While the entire property, nestled in the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts, is 38 acres, 37 are managed for sustainable timber harvest, wildlife, and water quality in a program call “Forestry Stewardship”. In the remaining one acre, Jim and his wife Lisa have designed, built & managed a: house, barn, 2 goats for meat and milk, solar panels, green house, wood shed, septic system, well, driveway, orchard, small fruits, vegetables, herbs, ornamental flowering trees, shade trees, wetland plantings, tall grass wildflower meadow, cutting flowers, lawn and a root cellar.
The acre contains: 21 different kinds of fruits: apple, apricot, plum, peach, pear, asian pear, persimmons, cherry, strawberry (June and ever-bearing), currants, blackberries (thornless and thorny), raspberries (early, mid and late), blueberries (early, mid and late), grapes, hardy banana, hardy orange, paw paw, watermelon, cantaloupe, beach plum & kiwis. All are organically managed. The 12 herbs that are grown are: basil, cilantro, sage, hyssop, catmint, lemon balm, oregano, chives, coriander, thyme, italian and regular parsley. The two dozen plus vegetables that are grown are: squash (winter and summer), corn, asparagus, garden greens (mescaline, lettuce, asian greens, etc…) bush & pole beans, cabbage, peppers (bell & hot), okra, sunchokes, leeks, red & yellow onion, Brussels sprouts, edible bamboo, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, eggplant, kale, pumpkins, asparagus, beets, broccoli and garlic. And disease resistant American Chestnuts. The fruits, vegetables and herbs are preserved in a number of different ways allowing for year round consumption. There are dozens of cut flowers. The photos below will focus only on the vegetable and herb garden.
Before: This was what the one acre looked like when the property was purchased.
After (2 Years Later): Raised beds were installed that were framed in with rot resistant locust and the paths were mulched with wood chips.
A small greenhouse can be seen in the upper right corner. It allow for an early spring start and an extension of the season in the late summer. There are 30 raised beds with an average dimension of 4′ x 15′.
A bountiful harvest of garlic. This is an old fashion heirloom variety from Italy that produces very large, pungent, yet smooth tasting cloves.
Giant purple cabbage in a bed with bush beans. The cabbage will be used to make sauerkraut that will keep in the root cellar for months.
Carrots are being harvest for a summer salad. Carrots are grown in the garden for summer salads but mainly to store in the root cellar for winter consumption. Properly stored carrots will store from October to late May. All the while remaining crisp and delicious.
The greenhouse (16’x12′) in mid July is bursting forth with 5 different kinds of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and herbs. In early September these plants will be cycled out for cool weather hardy greens like spinach, kale, Chinese cabbage, chard, cilantro, lettuces, etc… These plants, after a fall cutting, will overwinter and will re-sprout and be ready for harvest again in late February. A fitted Goshen Stone floor was added to hold the heat on sunny winter days and to give the sun starved home owners a warm place (80 degree) to do yoga on a sunny winter day. Also, see the rope rapped around the collar tie at the top of the rafters, a rope swing for the kids.
The summer harvest. Ever-bearing strawberries, beans, tomatoes, carrots, cukes, eggplant, basil, cilantro, and yellow squash.