Updates from our Farm Managers

The funds received from our generous Food Forest and Celebration Forest donors enabled us to purchase several mature fruit trees and bushes. As of early November, we’ve planted 16 trees–Pear, June Berry, Sassafras, Willow, and Paw Paw–and over 30 bushes and herbs–Strawberry, Elderberry, Wineberry, Mint, St. John’s Wort, and Cranberry.
Fall is a great time to move perennials,  because the plants are putting energy into the roots and are less likely to die from the shock of being moved. Before the end of year, we will finish planting and moving Bush Cherry, Hazelnuts, Rosa Rugosa, Gooseberry, Blueberry, Grape, Chickesaw Plum, and Siberian Pea Shrubs.
We have been “running” the turkeys and chickens through the Food Forest this fall, and they’ve done a great job clearing the areas. After this clearing process, we planted the front section with several cover crops, including Winter Pea, Radish, and Canola. These are placeholders that contribute nitrogen and drill downwards to increase aeration. We planted some trees directly into this carpet of green, which acts as a living mulch for these new plantings.
Thanks to a generous grant awarded by the Laurel Garden Club of Highlands, NC, we have successfully installed kiosks designed to inform guests about The Mountain’s commitment to sustainability and conservation. These kiosks are made with recycled plastic and are currently located in different areas along the Little Scaly Road entrance of the Mountain. One is near the border of our fields and high-altitude pollinator meadow ecosystem, one is near the young Food Forest, and the last is located near the farm greenhouse. During peak season, each kiosk will contain information relevant to those projects and be updated with handouts periodically as needed.

As part of our pollinator habitat development efforts, supported by our 2017 Feed a Bee grant, we have established an array of flowers to attract pollinators to the Food Forest. We are especially excited about planting Honey Berry, which flowers early and is a premium for bees and other pollinators. We are pleased that the Macon County Community Foundation has generously awarded funds for expanding our educational programs about pollinators and pollinator ecosystems. With the guidance of our staff Entomologist, Alyssa Fuller, we will be conducting our second insect and pollinator inventory survey process next year involving area students. In preparation for this program,  aerial and drag nets and other survey equipment and supplies have been purchased.
Did you know that there is a Many Hands Peace Farm Etsy store?
We have an updated inventory of handcrafted gifts perfect for the holiday season. Our latest additions to the store include: NEW Medicinal Mushroom Medley Extract (1oz or 2oz) containing Reishi, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, and Chaga mushrooms all triple-extracted into this simple daily health supplement. There are 4 varieties of hand-stuffed tea packs: Prosperi-tea, Sereni-tea, Immuni-tea, and Vitali-tea, and a new 2019 40th Anniversary calendars. More items will be available in the coming weeks, such as new lip-balm, salve, and fire cider.
Over the summer, we added several foraging tours and activities to our program offerings for all ages, as well as farm-to-table dinners for Mountain guests. You can track many of our activities on the Many Hands Peace Farm Facebook page and Mountain Matters e-newsletter.
Ben Galindo and Joey Kyle
Many Hands Peace Farm co-Managers