture application with limited capital in mind.  

A diverse group of leaders will guide students through a wide range of topics on earthworks, tree and shrub establishment and care, mushroom inoculation, chainsaw care and use, farm scale production models, water management, mobile structure construction and more.

Students will stay on the farm where there is access to beautiful walks, scenic views, a swimming pond, solar/compost heated outdoor showers, camping sites and a small rustic cabin.

Meals will be provided by the craft kitchen collective.

Our secret cabin in the woods

Stay in our secluded cabin in the woods
Stay in our secluded cabin in the woods
The rice paddies from the road
The rice paddies from the road

Music by Phase IV "low-fi is sci-fi"

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We have researched the walk-behind tractor and attachments and know that it is a key piece of equipment for the farm. Compared with the risk of deciding to grow a new grain crop in a cold environment, any risks associated with purchasing equipment are very minimal.

FAQ

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    9 backers

    Show your support and get a thank you email and access to backer only updates.

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    4 backers

    A personalized thank you letter with a small packet of rice seed. Access to backer only updates

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    20 backers

    1 pound of Vermont grown hulled brown rice(ready in the fall of 2014) A small packet of rice seed(ready winter 2014) plus a guide to how you can grow it in your backyard.

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    A dozen of our organic eggs for 6 weeks to be picked up at the Rutland farmers market.

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    Adopt a laying hen. We will let you name a new chick and we will send you updates as it grows and starts laying.

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    3 backers Limited (22 left of 25)

    2 passes to our Rice growing workshop Apr 12, 2014. We will talk about growing rice from the backyard bucket to the farm size paddy. You will leave with seeds and the confidence to start growing your own rice.

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    2 passes to our Hugelbeet and Mobile Tunnel workshop May 10, 2014. We will go over building hugelbeets, a permanent raised bed system we use on the farm. We will also talk about using mobile hightunnels on the farm, and discuss building your own to managing a purchased kit

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    2 passes to our Savanna Agriculture workshop June 7, 2014. Learn about the fundamentals of building a savanna agricultural system. We will talk about rotational grazing, building mobile animal shelters and different fencing options.

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    Name a Breezy Meadows baby goat. We will let you name a new born goat then send you updates over the year with photos and notes about your goat.

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    We are getting two piglets this winter to raise for more breeding sows. You can adopt one, which means you get to name it and recieve updates on it through the years.

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    Spend a day at the farm. You and a guest can get the full farm experience from planting rice to milking a cow. We can tailor the day for what you want to experience and learn. Add 20 dollars for each additional person, kids under 12 can come for free

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    Save yourself a place at our first Permaculture Design Course on the farm. August 1 - 11th. Experience a PDC on a working farm that has been integrating permaculture design since 2010. You'll get hands on experience that is missing from many PDCs The remaining $1000 must be payed by May 1st

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    Spend a day at the farm and you and a guest can stay for a farm dinner and breakfast, while camping in the wild hills of vermont. Spend your second day working with us or enjoying the local sights.

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    Josh will come to your farm/home to help develop a plan for rice growing at your site. Must be within 2.5 hours of Tinmouth VT. Plus phone and email follows through the summer.

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    We have seven rice paddies and you can put your stamp on the world by naming one of them.

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    Spend a day at the farm and then you and a guest get to stay for a farm dinner, breakfast and sleep in our secret cabin in the woods. See photo to the left.

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    1 backer

    Spend 5 days at the farm. Experience a week of off the grid homestead life. We will provide you with two meals a day and as much structured farming time as you like. We are surrounded by great outdoor recreation activities if you want to spend your afternoons exploring our little piece of Vermont.

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    Join us for our first Permaculture Design Course on the farm. August 1 - 11th. Experience a PDC on a working farm that has been integrating permaculture design since 2010. You'll get hands on experience that is missing from many PDCs. More information in the description and on our site.

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Funding period

- (30 days)