Our 11 acre orchard is certified organic and has been producing walnuts for over 50 years, organically since 2000. Recent additions include an organic vegetable garden, a greenhouse, solar energy and natural buildings. We have also created two experimental permaculture food forests.
We Start with the Soil
The first ethic of permaculture is "Care of the Earth" and so at Dancing TreePeople, we practice a gentle, no till agriculture that encourages natural systems to develop soil fertility.
We are initiating this process by allowing animals to graze in cycles with planting (to provide nitrogen) and by spreading straw and compost for additional organic matter.
We use cover crops to prevent erosion and to retain soil structure. From time to time, wild turkeys are found in the middle of our walnut orchard.
The second ethic of Permaculture is "Care of People." At Dancing TreePeople, we are constructing a number of Natural buildings, beginning with simple structures and including a strawbale and cob cottage. From time to time we host workshops on the orchard.
The third ethic of permaculture is "return the surplus" or better defined as "use only what you need and return the rest to people and to Earth." We strive to live this ethic by living as lightly as we can--particularly when it comes to energy use. Our main farm house runs on a 3KW Solar electric system and any surplus electrical energy is returned to the grid. We also use solar energy in cooking and water heating during the summer and heating our water with a solar water heating system. Our landscape plansts are kept green with a laundry-to-landscape greywater system.
Denise Rushing's book: Tending the Soul's Garden: Permaculture as a Way Forward in Difficult Times is dedicated to cultivating the soil of our inner garden so that we may bring forth abundance in our lives and our world.