Abundant Michigan

Our purpose is to co-create abundance for our members in food, medicine, materials, economy and living water. We support Abundance in all Michigan Communities.

dawn farm

AMPY is proud to partner with Dawn Farm and in particular Grace Yoder for the generous community offer to share a portion of their 65 acre farm just South of Ypsilanti. Dawn Farm is a non-profit,  substance abuse recovery center with an integrated petting farm that features an ever shifting mosaic of llamas, chickens, pigs, turkey, duck, sheep, and cattle. Clients at Dawn Farm work on the farm (annual vegetable production and animal care) as part of their treatment.

We couldn’t be happier to partner with such a care-based and integrated social service, thank you Dawn Farm! Grace Yoder has been managing the annual vegetable production area and has opened up the space for many people, with various farming/gardening enterprises coming and going throughout the years. Currently this is the broad layout of DF.

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All maps are positioned facing South and the quadrants are numbered somewhat arbitrarily 1-5. The “Food Forest” at the SW corner is currently a small apple orchard. Last year AMPY members worked to sheet mulch around the trees to help suppress weed and grass competition and added root cuttings of Comfrey, Daylily clumps, and Wild Mint. We hope to further bolster the orchard into a full fledged Food Forest complete with functional diversity of species (Service Berry, Currants, Gooseberry, Sea Buckthorn, and Elderberry). Here’s closer view of 1 and 2.

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To the right of the Open Space area is where Grace, clients, and volunteers focus their attention on annual vegetable production, with the produce going to client meals. To the right of that area is the main building which has ample food storage space and potential for storing root crops all year. The Jamboree Area is parking for DF’s annual Jamboree celebration in September.

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The Woodlot area is mostly Cottonwood (Populus deltoides) and has begun to be selectively harvested for mushroom production. Mushroom species include Oyster, Shitake, Reishi, and Turkey Tail. Mushroom yeilds are for AMPY members and Dawn Farm clients. We are looking forward to Spring inoculations!

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Above is the 7.8 acres that AMPY members have just begun to convert into a living seed bank for the whole of Washtenaw County. We hope that this area can seed the urban and suburban perennial needs of our members, along with our group bulk purchases, and permablitz events. Above is quadrant 3, 4 and 5. Three and five are currently conventional farmland. Four is where the AMPY nursery is.

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We have ordered most of the 2014 plants for our BIG planting and swale digging work day that was just completed Saturday May 3rd and 10th 2014.

At the recent Michigan Permaculture Convergence we had the pleasure of experiencing a large group work effort and were truly moved by the power of working in large, cohesive groups. We at AMPY hope to recreate that experience again and again as we both strengthen our community and restore our ecosystem services.

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The pond looking areas are low points and naturally occurring wet areas. We will emphasis these by digging small holes that will not be sealed, in order to slow water before it leaves the field. Notice how the water will flow through the swales and eventually under the access road.

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You can see the swales in this cross section. There are about 40 feet between one swale and the next, which affords AMPY members the opportunity to crop in the alleys.  Alley Cropping and Contour Planting are both officially recognized by the USDA as appropriate farming techniques and as such, there are often grants to encourage the implementation of such practices. The fruit, nut, and material trees, small fruit crops, and comfrey will be planted this Spring, whereas the other areas (forage, three sister, sunflowers) are hypothetical and largely would need individuals or small work groups to steward or manage.

Overall, this project is inspired by the work of Mark Shepard and his book Restoration Agriculture. Permaculture is a positivist vision of the future in which we actively build the working models of sustainable and regenerative economic systems, agricultural systems, energy production, and local livelihood’s for our self’s, families, and communities.

 

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Bone sauce application to protect our young trees from browse and girdling. Supposedly, the tree absorbs the oils and emits a smell that repulses deer, voles, moles, etc. for up to twenty years, while not effecting the fruit for human consumption.

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Photo credit: Danielle Ross

 

Trees ready to go in. All in all, about 2000 trees will fill the space and become a perennial nursery for the AMPY community and Dawn Farm.

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Photo credit: Danielle Ross

Cover crop seeding – white and red clover, diakon, arugula, spinach, and dichondra will fill in the swale soils and protect the trees. Seed often and light and try to time it with rains. Can you spot the small trees?

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Photo credit: Danielle Ross

Applying the bone sauce. It’s a two person job.

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Photo credit: Danielle Ross

 

Swale on contour.

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Photo credit: Danielle Ross

In the foreground we have two backpack sprayers with compost tea that was applied both on and around the saplings. We will apply it several more times this year as a foliar and ground spray.

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Photo credit: Danielle Ross

As this projects begins to literally grow, we will be looking to partner with talented and local folks.

Do you want to grow in the alley’s with us? Do you want to be apart of the tree and woodlot management crew? Do you want to run livestock? Contact me! jessedavidtack@gmail.com

“Expect nothing, blame no one, do epic shit!”  Larry Santoyo

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