The Riveredge Farm

The Riveredge Farm is a 4-acre sustainable agriculture site based on permaculture design, a holistic approach to food production that follows the principles of natural ecosystems.

Regenerating Fertility

Prior to its acquisition by Riveredge, the sloping field had been planted in annual row crops that left the soil exhausted and bare and subject to heavy erosion.

The project seeks to restore the health and fertility of the land while generating valued crops. The permaculture design places an emphasis on woody perennial plants which allow the soil to remain sod-covered to minimize erosion and rebuild organic matter.

The image shows a bare field directly across the road from The Riveredge Farm that is at risk of severe erosion.


Permaculture Design

Designed and planted by Mark Shepard of Forest Agriculture Enterprises in 2009 and 2010, the site includes perennial crops such as native hazelnut shrubs and a mixed fruit orchard, in addition to asparagus and raspberries.


Water Management

Water management elements were developed such as a “pocket pond” to slow the water moving down the natural draw of the sloped field and “swales” or berms to channel the water across the contour of the field. During heavy rains and snowmelt, these swales move water to drier areas of the field and further minimize erosion.


Polyculture

Conventional agriculture tends to plant in monocultures due to the ease of planting, cultivating, and harvesting. However, monocultures are more susceptible to pests and disease. In addition to the mixture of trees, shrubs, grasses, forbs, and brambles, The Rirveredge Farm includes examples of intentional polyculture such as interplanted table grapes and walnut trees. We also foster plant-animal interactions through the chickens and ducks that free-range among the plantings, eating insects, and cycling and depositing nutrients through their manure.


Annual Crops

Annual vegetable crops are planted in narrow bands interspersed with grasses and forbs to hold the soil in place. These crops have been served at the Farm Dinner and our annual Yule Log supper. Crop rotations and organic fertilizers ensure nutrient-rich healthy plants.


Shiitake Mushroom Logs

Since 2015, The Riveredge Farm has been growing shiitake mushroom logs. The logs are harvested in partnership with the conservation team during the dormant season and then are inoculated in the spring.

Classes are offered by the Farm for the community to learn how to inoculate their own mushroom logs in addition to making their own log home. As of 2020, The Riveredge Farm has also offered shiitake logs for sale.


Photos Of the farm

Canning Summer In A Jar
Chickens and Mushroom Logs
Garlic Harvest
Chickens In The Summer Sun

Butternut Squash Harvest
Tomato Plants
Red Currant Preserves
Apple Harvest
Young Turkeys
Apples Growing
Ready To Plant Annual Beds
Red Currant Harvest

Chicken Amongst The Crops
Shiitake Mushroom
Apple Cider
Asparagus
Apple Tree Blossoms
Black Currant Harvest
Planting Annual Crops

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