Our homestead; teacher and provider for our path to self sufficiency. Here is where we will continue to provide updates on our experiments in permaculture, agroforestry, and all around homesteading endeavors at our new farm on the high plains of beautiful Southern Colorado.
How We Got here
For years my wife and I had our sights on ditching the city in lieu of a piece of property to fully engage in our homesteading dream. I could literally write a book about the story thus far. Sadly, you'll have to receive the snippets version for now.
In 2020, as most others, we grew exponentially serious. After a financially and mentally exhaustive effort to design and build the farmhouse of the future at Aquarian Acres, plans changed for the better. Months into an in-depth and well traveled homestead search, a property came up that was under budget, had greenhouse, 40 acres, a seasonal creek., and it was somewhat near Aquarian Acres.
It was too goo to be true!
EST. September 2021
We were set on moving in as soon as possible, as we had a tight window of selling our home while closing on our new one. While it was awfully difficult to leave our beloved home and garden in the city we grew up, the outstanding possibilities more than outweighed the fear of moving forward.
Now I wake up every morning with the immaculate sunrise over the glorious mesas of Southern Colorado, my coffee warming my increasingly dutiful hands. This is a surreal feeling, and one in which I have found the immediate and constant inspiration to make our dream farm a reality.
The beginning of a life's work.
It's hard to say where a person may be five years down the road. Heck, six months before our big move we were beginning to feel hopeless that our plans would come together at all! However, the law of attraction is a true universal principle, and through years of planning and working hard, we have finally set foot on the ground floor of our farming aspirations.
To call an endeavor "a life's work" before any amount of success may seem foolish. But to steward and cultivate a large piece of land is indeed more than enough work for one modest soul. In that journey is certain to be found strength, peace, and a better understanding of ones place in the cosmos. The beauty is in the work and in-turn, your work in nature will create tangible beauty,
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
Such has been my aim thus far at Arroyo Acres, and I got started as early as quick as I could. The previous owners had a metal sign at the entrance reading "Mean Bean Permaculture". Though they had certainly had difficulties that ultimately had been the end of their Colorado dream farm, some things had been accomplished that helped pave the way for us. Some fruit trees had already been established, and swales had already been dug. With time, observation, and lots of hard work, something will be created worthy of the title "farm".
First things first
Work begun by "chop and drop"ing the brush in the surrounding area and clearing the immense amount of garbage from every corner of the property. As this progressed, I found amazing boulders, decomposing organic matter, and lots of tree shoots!
REality sets in
Living in the high plains has quickly taught me quite a lot. First and foremost I learned that not everything will survive here. The wind is incredible, the dry season lives up to its name, and the deer will eat what does manage to live. My only chance is to be smart, grow only plants that will thrive here, and rely on proven permaculture techniques to build healthy soil.
K . I . S . S .
I am a full believer that the simple life is the best one. Therefore I have devised a straightforward approach to agriculture and I'll stick to it. Though plans may change course over time, I will always be steadfast in execution and optimistic in approach. Just because I live in a desert does not mean it must look like one!
A taste of
the good life!
Our first real harvest.
75 pounds of Bartlett Pears.
The Namesake Arroyo after a rain
I am an avid seed collector, and I had a surplus. I have been preparing for this moment a very long time. To boot, I brought in some reinforcement seeds after moving to ensure moderate success.
I won't share my exact methods or cultivars, unless such information is requested. Rather, I will quickly list the plants that have been transplanted and seeds sown. When I find success I am sure I will share in greater detail.
Pear, plum, cherry, locust, walnut, hazelnut, maple, sea buckthorn, birch, plane, cedar, paw paw, kiwi, elderberry, raspberry, lilac, wildflowers galore, legumes (lupine, vetch, clover), grains (barley, wheat, rye), and more Hopefully I have left nothing out, but time will tell.
I will now patiently await results and just as soon share them. Another part of the first phase was the ordering of many organic bareroot plants, which are expected early next year!