We Are All Farmers Shifts Gears: Grass-Based Dairying & Design

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It had been a while in the making, but We Are All Farmers shifted major gears in early 2015. This year, We Are All Farmers will shift away from being non-profit.

After much reflection on the part of We Are All Farmers‘ co-principal Edward Marshall, he decided that his main interest lies in larger scale regenerative soil practices such as cattle grazing, which can help turn around the desperately depleted soil here in the US Southeast. Also, the numbers work for grass-based dairying, affording a full-time farming existence that few other farm enterprises provide. Edward wants to farm full-time.

The We Are All Farmers‘ website and Facebook page will continue to feature news relevant to regenerative land and community practices as well as much information, reflection, and insight as Edward becomes versed in grass-based dairying.

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Moreover, Edward will, however, continue to provide permaculture-based land assessments and design through We Are All Farmers and through Charlotte-Based Full Wheel Farmers.

Furthermore, We Are All Farmers co-principal Crystal Cook Marshall has decided to step up her work in community resilience and revitalization with work focused in Appalachia. Once Edward is trained up in grass-based dairying, in addition to other work, she will assist him with that enterprise.

We Are All Farmers will document Edward and Crystal on this journey.

Last but not least, a few other factors from the last couple of years contributed to Edward’s and Crystal’s pursuing these latest paths.

Permaculture, A Designer's Manual

Permaculture, A Designer’s Manual

Edward and Crystal remain committed to Chapter 14 of Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual, that community is what makes the techniques of permaculture possible. They seek to steward community in their new endeavors.

They remain enthusiastic about the regenerative land practices of permaculture and permaculture as a systems design approach for soil, farming, community, etc. and hope to put them to work on a grass-based dairy and to continue this work at their current site in North Carolina.

As their own perspectives and knowledge about the potential for support of small-scale farming in North Carolina matured, Edward and Crystal drifted far from what some term “purple” permaculture or even prepper permaculture and more toward “brown” permaculture (or permaculture focused on farming and food production to some scale).

These factors and others contributed to their shift, especially Edward’s of focusing on larger scale production and on an agricultural sector that is not overpromising a living and underdelivering, as Edward and Crystal see happening with some sectors of ag and smaller or newer farmers.

Image from http://permaculturemiami.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/permaculture-image.jpg, copyright 2008, Karl Schmidt

Image from http://permaculturemiami.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/permaculture-image.jpg, copyright 2008, Karl Schmidt

 

One of the key principles of permaculture is protracted observation.

Edward and Crystal put much consideration and observation into this shift for We Are All Farmers.

They believe that We Are All Farmers still holds. We are all responsible for finding ways to steward land and people health and healing our communities and soil.

Edward looks forward to continuing the mission of We Are All Farmers by learning how to be an even better land steward, learning about cows, ways to scale up soil regeneration, and regenerative means to farm. Crystal looks forward to examining and creating more ways to bring communities together to increase their resilience and joining Edward in a grass-based dairy once they are ready to take that step.

They may or may not continue teaching permaculture design certificate courses. If you are interested in theirs, contact them at weareallfarmers@gmail.com.  Edward will remain available, when time permits, to speak about permaculture to community and other groups.

 

 

 

Edward Marshall of We Are All Farmers designed this!

Charlotte’s first edible walkway is planted

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The historic Wilmore neighborhood made history on Saturday as the first neighborhood in Charlotte to plant an edible walkway at the intersection of Mint Street and Kingston Avenue. In a most excellent display of community, Wilmore residents, church members of Calvary United Methodist (the church that owns the property where the walkway is planted) and sustainably minded Charlotteans gathered together on a chilly Saturday morning to plant fruit and nut trees that will one day bear fruit for all of its residents to eat.

The idea stemmed from an observation made by Wilmore resident Kris Steele, who witnessed children walking up the street to get “food”, only to see them coming back from the convenience store with processed food items laden with salt, sugar and fat. Steele, who is also co-founder of Crown Town Compost, had a vision for something better and dreamed up the idea of an edible walkway. In Steele’s mind, an edible walkway would provide a sustainable source of fresh food, accessible to all.

“Imagine being able to just grab a piece of fruit from a tree,” says Steele.

To make the idea a reality, Steele vied for resources from the community, which included a $2,500 beautification grant from Keep Charlotte Beautiful, a division of the City of Charlotte, and another $500 grant from nonprofit organization, Sustain Charlotte. Individual donors chipped in and several local businesses volunteered time, labor and materials to bring the walkway to fruition. Earth Farms donated compost and castings, Heartwood Tree Company donated labor and equipment and Full Wheel Farmers designed the walkway and has agreed to maintain the trees as they develop.

