About RFA

goats grazing pond bermHere is a tentative outline of what to expect and skills that you will learn. This is a rare opportunity to learn from the ground up what it takes to take a plot of land and turn it into a farm while simultaneously learning to walk softly on the earth. For more information please contact Mary@10KSanctuary.com

January
mary seeding flat
Spring garden and guild planning
Planting potted and bare root trees and shrubs
Planting asparagus and horseradish (rhizomes/crowns)
Making soil mix for seed starting
Making and caring for soilblocks
Cuttings and grafting
Pruning and timber harvest
Transplanting wild trees and shrubs
Ordering/buying seeds (how to interpret variety descriptions and choose varieties that are most likely to do well here)
Frost protection strategies
Winter building projects

February

Planting potatoes
Transplanting onions and other alliums
Seeding (soilblocks and community pots)
Frost protection strategies
Winter building projects
Direct seeding root crops
Pruning and timber harvest
Planting and transplanting bare root, potted and wild trees and shrubs
Potting on soilblocks
Ordering/buying seeds and garden planning
Starting your own sweet potato slips

March and April
pasturecropsquashandstuff
Growing annual/biennial food crops
Direct seeding and/or soilblocks
Cucurbits: 3 1/2” pots and/or direct seeding
Succession planting for a continuous food supply
Milpa/“Three Sisters” style gardening (polyculture)
Planning for the hottest part of summer: hay-making and food crops that can still feed you and/or your livestock
Organic disease and pest control methods and looking at your garden as a system (pests as symptoms; how to recognize and address causes, not just symptoms, to improve garden health)
Frost protection strategies
Care of annual/biennial food crops
watering
feeding/amending with sprays, mulching, and/or top dressing with a mind towards achieving a balanced, resilient system
perpetual harvesting of salads and greens
other crop-specific considerations and recommendations for care and harvest (hilling, thinning, trellising/support, etc.)
Planting potted trees and shrubs
(April-May)
Planting and caring for sweet potato slips
Planting ginger, Jerusalem artichoke, and jicama (spring-planted tuberous rhizomes)

June

Heat protection strategies
Water conserving strategies
Unhappy plants: What to do in various circumstances to build resilience and keep your garden going
Harvesting grains and cover crops seeds (some, like winter legumes, will be ready earlier)
Seed saving
Caring for seed-started natives, trees, shrubs, and fall planted perennials in pots during the summer

July and August
willow on the water
Hotpocalypse!
Water conserving strategies
Heat mitigation techniques
What can still produce food for you and/or your animals and how to care for them during the blazing heat of summer
Fall garden and guild planning
Making soil mix
Seed-starting in soilblocks and 3 1/2” pots
Summer pruning
Seed saving
Herb drying
Building projects (finishing any winter tasks left uncompleted, especially those relevant to the fall gardening season)
Making raised beds
Propagation (mulberries and other summer-collected cuttings and perennial seeds)
Caring for seed-started potted trees, shrubs and perennials
Fall potato planting (August)
Garlic and onion harvesting and curing (begins in June)
Hard squash care, harvesting and curing
Potting on fall brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) and nightshades

September

Fall garden and guild planning and site preparation
Direct seeding, soilblocks, and transplanting annual and biennial food crops
Potting on fall brassicas and nightshades
Heat mitigation and water conserving strategies
Harvesting and curing hard squashes
Revisiting topics from March and April
Thinking about cover crops/green manures for next year’s gardening and/or livestock forage

October
no-tillpasturecrop

Direct seeding root vegetables
Frost protection strategies
Digging and curing sweet potatoes (before first frost)
Harvesting and curing hard squashes
Cover cropping/green manures and pasture/forage planting
Planting strawberries
Planting potted trees and shrubs
Dividing and transplanting crowded perennials
Preparing more tender perennials (ginger, figs, etc.) for winter
Revisiting topics from March and April (pests, care, etc.)
Hay-making for winter
Cuttings for propagation
Direct seeding onions and other alliums for sets
Planting garlic cloves

November

Care of garden plants (pests, amendments, etc.)
Direct seeding root vegetables
Soilblocks: greens and salad
Frost protection strategies
Planting potted trees and shrubs
Transplanting wild trees and shrubs (this is the best time)
Transplanting garlic and multiplying alliums
Cover-cropping/green manures
Maintaining habitat for beneficial insects over winter

December

Winter building projects
Frost protection strategies
Planting bare root, potted and wild-sourced trees and shrubs
Spring garden planning and seed ordering/buying
Making raised beds
Collecting resources like leaves and dead, dried grasses for mulching and/or composting into soil mix material
Soilblocks: salads
Maintaining habitat for beneficial insects
Less Seasonal Skills

Goat care
backyard goats lady loves baby link
trimming hooves, backyard husbandry, rotational grazing strategies, illness prevention and treatment, kidding, etc.
caring for lactating does, milking, cheese-making
Names and habits of wild plants and weeds
Organic polyculture cultivation perspectives and techniques
DIY self-sufficiency/green living projects
Native plant propagation and wildlife gardening
backyard goats adult pbj

Upcoming Activities
late Fall and Winter 2015/16

early-mid November: garlic transplanting

early November-(indefinite): general care and observation of food crops (mostly brassicas)

November-February: Planting of potted and bare root trees and other perennials, possibly some yaupon hedgerows as well

November-February: Construction of pairs of raised beds—includes dead tree removal from woods for filling materials and digging; some sections will be used instead of a hoophouse for early tomatoes, in combination with various other frost protection stategies

November (sooner rather than later): construction of solar/pit greenhouse, construction of earthberm/earthbag barn, and construction of root/storm cellar, solar heaters from cans and other reclaimed materials, chicken pasture and moveable fence sections to keep shepherded goats away from crops

last week of December/first week of January: early tomato seeding/soilblocks

early-mid January: asparagus crowns, horseradish planting

mid-January: soilblocks with spring brassicas, chard, and salad; direct seeding carrots and peas

mid-late January: seeding/soilblocks for main crop tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, and eggplant

mid-January to early February: transplant onion sets, other allium sets

early February: second round of spring soilblocks and direct seeding

February 14: potato planting

mid-late February: seeding native legumes in soilblocks and/or community pots

February, as appropriate for this year’s weather pattern: planting beets, radishes, turnips, dill, fennel, leaf celery

back pasture

Late Fall/Winter Projects (2015/16)
Pit greenhouse
Raised beds/berms
Storm/Root cellar
Earthberm/Earthbag barn
solar heater
Transplanting trees and shrubs from pots and the wild
Timber harvesting
Cedar for posts, barn, moveable fence panels, etc.
Dying oak for crafts, making raised beds
Fallen tree removal (from woods into raised beds/berms)
Rainwater collection
Vegetable washing and processing space
Double or triple sink with water reclamation
Spinner

Other Priority Projects (as resources become available)
Household resource conservation (no well, no city water)
gray water system
composting toilets
solar heating
“Zone 1” permaculture landscaping
shade trees and vines
herb gardens
Smokehouse
Outdoor oven
Electricity generation

baby turtle