Last Stop: Rainbow Heritage Gardens and Dobson Grass-fed Beef

solar garage- built for multiple purposes

The future home of the farmers and interns- beautiful yurts from mongolia.

solar batteries

tool to space and plant garlic

the view of the solar garage in the distance

inside the col room- built from bridge conspands bought from a cancelled order.

cold room

hoop house

Last stop: Rainbow Heritage Gardens and Dobson Grass-fed Beef:

It was night when we arrived. We were greeted by 4 kittens, and 2 barking dogs (one of them hobbling on 3 legs!).  Bob, the beef farmer had a huge pot of chili on his beautiful cast iron wood stove for us to eat for dinner.  After dinner he showed us a slide show of his farm operation, explaining it’s evolution and highlighting the environmental projects they’ve prioritized on the farm.  Hearing his speak was unique; often the farmers we hear from are relatively new farmers, but he was a veteran.  very inspiring.  If you eat beef, you better consider grass-fed beef.  The other stuff, in my opinion, isn’t doing any good to your body or the planet.

His daughter Kyla, and her husband Zach started their own farm operation called Rainbow Heritage Gardens, buying the back 50 acres of the property to build their farm.  In the morning Zach gave us a tour of the farm and we did a work bee.

He started by handing out a cob of black coloured corn, a turkey feather, and a ball of clay dug out of the pond, asking us what the significance was of the three things.

We were shown the buildings, first a solar garage- a building designed for multiple purposes (ie. could be grandma’s house, intern housing, a place to store tractors, place to hang garlic, etc.) that was built following the permaculture principle of “multiple uses/ stacking functions”.  Then we were shown the barn which is open at both ends because of his belief in “barn syndrome”- a farmers tendency to use a barn to throw junk in (ie. your friend’s phyciatrist chair). Finally we were shown the new cool room built for winter storage of veggies and fruit.  Zach somehow was able to find a cancelled order of bridge conspands and bought them (bringing them in by crane!), building a cool room with them.

Then we walked the fields- and he explained about their tree plantings, and experimental orchard (where they have planted a number of fruit and nut tree from the Green Barn nursery)… And he explained his 500 year vision for the farm which detailed his children collecting sap from the maples lining the driveway, raising pork on acorns that fall to the ground around oak trees, and having a calendar that details what they will be harvesting on any given day from their abundant forest garden. 

Right now, though, Rainbow Heritage grows beautiful organic vegetables of all kinds.  We spent our last hour helping harvest veg for the following market day- brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, spinach, kale, cabbage, swiss chard, beets, and leeks.

the black corn, the turkey feather, and the clay…

for zach the corn represented heritage- it was a type of corn he grew up eating for breakfasts in his home in New Mexico.  The turkey feather represented the relationship with the wildlife they were protecting and attracting to the farm.  The clay represented all the possible things from the farm they could utilize and provide that are not food- building materials, clothing, medecine, etc.

A great trip with some great folks.

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