4-Acre Permaculture Orchard Flourishes Without Using Fertilizer for 6 Years

Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles and can do wonders for your farm. 

Canadian farmer Stefan Sobkowiak purchased a commercial apple orchard 22 years ago. He had the intention of farming his land based on 100%  organic principles.

 In 1996 his orchard was certified and in 2007, he took it to a whole new level and transformed his 4-acre farm into a permaculture inspired “U-Pick” orchard. The orchard is thriving with fruits and vegetables including 18 cultivars of pears, 100 cultivars of apples Asian pears, plums, cherries, peaches, paw-paws, hardy kiwi, redcurrant, blackcurrant, grapes, mulberries, gooseberries, saskatoon berries, raspberries, strawberries, and a range of herbs and spices.

Miracle Farms whole aim is to promote maximum diversity of insect, plant and animal species, focusing on creating many micro-ecosystems with in a larger ecosystem. You can expect a high population of pollinators and other beneficial insects and birds that help control pests from this method of garderning and cultivation. A good, healthy and rich population of eco-beneficial animal and symbio-insect species increases yields  and greatly reduces the amount of maintenance work normally necessary in conventional orchards.

Teacher, biologist, and master of landscape architecture, Stefan Sobkowiak,  has taught fruit production, and landscape design at Montreal’s McGill University. He was able to use his experience in these subjects to create the permaculture design for Miracle Farms.

Just under an hour, southwest of Montreal, Miracle Farms has become one of the largest and most developed examples of permaculture orchards in North America. The orchard sells to 30-80 families with the goal of reaching 100. The property is about 12-acres in total, with approximately 4 acres used for the permaculture orchard.

Stefan says spots that benefit from the sun are used to grow cucumbers, beans, and peas. Once a variety is established, the insects and animals appear to help protect the plants continue to flourish. Stefan once counted around 36 species of animals and insects that made a single tree their home, and more than 100 insects on a single branch. With the help of the insects and animals that have made his orchard home, Stefan has not used fertilizer in over 6 years.

There are also bees kept on the farm, with 23 now in total. The bees have an abundance of food because of the orchard’s vast biodiversity.

The beautiful array and varied abundance of healthy plants and trees providing  fruits and vegetables on this small 4-acre farm is a perfect example of the benefits of permaculture farming. By following simple and efficient permaculture principles, anyone can create a beautiful, healthy, living farm on their land.

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4-Acre Permaculture Orchard Flourishes Without Using Fertilizer for 6 Years 4-Acre Permaculture Orchard Flourishes Without Using Fertilizer for 6 Years Reviewed by Admin on 18:34:00 Rating: 5
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