Welcome to the Jungle

We finally had our first big cleanup day at the incipient Springstead Herb Farm.

jungletrees

This is the entrance- my property is on the right, with all the giant trees. And vines. And trash.

jungle2This is one of the trash piles we made after an hour of raking and digging cans and bottles out of the ground.

jungletrashpile

A good percentage of the south end of the farm looks like this. People have been dumping trash here for decades. It’s possible that the original owner of the property dumped trash here before there was garbage service. We joked about being archaeologists learning about long ago cultures by digging through their middens.

jungle3

Yeah. 80% of the trash pile is Budweiser cans with pull tabs.

junglefamily

I have the best family ever. What’s not pictured here is that about five minutes after this photo we discovered a large yellowjacket nest. My younger son and I both were stung, he much worse than I. Thankfully they left us alone after we moved out of their clearing and we were able to keep working. I am taking this as a clear sign to slow down and proceed carefully.

jungleboxturtle

 We did find some amazing things, like this beautiful little box turtle hiding in the trash. There’s a couple feral orange trees that I swear are twice as healthy as the ones in my yard. There is a high ridge along one side that faces east- a possibly perfect microclimate for several of the herbs I want to grow.

jungle1

This (rather unflattering) photo is a decent representation of the entire property. I got a little teary at the end- the property is so beautiful and overwhelming. I am cramming about forest agriculture, forest farming, wild-simulated herb farming, and alley cropping. Now that paths have been mown and enough has been cleared that we can get to all areas of the property, the next step is to go out there and just document everything- make a list of species found, take soil samples from different areas, start on a ground map.  This starts tomorrow!

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