Volunteers planted apple, pear, fig, hazelnut and a variety of berry trees. Skip Johnson,59, a member at Calvary United Methodist Church for 35 years, has watched the neighborhood change considerably over the years. He believes the creation of an edible walkway is positive for everyone.

“Look at all these young people,” says Johnson. “If the neighborhood is helping our church property, I want to help the neighborhood.

Nick Sisley, 34, a Wilmore resident since 2006, came to help out with his 3-year-old daughter Josie. Alongside them, folks from the contributing organizations loaned their time and talents to the project.

In a few years, residents will be able to reap the benefits of this project, an idea that started as a vision and became reality. Andrew Bowen, community research specialist at the City of Charlotte, believes Steele will continue to do good for Charlotte.

“He’s got huge visions for the entire city,” says Bowen. Judging by the recent launch of Crown Town Compost and the creation of Charlotte’s first edible walkway, we’d say Bowen is on to something.

See the full article here:

http://m.clclt.com/eatmycharlotte/archives/2014/12/15/charlottes-first-edible-walkway-is-planted

Pole Barn Workshop with Barron Brown was awesome!

Barron Brown led a group through how to build a pole barn. The weekend was awesome and here are a few photos!

 

Free Food@Crop Mob, Work Exchanges Available, Classes + More!

Crop Mob: Set Up a Hoop house for Fodder System: Saturday, September 20 at 10:00am

Our pigs need winter fodder and we will tear down a shed and set up a hoop house in its place. Light breakfast (muffins, whole wheat baguette), full lunch (venison chili, cornbread, salad, sour cream chocolate cake) provided, and after mob all you can drink ginger beer!Please RSVP to weareallfarmers@gmail.com so we know how many folks to expect and how much food to make!

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(1) full work exchange still available for the We Are All Farmers Spring 2015 Permaculture Design Certificate Course. The course starts at the end of January 2015!
Contact weareallfarmers@gmail.com for an application!

 


Two Upcoming Workshops with Barron Brown

1. Pole Barn Construction/21st Century Timber Framing Start to Finish
Nov. 15 & 16, 2014 with expert Barron Brown. Limited to 10 participants.

Hands-on learn to construct a two-story pole barn in two days, start to finish: $230!

Free camping on site. Breakfast & lunch provided both days. $100 to reserve your spot, $130 due the day of the workshop. Cash, check, money order, or PayPal. We Are All Farmers, 283 Coolbrook Road, Union Grove, NC 28689, phone: 704 592 2557, weareallfarmers@gmail.com

We’ll explore how to utilize small trees for framing buildings.

Barron teaches timber framing, post and beam construction, log cabin construction widely at conferences and gatherings. He currently works as a sculptor, welder and builder, as well as teaches carving, blacksmithing, and building. He lives on a homestead with his family in Yancy County, NC.

 

2. Hog Slaughter Workshop with Barron Brown, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; depending on interest, potentially a repeat workshop on Sunday, Dec. 7. You do not need to purchase a hog to participate. This is a rare chance to bring a hog from pasture to process. Tools, teaching, lunch, facilities provided.
Contact wearefarmers@gmail.com for more details.


 

Open Seeds Network Seed Celebration & Convergence at We Are All Farmers POSTPONED!

Due to family issues, we needed to postpone this weekend of events. We hope to host it soon after the Old Salem Seed Swap in 2015!

Come to the next Appalachian and Piedmont New and Young Farmers Coalition Meeting! Meet with new and aspiring farmers from the region!

Come to the next meeting! The next meeting is Wednesday, October 1 at 7 p.m. at Krankie’s in downtown Winston Salem, 211 East Third st.
WS-NC / 27101 / RSVP to weareallfarmers@gmail.com. We hope to see you there!!

The next We Are All Farmers Permaculture Design Certificate Course starts Jan. 31, 2015!

Learn more and sign up more at>>>>>http://weareallfarmers.org/waaf_pdc

 

Weekend 1, Jan. 31 & Feb.1
Weekend 2, Feb. 28 & March 1
Weekend 3, April 11 & 12
Weekend 4, May 2 & 3
Weekend 5, May 16 & 17

Pole Barn Workshop–see a video of a pole barn in action!

Hey! We have a pole barn workshop coming up in November limited to 10 people! Reserve your slot now! Here is our instructor Barron Brown in action! Hang on to the end to see a magnificent barn going up!

Lots of new recent items!

Now accepting applications for the (1) available full work exchange for the We Are All Farmers Spring 2015 Permaculture Design Certificate Course.

Contact weareallfarmers@gmail.com for an application!

We Are All Farmers Spring 2013 Certificate graduates! Hurrah!

We Are All Farmers Certificate graduates! Hurrah!


Two Upcoming Workshops with Barron Brown


1. Pole Barn Construction/21st Century Timber Framing Start to Finish Nov. 15 & 16, 2014. Limited to 10 participants.

Hands-on learn to construct a two-story pole barn in two days, start to finish: $230

Free camping on site. Breakfast & lunch provided both days.

