Welcome, everyone! Laughing Bird Farm is a small homestead in North Alabama. We are in zone 7a, with hot, humid summers and (usually) mild winters. We are just beginning our farm and will design it using permaculture principles. We hope to have a working homestead that can provide at least one income in the next couple of years.
The farm was purchased in the last part of 2013, so homesteading efforts have thus far been minimal. We’ve managed to move in and empty out (most) of the boxes, but any major efforts will have to wait until the coming of spring. This has thus far been the most brutal winter I’ve ever experienced in the south and it’s been far too cold to work outside.
Who We Are
Kelly has a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and will be creating the majority of the design, as well as taking care of the mushroom patches and teaching permaculture courses. Rebecca will do much of the gardening. Baby T is focusing on learning to crawl, and thus will not be helping with the farm anytime soon!
What We Hope to Do
We hope to get our farm up and running as fast as possible. We want to produce enough food from the land to be at least partially self-sufficient. We would also like to generate enough income for one of us to stay home and work the land full-time within a couple of years. In addition, we hope to demonstrate the potential permaculture holds as a viable solution to the many problems facing our society.
Here are our primary goals for 2014:
- Plant a large enough annual garden to help supply many of our family’s vegetable needs.
- Plant at least 50% of our food forest. The food forest will contain a minimum of 15 trees and at least twice that many shrubs and vines.
- Grow enough herbs to sell the excess in both fresh and dried form.
- Start an oyster and a shiitake mushroom patch.
The biggest challenges, as with most such ventures, are money and time. We have a small child and busy lives; that limits us on time. As for money, we are doing this solely out of our own resources, and since those resources are fairly modest, progress will likely be slower than we would like.
What We’ve Done Thus Far
Not much, as mentioned above. We’ve ordered all of our garden seeds and the first shipment of fruit trees and berry bushes. Most of the seeds are in; the trees and bushes should be in around the end of February. We already have a peach tree (Contender) and a plum tree (Methley) and these are varieties coming soon: Sweet Cherry (Starkrimson), Pawpaws (Mango and Sunflower), Raspberries (Anne and Caroline), Blackberries (Triple Crown), and Blueberries (Misty, Pink Lemonade, Blueray, and Sweetheart).
What This Blog Is For
I (Rebecca*) intend to use this blog as a record of our progress. It will be a diary of the creation and operation of our farm, and a way to interact with our customers and the public at large.
*I will usually be the one posting. Posts by Kelly will be denoted as such.