The who, the why, and the how...
Hi there! We are Jocelyn and Chris, the land stewards here at Seven Acres Farm.
We moved onto Seven Acres Farm in August 2014 with the goal of putting permaculture theory and a variety of ecological growing techniques to use to grow food for ourselves, and generate income by selling veggies, herbs, cut flowers, and nursery plants at local farmers markets and direct from the farm. When we arrived, the land was undeveloped: half of it was pasture land that hadn't been used in years, and the other half was young forest. We purchsed a 1975 mobile home to live in, put in the required septic, well, electricity, and driveway... then began our process of settling into our new home, and observing the land, planning out landscape designs, and getting started on our gardens.
Plant-based farming (also known as veganic farming) is farming in a way that does not contribute to the harm or exploitation of animals. We both avoid the consumption and use of animal products as much as possible, and want to see that reflected in our farming practices as well. What that means for our farm is that in addition to not farming animals for their meat or by-products, we also avoid the use of animal manure, and fertilizers that include animal by-products such as bloodmeal and bonemeal. Instead, we use plant-based techniques for soil fertility, such as crop rotation, vegetable compost, polycultures, natural mulching, and compost teas. NOTE: In our efforts to balance practicality with idealism, we do practice a couple exceptions to this: 1) We have two pet bunnies (rescued meat rabbits) who live a cage-free life with us in our home and in our gardens and we include their poo from their litter boxes (along with wood pellets and shredded paper) with our compost; and 2) To further our efforts to mulch as much as possible with natural, organic materials, we accept free, soiled straw and hay from friends who have small hobby farms.
Environmentalists first, Farmers second...
We didn't grow up on farms. We grew up in urban areas and developed interests in social justice movements that prioritized human care, environmental care, and animal care. The link between these things and agriculture, paired with our passion for healthy food, helped fuel our interest in pursuing this adventurous journey.
Our ultimate goal when it comes to farming is to grow food in a way that disrupts and harms the natural world as little as possible. We humans are part of the natural world, but our way of living has caused a lot of harm to our environment, to the living creatures we inhabit the planet with, and to ourselves. Understanding that, we feel motivated to grow food as naturally as possible, and in a way that aligns with the permaculture ethics of people care, earth care, and fair share, as well as the vegan ethics of animal care.
Permaculture (in relation to farming) is the design of agricultural systems that have the resilience of natural ecosystems. It involves the careful observation of landscapes, followed by the thoughtful incorporation of patterns found in nature, in order to create regenerative, diverse and stable food systems. Permaculture design theory introduces a lot of really exciting, innovative ideas to the world of agriculture, and hugely influences the way that we do things here at Seven Acres Farm.
Healthy ecosystems & happy seeds:
We do not use any pesticides or herbicides. We also avoid the use of GMO seeds, and plant organic, open-pollinated, and heirloom seeds from suppliers we feel we can trust.