|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Growing food on a mountain

    An experiment called TerraVita is under way in the Greensprings; 'You can't make money just by selling cabbages anymore'
  • Near the Greensprings summit, in the shadow of Hobart Bluff, an experiment called TerraVita Springs is taking shape. The evidence is everywhere: a geodesic greenhouse, fresh wood chips covering a series of footpaths; a terraced slope with artfully arranged rocks and medicinal plants; criss-crossing stacks of oak logs inoculat...
    • email print
  • Near the Greensprings summit, in the shadow of Hobart Bluff, an experiment called TerraVita Springs is taking shape. The evidence is everywhere: a geodesic greenhouse, fresh wood chips covering a series of footpaths; a terraced slope with artfully arranged rocks and medicinal plants; criss-crossing stacks of oak logs inoculated with mushroom spores. And around it, one ambitious deer fence, all 4,700 feet of it tied together with cedar posts harvested from the land itself.
    "I've never been given a flat piece of land with amazing soil," says Jeff Higley. "Every spot has its issues."
    But Higley sees his issues, such as a 90-day growing season, several feet of snow in the winter, and the considerable distance from markets, as opportunities. He and his wife, Elise, bought the 166-acre property with business partner Regina Manian just over a year ago and have spent the last 12 months laying the groundwork for an ambitious vision that combines permaculture, sustainable farming, wild-crafting, herbal medicine and education.
    "We're trying to develop this alternative business model with lots of different income streams that tie into each other," says Jeff. "You can't make money just by selling cabbages anymore."
    These streams may include organic honey, cultivated mushrooms and herbal tinctures. Getting them to flow will take lots of labor, lots of research and, most of all, lots of experimenting. And it has to look good.
Reader Reaction
      • calendar