Beyond the Garden Gate

First ShitakesThe annual vegetables for garden share memberships aren’t the only thing we’re up to at Calico Farm.

The vegetable garden takes up only about one-third of an acre. This area is surrounded by extensive deer fencing and chicken wire to keep the local critters out. The entire area will be developed into permanent raised beds that will serve as the foundation for the annual vegetable production.

In the long run, it is our vision that the vegetable shares will be only a small part of the food productivity on our 4 acres.

In the main yard we are working to create permanent garden beds in the sunny spots for perennial vegetables and fruits. We have planted raspberries, asparagus, blueberries, rhubarb, and two apple trees. Large beds of perennial herbs and all of the allium plants (garlic, leeks, onions, shallots) will grow here too as these plants have proven to be less attractive to the many deer who tolerate us living in their habitat.

Much of the 4 acres is timber and we will use that shady climate to grow shitake mushrooms, red wine cap mushrooms, paw paw trees, and other shade tolerant foods. We also forage wild foods such as garlic mustard, maitake and honey mushrooms, wild raspberries, and spring garlic from the timber.

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