homesteading, local food & food justice, organic farm, permaculture

Violets

violets in the sun

Violets are everywhere, especially in the old compost pile, and we are eating them in salads and drinking them in tea for their vitamin C, purple, and sheer joy. Our resident herbalist, Anna, has been making an extraordinary COVID-19-resisting immunity-boosting elixir, an elderberry syrup with other immune- and lung-supporting herbs. When the violets popped up their sweet little heads, they got added to the mix. And yesterday, Tim started the first batch of my favorite kombucha of the year–the ever-ephemeral fresh violet flavor.

Harvest before you weed, is our mantra here as we prepare the beds that have been too sodden to work, and finish getting the early crops in. Tatsoi and bok choy are so happy to be in the ground!

tatsoi and bokchoy

 

Events @ Listening Tree, permaculture

The last thing we want to do is go more virtual. But we don’t want to miss Russ Cohen this year, either!

We have canceled our Events at Listening Tree workshops for the year. We regret not being able to learn in nature and garden together as we usually do in spring, summer, and fall. But we are also hopeful that we will see the COVID-19 curve flatten soon.

While the coronavirus has put a temporary pause on public connections, it doesn’t stop our ability to learn nor stop our relationship to nature. At the co-op, we’re walking in the woods and fields, digging in the dirt, planting apple trees, sorting worms from compost, and caring for our new baby lambs. We hope you, too, are not nature distancing at this pivotal time, when the air is cleaner, the climate gets a breather, and the opportunity opens to the profound social and economic changes necessary to reverse humanity’s deathly environmental trajectory.

One small solace in the wake of events cancellation is that one of our favorite presenters, wild edibles expert Russ Cohen, will present a live, one-hour webinar this Friday, April 24 at 5:30 pm. He’ll discuss how to identify edible wild plants, what seasons these plants are available, how to prepare these wild species, and how to forage in a manner that is environmentally beneficial. Rhode Island is host to over 150 of these species of wild plants, many of which are edible and provide more nutrients than cultivated plants. How we would love to taste, smell, and touch these plants in real life! It would be one way to feel closer to the natural world and cure us of the delusion of separation. We will do that again, and we hope you are finding ways to do it in meanwhile. Perhaps you might also learn some juicy tidbits from Russ’s webinar:

Tasty Wild Edibles Friday

Sponsored by NOFA Mass.

Community life, cooperative ownership, Events @ Listening Tree, homesteading, organic farm, permaculture, transition

Last potluck of the year *and* National Solar Tour

IMG_0712The last of our open-house potlucks for 2019 is Oct. 5, 4-8 pm. Please come if you are interested in living and/or farming here, or just to connect, stay in touch, enjoy the farms and home, and hear more about what we are doing. Please call (401)710-9784 to RSVP.

During that weekend, homes and other solar installations around the country will open their doors for people to see, get inspired, and learn more about what it takes, what it looks like, and just what it’s like to live solar. So we’ve added this open house to the National Solar Tour, so there will be more emphasis on the solar, energy efficiency & conservation, and carbon farming aspects of life at Listening Tree.

If you are interested in Listening Tree Co-op owner-membership,  but the Oct. 5 date doesn’t work for you, please call to arrange a tour at another time.

local food & food justice, organic farm, permaculture, species

Last chance for bees

“Due to the use of pesticides — along with climate change, loss of flower meadows, and parasites — bee populations are in decline. Three quarters of all crops around the world rely on animal pollination. But due to pollinator loss, between $235 billion and $577 billion in crop value is at risk,” ThinkProgress summarizes part of the UN extinction report released this week. But it’s not about the money so much as it is about food security. Which the report does mention:  ecological collapse threatens horror upon horror.

This is the last chance to save 500,000 of the one million species that don’t have a fracking home on the earth, or to go back to the technical language, have insufficient habitat to survive as a species.

