Saturday, July 29, 2017

Hazel, Chestnut, and Pecan Pickers Needed!

 The hazels, chestnuts, and pecans are all LOADED with gorgeous crops this year, and we’re looking for folks who are interested in helping with harvesting any of the three crops, from early August through early October. Hands-on experience is BY FAR the best way to learn about all of the various aspects of growing advanced woody crops, including the reality of the work that’s involved. And we love to share the knowledge! We regularly have visitors and harvest workers tell us that they learn more in a few days here – picking nuts, asking questions, experiencing all of the sights and sounds of the farm at its peak – than they do in months (or years!) elsewhere.

The hazel crop is often difficult to see when it's still on the bush (the nuts hide - on purpose!), but this bush is pretty showy. Aside from the visible clusters, you can tell how loaded it is by how much the branches are bending over from the weight of the crop, even in mid-July.  

Harvest is a rush! And it’s the most beautiful, inspiring time of the year to experience the farm, and to see the future of regenerative farming in the Midwest for yourself. It’s already here! Check us out!

There they are! There's A LOT to pick! Details below.


Compensation: We’re offering $10/hr. in credit towards plant or seed purchases from our greenhouse. Plant genetics you can’t find anywhere else! No credit is given for the first day of picking, which involves a significant amount of time for orientation. We’re also open to your keeping a portion of the crop that you pick as payment, if you would prefer that over greenhouse credit.

Accommodations: Primitive camping, bring a tent! We can supply drinking water and a shower bag. We’ll do communal meals depending upon the number of harvest workers at the farm at a given time, but it’s a good idea to bring some of your own food and the tools to cook it. We’ve got all the campfire wood you could possibly want!

Length of stay: Anywhere from 1 day to 2 months to 10 years! We ask that you commit to at least one full day. We’re also looking for longer-term entrepreneurial farm partners, particularly people who are interested in greenhouse plant production, animal management (we have an expanding Icelandic sheep flock, 4 horses, and a mule – all critically important to the management and production of the nut crops – and we NEED a pastured poultry flock), and coppice wood products at Badgersett. Working the harvest is a great opportunity to check us out, and see if you’re interested in more.

Contact: Please contact Mark Hamann at 617 922 0196 or or to coordinate.

Friday, July 21, 2017

U of Mn Silvopasture tour HERE Aug. 5

Although we're behind posting to our Badgersett Icelandics blog, it's not because we aren't "doing sheep".  To some extent it's because we now have about 40 sheep, up from 25 when we started writing that blog.

And in year 6 of the sheep, it's been decided that they are permanent now.  The benefits are very large, and alternatives (fossil fuel fed machines) far less - EFFECTIVE.  The sheep work better.

Which is why we are the last feature of the upcoming U of MN Silvopasture Workshop; Aug. 4 and 5.  You can sign up for both days, or one day, I'm pretty sure.  Unfortunately - and fortunately at the same time, for us- the scheduled cattle silvopasture tour at Dana Burtness' farm had to cancel.  So, the tour will be here for 2 flexible hours (or more) instead of 1 tight one.

Some of this year's lambs; they are a riot to watch.  The movie was in April; the lambs are now 3-5 times bigger than here; still frisky.  Incidentally, we have a bunch of very interesting color patterns; 2 lambs here with "Panda Face" eye spots; black ears, white face and top of head; white rear legs and black front legs...  Anybody else seeing this in their Icelandics?

We'll be showing both the sheep and the horses- they both do very serious work for us just as grazers, not counting other benefits.  And there's a ton to show.  It has been a learning experience- but since 40 is more than 25 (actually we started with 5) - we're probably doing things mostly right.

We discovered fairly quickly - Icelandic lambs are eating as much grass as an adult sheep - about 3 days after they are born.  They go through pasture, and have to be moved more often.  We are, in fact, looking for a couple of people who would like to live here at Badgersett, and make their living from the sheep.  And horses.  And pastured poultry, perhaps.  There is a good living to be made; but it's a full time job.

Come and see!  We'll give you all the information from 6 years of rotational and mob grazing - nut silvopasture.  Summer.  Winter.  Mistakes and all.