Farming in C3Po:  Permaculture in Practice Part II

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A nascent pineapple

Despite valiant attempts at a diversified kitchen garden, our free-range chickens wreaked havoc on everything in the plot except for the coco yam, basil and aloe, which, apparently, are bomb-proof.  

The kitchen garden, where only coco yam, basil and aloe would grow
The kitchen garden, where only coco yam, basil and aloe would grow

So, the first of our many projects this summer was to relocate and renovate the chicken coop.  Presto-chango, and the coop quickly became a frame so that it was light enough to carry down the hill to the new garden beds.

How many people does it take to move a chicken coop? 18.  Thank you, Putney Student Travel 2014!

Leader Peter Myers and a bunch of the Putney 2014 students
Leader Peter Myers and a bunch of the Putney 2014 students 

The coop is now a chicken tractor that can be displaced so that the valuable chicken manure can efficiently fertilize our fields.

Another very successful, sustainable project has been the mushroom house. 

IMG_20140828_120746A repurposed dog house, it was slightly modified by Putney 2014 and is now stocked with 20 bags that will produce 100 kilos of Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushrooms) over the next three months.

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Most importantly, now that we have a starter culture, we will teach the incoming Bridge Program students how to perpetuate the cultivation, which entails everything from growing mycelia to composting and sterilizing sawdust and assembling the bags.

One of the challenges of being a charity here, is to empower, not enable.  We strive to do that in the classroom and outdoors on the farm.  The students will be in charge of the hen house, the egg production and the raising of the pullets for sale or trade.  They will also be in charge of the mushroom house.

Without your donations, we wouldn’t be able to do any of this.  You are the power. Thank you!!

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