Coincidentally, or not, it’s also the last chance to sign up for our bee habitat workshop next Saturday, May 18. You can learn right now how to make life easier for pollinators. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Get those rush tix! Coexist!

 

 

Events @ Listening Tree, permaculture

Tree planting at Listening Tree tomorrow

A few hours before Jackson Gillman and Pierre Giono tell the story of the Man Who Planted Hope–about a reclusive French tree planter–tomorrow, a handful of volunteers will help us plant some new trees here.

Several fruit trees will make a wavy line along the Northedge food forest, where we have already started some larger nut trees: shagbark hickory, chestnut, hazelnuts, and hardy almonds. A few more will make a second wavy line along the Southedge food forest, where we already have a mulberry, two apples, two hardy figs, and a pack of pawpaws. Connecting the food forests, along the pond and perennial stream, are goji berries, elderberries, black currants, and highbush blueberries. Throughout, we’ve started June-bearing strawberries as groundcover.

It’s hard to believe it was just two years ago we were brainstorming  a permaculture site design–

 

 

 

 

Events @ Listening Tree, permaculture

Plans, plans, plans

trail-map-overlay-ltc.jpg

Plans are shaping up for 2019. As part of our social permaculture, the community made new year’s vision boards, and shared with each other our individual visions for the next year. My (Karina’s) biggest plan is to plan:

  • write up the results of our group permaculture planning to date;
  • complete a Natural Resource Conservation Service forestry plan with a local forester, complete with medicinal herb preservation, agroforestry, food forest expansion, woodlot management, and biodiversity enhancement;
  • integrate the permaculture and forestry plans into an official conservation plan for the farm with the Northern RI Conservation District.

And we’re planning events. We already have the Pollinators workshop that had to be postponed from last October set for May 18. And the potlucks will again return to the first Saturday of all the warm months, April-October.

We might host an herb workshop, a spoken word night, the Young Farmers Network, compost toilet workshop, and bring back some faves, like the worm composting workshop and wild edibles. I’m thinking of presenting a sustainable energy workshop–using our energy efficiency and renewable energy systems and solar greenhouse/solar shower/wash station complex plans as the laboratory to explore energy concepts and practices for decarbonizing our world. We might host the National Solar Tour here Oct. 5.

What do you want to learn about? What might you present? Contact us with any ideas at (401)710-9784. Details to follow, as always on our Events @ Listening Tree page.

 

 

Events @ Listening Tree, permaculture

Daylong Workshop: Making Ways for Pollinators RESCHEDULED

Tom's Promotion Pic 082717
Tom Sullivan of Pollinators Welcome with some of his pollinator attractant plantings

Pollinators are essential to healthy agriculture–yet they are threatened, in part due to losing habitat to monoculture farming, which grows acres and acres of only one plant and displaces the variety of flowering plants that keep pollinators fed and healthy all season long.

Here at Listening Tree, we’ve been on the land for 3 plus years now planting polycultures and herb gardens. These include pollinator attractors–flowering plants that feed pollinators through four growing seasons. The late, great summer of 2018 was the first year we saw a burgeoning of pollinator species come back. Amazing iridescent blue wasps, our first honeybee visitors from a neighbor’s farm, a not-so-great encounter with a bee hive in the leaf mulch pile, and it feels like perhaps we’re on the right track to healthy habitat.

Making a difference in the ways we support native bee pollinators is what our October  workshop is all about. Led by Tom Sullivan, owner of Pollinators Welcome, who has been designing beautiful pollinator habitat landscapes since 2009. A graduate of the Conway School of Landscape Design and designer of the first pollinator habitat nursery in Massachusetts, Tom teaches folks how to design and create pollinator habitats that meet pollinator biological needs by: appropriate siting of gardens in the landscape, choosing plants well suited to soil and sun, creating significant nesting opportunities and choosing pollinator life cycle protection through freedom from pesticides.

rescheduled to May 18, 2019, 9 am – 5 pm

Find out more and register here.