Originally published in The Limestone Post:
Tucked in a valley near Lake Monroe stands an unusual three-acre farm. It contains no orderly rows of corn or soybeans but, instead, blends gently into the forest that surrounds it on three sides. At its center is an area of raised beds used for asparagus, strawberries, raspberries, and annual vegetables. Encircling the beds is a double fence that acts as a run for chickens and ducks.
The surrounding hills are terraced and planted with fruit trees, berry bushes, and hazelnuts. Beneath the bushes grow perennial herbs and greens. Intermingled among them are support plants: shrubs that provide nutrients, ground covers that shelter predatory insects, and flowers that feed pollinators.
In a shady grove on one side of the farm stands a pile of logs, covered in netting, growing shiitake mushrooms. Standing low around the poultry run are several greenhouses, full of starter plants for the coming year. Numerous ponds of all sizes are strategically positioned about the farm, attracting dragonflies, frogs, and salamanders.
The farm, Bread & Roses designed and built by Salem Willard, is an example of permaculture.