This farm has been around for 100+ years, and is currently run by Steve Breyer, who has for the past 37 years. Once a poultry farm, they now operate as a nursery with over 500 species of plants for sale. They’ve been experimenting with 1000+ species over the years and their many successes (and mistakes) have been critical to moving forward the work many Permaculture practitioners in Western, MA (namely Eric Toensmeier of Edible Forest Gardens and Jonathan Bates of Permaculture F.E.A.S.T.).
We had the privilege of hearing directly from Steve. He had only 10 minutes for us, and wanted our key take-away to be the importance of groundcover when establishing and maintaining any garden. Dwarf comfrey, mintroot, coreopsis among others, are a low maintainance way to keep weeds (that you don’t want) at bay, retain water, and feed your plants the nutrients and minerals it needs through the understory.
It seems so simple, yet took many years for them to figure out. Part of what is so unbelievable about permaculture is its simplicity, making us realize that we already have the tools we need to create the world we want. It is matter of directing our will and energy towards the fulfillment of that vision.
Once Steve left that day, we continued to learn about his ingenuity by using some of the tools he has developed and patented on sale on their website. He engineered and built an insulated greenhouse that pushed the zone up to 8 or 9 inside even during the winter. We got to try their human-powered tree digging system on a blueberry shrub that was having a hard time competing with nearby pawpaws and hardy pecans.
We encourage you to check out their website, buy some plants, or ask a question. Steve is happy to help.