Late spring stories from around Orchard Hill

Posted by Marty Castriotta on Thursday, June 5, 2014 Under: News and Updates

Lots of things happening here at Village Roots and on the Orchard Hill Community. Here are just a few highlights from the last month.

We started construction on two high tunnels at the Sullivan County Complex. These high tunnels will be used for research (studying the comparison between regular greenhouse poly and Solawrap covering). Community gardeners from the area will grow the crops and a student from Colby Sawyer College will be conducting the research. Eventually this site will be used as community garden space.

The Orchard Hill Breadworks' Pizza Night Pavilion and new portable oven were used for the first time this past Sunday, June 1 during a thank you event for all the donors and helpers that made this project possible. Here are Noah and Asher working on the first coat of clay plaster.

Muffet, one of our turkey hens, has been sitting on eggs (turkey and duck) for the last few weeks. Felix, our tom, has been joining her in her effort. With green grass, our breeder turkeys are now out on pasture, but their turkey pavilion still offers them rain and sun protection. 

A promise of fertility! These two pictures show manure from the steers busting with new growth...specifically, clover. Why is this so amazing? Our steers, out to pasture in November, were eating clover seed heads. When we put them in the temporary barnyard, where there was no great forage (meaning, they couldn't do any damage), they did what they do best. Now this area, previously devoid of good forage, is booming with one of their favorite foods!

In the midst of it all....the yurt roof blew off. Well, it was almost 20 years old. Thanks to Ken Gagnon of Two Girls Yurts for leading the project of making a new roof for the 30' yurt. 

In : News and Updates 

Tags: "sullivan county complex" "greenhouse construction" "colby sawyer college" "orchard hill breadworks" "pizza night" "breeder turkeys" "oxen" "two girls yurts" 
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About Me

Marty Castriotta Marty grew his first potato when he was 12 year old on a worn out piece of ground behind his parents’ house. He’s been attracted to the idea of growing food ever since. He started growing seriously in 2001 with his wife Ellen’s guidance and has worked on several organic farms prior to moving to Orchard Hill. His passion is in integrating all aspects of the farm; the gardens, animals, buildings, water systems and so on. Marty has been raising heritage farm animals since 2003, and started training his young oxen Boss and Chez to do some of the farm work in the winter of 2012. Marty graduated from Antioch University New England with an MS in Environmental Studies and currently teaches Farmers & Foragers and summer camps at The Orchard School, as well as Permaculture Design Courses at Orchard Hill.