$100 to reserve your spot, $130 due the day of the workshop.

Cash, check, money order, or PayPal.

We Are All Farmers, 283 Coolbrook Road, Union Grove, NC 28689, phone: 704 592 2557, weareallfarmers@gmail.com

More details to follow.

We’ll explore how to utilize small trees for framing buildings.

Barron Brown

Barron Brown

2. Hog Slaughter Workshop with Barron Brown, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; depending on interest, potentially a repeat workshop on Sunday, Dec. 7.
Learn the basics of hog slaughter. Contact wearefarmers@gmail.com for more details.


More about Barron Brown

Barron Brown. He is an expert on homestead animal slaughter, most recently demonstrating and teaching the slaughter of a domestic buffalo. He also teaches timber framing, post and beam construction, log cabin construction widely at conferences and gatherings. He currently works as a sculptor, welder and builder, as well as teaches carving, blacksmithing, and building. He lives on a homestead with his family in Yancy County, NC.


RSVP to the Open Seeds Network Seed Celebration & Convergence, Sept. 27 & 28, 2014 at We Are All Farmers!

RSVP by following this link:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dG5EWnBvZTVjYjFra0pZYkQ5ZHFBSlE6MA

Tent camping available for free on site. Potluck lunch on Saturday.

The goal of the OPEN SEEDS NETWORK CONVERGENCE AND CELEBRATION is to create a network of like-minded seed stewards in our region, to plan for continued seed stewardship and convergence, and to celebrate the seed!
The OPEN SEEDS NETWORK SEED CONVERGENCE AND CELEBRATION is free or donation only, however if you plan to attend or participate in any of the events, you must RSVP to weareallfarmers@gmail.com
If you plan to attend and tent camp, you must RSVP to weareallfarmers@gmail.com.
Tent camping on site limited to first 10 tents. Additional tent camping available for a fee in Union Grove.
Meals not provided. Camping available for full weekend participants.

OPEN SEEDS NETWORK SEED CONVERGENCE AND CELEBRATION
Weekend Schedule

Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014

 9 a.m. – 1 pm.

Food Forest Design & Hands-on Black Walnut Guild Practicum with Edward Marshall of We Are All Farmers

Learn the basics of Food Forest design. Work together on the Black Walnut Guild. Discuss the basics of trees from seed.


1 PM: POTLUCK

Please bring a dish to share.


2 p.m. – 3 p.m., Become part of the Open Seeds Regional Living Seed Bank:

Why and How to Save Seeds People-to People

3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Seed Saving Basics & Knowledge Share
Along with an overview of DIY seed saving basics participants also share knowledge of seed saving
5 p.m.- 6 p.m. Know your Wild Seeds.
7:00 p.m. Dinner on your own and eat your seeds! Roast seeds on an open fire to share!

Sunday Morning, Sept. 28, 2014
8 a.m. – 9 a.m Shared Granola breakfast: Eat your seeds! Bring edible seeds to share for making our own granola!

9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Seed stories and Moderated Seed Swap. Eric Jackson will also share lessons learned from his participation in the Red Semillas Libres (Seed Freedom) Conference in May 2014 in Brazil
Participants tell the stories of the seeds they brought to swap.
Seeds are distributed to morning participants and also noted in a large chart for swapping again in 2015.

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Regional Stewarding of the Seed Ceremony.
In an effort to regionalize and create deep knowledge of a seed, one kind of seed will be distributed to weekend participants to grow and steward over the next year. At 2015’s Seed Convergence and Celebration, participants will meet to tell the story of this seed and to redistribute the seed.

2014’s Featured Regional Seed to Steward: the Menominee Squash.
The Emkwana/Menominee Squash, a regionally adapted version of this old landrace squash from the northern mid-west of the US.

squash1


Farmers and producers!!

Take our survey to let us know

what kind of value-added facility

we need for our region!!

The goal of the survey is to find out needs, discover potential allies and partners, and to find a working group to work together on feasibility and potential next steps.


In conversation at the new group Appalachian and Piedmont New and Young Farmers along with subsequent meetings with local CSAs, chefs, farmers, and extension agents, the folks at We Are All Farmers and our commercial operation Pockerchicory Farms have decided to pursue gathering wider information and support for a multi-use value-added production or kitchen facility located in the Appalachian or Piedmont regions of North Carolina, with special attention to trained, staffed value-added meat, dairy, and plant production components.


The data collected in this survey will be used as a starting or continuation point for refining a description of a value-added facility to incubate and boost the potential of our regions’ farmers, chefs, and retail stores.


Please spread the word and fill it out online:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1rLu8DQ_3r5gVOBE11EzRoXPP_DQlfALs0Nj7SstfbN8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link


Come to the next Appalachian and Piedmont New and Young Farmers Coalition Meeting!

