The Many Hands Peace Farm (MHPF) is an educational farm dedicated to improving The Mountain’s environmental sustainability while teaching interns, guests and MountainCamp youth the best practices of environmental education and sustainable agriculture.
How and Why It Began
In 2009, Brian Gifford and a small group of Mountain staff had a vision of sustainable agriculture at The Mountain. This vision became the Many Hands Peace Farm. This garden was to: provide environmental and agricultural education for guests, cultivate environmental awareness and sustainability, and produce locally grown, organic food for guests attending Mountain programs. Through determination and hard work the Many Hands Peace Farm and began its first season in 2010.
We use no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, etc. Most of the work on the farm is done with hand tools, though we occasionally use a walk behind tiller or tractor. We regularly compost food-waste from the dining hall to reduce our waste stream and to utilize nutrients and organic matter that would otherwise go to the landfill.
We are happy to have happy chickens! Currently we have Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps, Plymoth Barred Rocks, Silver Laced Wyandottes, and a Bantam rooster. Our chickens have access to pasture every day. The chicken coop is managed with deep litter. This consists of regularly adding leaves or sawdust to retain nutrients, give the chickens something to scratch through, and to keep the chicken coop free of unpleasant odors. Our eggs go to the Highlands Farmers Market and are also available to our guests on the salad bar.
Come see our happy chickens!
What’s Growing in the Garden?
Though we have a short growing season due to our elevation, we usually have produce available late May – mid October. We would Like to thank Sow True Seed, High Mowing Organic Seeds, and Seeds of Change for donating seeds for our upcoming growing season.
Here is what is growing in the garden this year:
- Greenhouse: tomatoes, violas, lettuce mix, sugar snap peas. We also start all our flats in the greenhouse before we transplant them into the field.
- Garden: potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers (jalapenos, poblanos, cayenne, sweet peppers), beets, chard, radishes, bush beans, pole beans, corn, pumpkins, squash, zucchini, collards, kale, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, cut flowers, turnips
- Herb Garden: thyme, basil, dill, chives, rosemary, mint, violas
- Flower Garden: black-eyed susan, bee balm, sunflowers, yarrow, gallardia, mint, echinacea
We offer tours to guests on request, and sometimes as a part of programs. We also offer workshops on topics including edible wild plants and garden bed preparation techniques. During MountainCamp each cabin gets to go to the garden one morning to learn and work, and campers are able to work in the garden during field time if they choose to.
We also have an internship program. During the internship, interns learn skills and techniques in sustainable agriculture and experiential education. This includes working in the garden, completing a personal project, and facilitating tours, workshops and team building activities. For more information please click here.