At Croft Farm, nature farming is an approach and an aspiration. Guided over the years by streams of perspectives on ecological ways to grow food, all streams are taking us to a notion of letting nature be the farmer.
Any farming is on a continuum of degrees of human control. Nature is ultimately in control. The “Do-Nothing Farming” of Masanobu Fukuoka is closest to our ideal of nature farming:
- no ploughing or turning of the soil
- no fertilizers or prepared compost
- no pesticides (weeds and bugs are not our enemies)
- no unnecessary weeding or pruning
Many have guided us with what not to do. Moreover, they have shown ways to grow food described as natural, organic, intensive, biodynamic, polyculture, permaculture, sustainable, regenerative, and so on.
These methods provide ways to prepare soil, means to boost fertility with additives and amendments, offer arrangements and architectures and appliances to advantage plants, and light, and water and wind, and interventions to deter or eliminate plants considered ‘weeds’ and insects and other creatures considered ‘pests’.
These can help, in the beginning. Thereafter, following nature’s succession, we need only keep the land open to nature, assure supply of organic matter and seeds, and cooperate with the seasons of weather. As Fukuoka tells us, “Serve nature and all is well.”
Releasing the ‘control’ paradigm and paradox is returning Croft Farm toward Fukuoka’s original principles. His admonition that instead of asking what if we do something, we ask what if we don’t do something? It lead us to how to do Fukuoka’s ‘do-nothing’ farming.
A fundamental nature farming approach is grounded in, well, what happens on the ground. Living matter above falls and becomes food for living matter below, or is the seed of living matter, transforming what we think of as dead matter into living matter. Living organisms in the soil are essential for seeds to succeed. We can do no better farming than to supply soil organisms with organic matter and seeds, to cultivate an abiding trust with nature.
Certainly, human ingenuity can invigorate the ecology to improve conditions for nature to grow our food. But, we cannot improve nature. Farming with nature improves us. Farming at home reclaims the nature of food, and the nature of being human.
Determined to trust Fukuoka’s principles, it took Croft Farm only a few years , with merely forest soil, manure and wood ash, and letting nature grow, to enjoy an abundance of wholesome food…with much less work than the many ‘methods’ tried before. Others might learn from what we’ve learned.
We are available here on Vancouver Island to offer consultation and planning for home-scale farming through the principles of nature farming. Whether you’ve never grown food, or are already versed in agroecology, we offer collaborative guidance in nature farming.
Any home can grow some of its food and can supply many of its other needs. In as little as 400 square feet of garden you can grow your own fresh produce throughout the growing season, and possibly all year long. Chickens require as little as 4 square feet per bird. A milk goat could be raised on a suburban lot. A flock of sheep can be raised on an acre. Croft Farm shows how just one acre can yield much of your meat, eggs, dairy, fruits and vegetables. With a nature farming design, all this food can be raised while you support the long-term quality of the land.
Croft Farm Nature Farming can help you get the most of life from your piece of earth. And, make peace with earth naturally.
Croft Farm Nature Farming provides natural solutions for:
- home-scale farming and food production
- small space intensive gardening and edible landscaping
- micro-farm layout with properly managed livestock
- companion tree and plant guild cultivation
- strategic water and land use
- eco-friendly energy modelling
- small home building ecology
Nature designed and developed Croft Farm with Tom Keenan, and Tom can help you bring your nature farming home to life. Tom is a home farmer, a permaculture designer, an artisan, and a psychologist who well understands natural systems, including people.
Tom will help transform your space and design a farm home with you, with nature, and with your personality and aspirations in mind…and taken to heart.
Croft Nature Farming answers your wishes for the insight and inspiration, and the practical how-to, of down-to-earth living on your own home farm.
“Grow your own food…
it could be habit farming.”