Come to the fourth meeting! The next meeting is Wednesday, August 6 at 7 p.m. at Krankie’s in downtown Winston Salem, 211 East Third st.
WS-NC / 27101 / RSVP to weareallfarmers@gmail.com. We hope to see you there!!


 

We Are All Farmers Permaculture Institute Permaculture Design Course Dates Spring 2015

Learn more and sign up more at>>>>>http://weareallfarmers.org/waaf_pdc
Weekend 1, Jan. 31 & Feb.1
Weekend 2, Feb. 28 & March 1
Weekend 3, April 11 & 12
Weekend 4, May 2 & 3
Weekend 5, May 16 & 17

Congratulations to sow Misty May on her 13 piglets!

We Are All Farmers provides education and farm intern opportunities to Animal Welfare Approved pastured livestock farm Pockerchicory Farms. Pockerchicory Farms’ sow Misty May just had 13 piglets on Father’s Day!

 

Videos of the piglets!

FREE Permaculture Blast & Potluck Saturday June 21 at Garinger High School

These cool folks…..

We Are All Farmers Permaculture Design Certificate Course

will teach 6 hours of hands on permaculture at Garinger High School June 21, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for FREE!!

Here is the agenda. Please plan on attending the full day if you can
We Are All Farmers Permaculture Institute Permaculture Blast at Garinger High School Friendship Gardens, 1100 Eastway Dr, Charlotte, NC 28205
9:00 – 10:00 Overview of Permaculture (Edward & Crystal Marshall– morning starts promptly at 9!
10:00 – 11:00 Hands-On Sheet Mulch in a Keyhole Design
11:00 – 12:00 Site walk and feedback on ideas based in permaculture
12 – 1:00 Potluck– Please bring a dish to share!!
1:00 – 2:00 Hands on planting of Fruit Tree Guilds in the Sheet Mulched Keyhole Design
2:00 – 3:00 Urban Friendly Compost Bin
3:30 Wrap Up

Register at this link:

https://docs.google.com/a/vt.edu/forms/d/1fnOMYFoJL3cCEUm-5wtG61IsunH5MjDwrbuzIE87exE/viewform

Space is limited to first 50 participants who RSVP!

The day will feature key elements from the full designs below. These designs were provided pro bono for Garinger High School spring 2014 by We Are All Farmers Permaculture Institute permaculture design certificate course students.

See you there!!

Congratulations to the 2014 We Are All Farmers PDC Graduates!

We Are All Farmers Permaculture Design Certificate CourseWe were so glad to have these awesome folks make their permaculture design certificate journey with We Are All Farmers!

Check out their videos of their designs and talents below!

As part of the standard curriculum for an approved Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC), students must work in teams to create permaculture-based designs. At We Are All Farmers, students create designs of service for a site in need. This year the site was Garinger High School’s Friendship Gardens project in Charlotte, NC:

Many photos from the We Are All Farmers Spring 2014 Permaculture Design Certificate Course on view here>>>>

See sample videos of these presentations below from three separate teams.

Plant Beds and Design

Raised beds and mulch

Keeping it Simple in Permaculture

Chicken tractors, plant rotation, tubers

Designs from the Team, The “Hopportunists”

Creating Community in Permaculture

Raised beds by color coding.

Varied Growing Methods & Gathering Areas

Trellises + Microclimates

Setting up functional areas in a permaculture design and a rain garden

 Solar security and classroom spaces

Chicken Tractors

 

As part of the standard curriculum for an approved PDC, students must participate in a talent show their last evening….celebration is an important part of permaculture! We must also celebrate ourselves and our talents! Check out a few videos of the recent graduates below!

Sam plays amazing bass!

Bryan sings a song from his favorite movie!

 

The We Are All Farmers Permaculture Institute hosts a hands-on permaculture design certificate course of service to the Appalachian and Piedmont regions over five weekends Jan – May. 2014’s students produced designs pro bono for Friendship Gardens, a high school in Charlotte, NC.

On June 21, 2014 We Are All Farmers Permaculture Design Certificate students will follow up their designs with installation of key elements in a 25+ person Permaculture Blast (free workshop) for the community. See presentations of two designs below.

Pockerchicory Farms featured on the Weather Channel!

Our commercial partner farm Pockerchicory Farms was featured on the Weather Channel! Click the photo for the video! Thanks so much to producers Lacey Smith and Danielle Banks for braving that odd icy day in March to visit with us!

 http://www.weather.com/video/the-pigs-are-our-partners-47897

We are also the front page of a recent print edition of the Salisbury Post! But we are quoted also in the online edition talking about healthy soil: http://www.salisburypost.com/article/20140504/SP01/140509882/0/SEARCH&slId=2