1. This Week at Sun And Bloom Farms - Early Spring Farmsteading Reflections in the Ozarks
In this Farm Journal page you will be able to discover the following:
- our reflection on the importance of designing and planning the year ahead (applicable beyond farming)
- what is in abundance on our farm right now (besides excitment for all the amazing food we will be growing)
- a short synopsis of our 1st "Farmsteading Live Stories + Q&A" episode and what we will discuss in the next episode this Wednesday
- a short blurb about the on-farm education we are offering
Looking Back, Being Present, Looking Forward
When we decided to homestead, farm for the market and to bring our community together around ideas of permaculture based regenerative resilience, we knew that we will undergo a period of transition. We knew that there would be a lot of new things to get used to, and that making our vision come true will take some time. It definitely helped to build experience at a small scale and learn one thing at a time, deeper and deeper, before moving into the scale we are managing now and are envisioning to get to. We, first of all, built “learning from failure” into our plans and strategies. We also committed to learn from others, through books, podcasts, videos, as well as online and in person workshops, classes, and courses, so that we can avoid as much failure as possible. From past experiences we knew that hands-on experience is the best learning that sticks. We learned that planning all of our homestead farm activities for the year and each major growing season is conducive to success. Even a simple plan can provide for peace of mind, as a go-to guide when things become erratic and time seems to shrink on the farm, especially in the spring. We started building those plans from books at first and from models we learned in courses we completed. We kept some reflective and concluding notes in the beginning, and at one point they became very important to our success. They transitioned our plans to more accurately reflect our context, knowledge, abilities, dreams, energy, and again our ever evolving personal and ecological context.
The evolution, from designing the layout of our gardens and schedule of tasks, mostly inspired from books and courses, to now adding our experience to it, continues to happen. We look at our notes from the past to help us plan better (for example: we look at spring planning and activity notes and compare them with results for each crop), we connect to some of our past teachers and local experts for consulting, we are even taking some new courses too, and we continue to take notes. In addition to all of this, and most importantly, we continue to be committed to aligning all of our work, our farmsteading activities and lifestyle, with a regenerative, healthy, abundant and peaceful future for all - that means that we strive to build resilience in our life, while also giving back to the ecosystem and community that we live in and the world at large - we do that by farming and homesteading with permaculture and regenerative practices and sharing that knowledge with all who want it.
Early Spring Abundance
It has been working so far - getting our needs met, while also regenerating nature and sharing our abundance fairly with our community. Take our land clearing, organic fertilizer and good protein (eggs) needs. Our laying chickens have been providing for all of that, while being gentle on the ecosystem of the farm, in fact enriching the soils of our planting and wild spaces, and producing the best eggs our community ever had (beyond grazing freely, we also feed them organic food only). In addition, we bet they have been decimating the tick population in all the areas they have been active, the spaces that will be farm rows and workshop spaces for our community (we are tracking this theory and will be able to share about it during the “tick seasons”). Soo, we have an abundance of chicken poop to use for our compost, new grazed spaces to build new garden rows, and lots of beautiful and healthy eggs.
A few people from our local community come and get those eggs straight from our farm every week for $6 a dozen (a price comparable to organic food stores in Springfield, Columbia, St Louis and Kansas City), and we invite anyone local that aligns with our care for their health and that of our shared ecosystem and community to come get these healing eggs too. (Please see link below to pre-order your eggs)
Before the Workshops, Events and Courses on our Farm
This week we are hosting our second “episode” from the “Farmsteading Live Stories and Q&A with Lucian and Anna Maria” series. This is something we do every Wednesday evening starting at 6 pm CST, sharing a short farmsteading story and providing time for any questions our community may have about family homesteading and/or farmsteading. The stories usually follow the curriculum of any of our workshops or courses, doing our best to share value every time. Anyone can ask us questions to answer during these sessions in advance via the Homestead / Farmstead Q&A Form or Live about anything related to vegetables growing, composting, cooking, herbalism, bee keeping, running a farmstead business, fruit trees, medicinal plants, and more from this realm. We do our best to respond, using our accumulated knowledge and experience within the realm of permaculture based homesteading and farmsteading. Whatever we cannot answer on the spot, we will schedule for the next time.
During the first episode, we shared a bit ourselves, we shared about what we do and offer to our community with Sun And Bloom Farms, and we shared 2 short stories about a strategy we have employed in our early career and continue to employ to help make our farmsteading and world peace come true (the strategy was from the context of one of our past courses subtitled: “Steps to get going and grow your career in permaculture, sustainability and regenerative work”. We also provided some preliminary answers to a question for a community member: how could people get to be part of our village? (since we have been talking a lot about creating an intentional community (eco-village) on our land around the farm). SEE THIS 1ST EPISODE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS FARM JOURNAL PAGE.
For the next episode we will tell the story about another strategy we have successfully employed to get from “zero” to the farmstead of our dreams in the making in a very short period of time. In addition we will answer a question we did not have time to answer last time: (addressed to Anna Maria) how did the culture of your father’s village in Greece influence your work and vision for the future? Anyone is invited (including you dear reader) and can register with the link below (registration is required if you’d like to get the follow-up perks)
The Importance of Permaculture & Regenerative Resilience Education
Experiencing and honoring both the pain of the world and the relative resilience our homestead space and lifestyle confers to us (at this point), we are continuously re-committing to our mission to inspire, empower and support people with education that can help them create the same or better for themselves if they want to. We feel immense value in leading earth and people centered lives, in harmony with nature and community, and we know that many want and see this lifestyle as possibly the only way forward for themselves. To that end, we offer both short, easy to “digest”, workshops and deep dive courses on the farm. So far the Homestead Learning Series and the Permaculture Design Certification Course (PDC) are the best starting points. The PDC is life changing, mind opening and infinite possibilities creating - we both see it as a portal into a healthy, abundant, peaceful and regenerative future for all, and we will share more about it in a future Farm Journal. In the meantime, anyone can learn more about what we cover in that course in the link below. We full heartedly believe that this education is indispensable to reaching the full human potential.
Thank you for reading and we are excited to share more with you every week in this format in addition to seeing you in person at markets and on farm offerings.
Before our Internet gets better and we can offer you this series in podcast and better video versions, please enjoy below our first episode of the "Farmsteading Live Stories and Q&A with Lucian and Anna Maria".
Farm reflections and announcements by Lucian and/or Anna Maria.