Edible Acres Permaculture Farm Field Trip – Student Post by Juliet
The summer Integrated Pest Management class had the opportunity to take a field trip on Monday June 19th, 2017 to see Sean Dembrosky’s homestead farm, Edible Acres. Edible Acres is a permaculture farm business and nursery where he plants, cultivates, cares for, harvests, and sells both perennial and annual plants like chestnut trees, currants, wild onions, and cacti. He farms several plots of land throughout the Ithaca area, owned by several different people. This flexibility allows him the opportunity to continually expand his business and experiment with different practices since he is not tied down by the cost of land ownership.
It was a gray, drizzly day on Monday, and the sky threatened to crack and cause a downpour. The weather this spring has been a complete reversal from what we had experienced at this same time last year. In any case, this was farming, and rain or no rain, we were all excited to head out on this field trip. And so, we quickly bundled up into our raincoats and jumped in the van to make the short drive to Sean’s homestead.
When we arrived at Edible acres, Sean eagerly greeted us in the front of his yard. Our class had worked with him previously, because he helped us to create a small nursery and permaculture minded growing space at the farm where we planted our gooseberry, elderberry, and currant bushes. It was during this past workshop that we learned about the true meaning behind the term ‘permaculture’. Coined by its founder, Bill Mollison, permaculture is actually a combination of two words- permanent and agriculture. According to Mollison, Permaculture is an ethically based design system for human habitation that is in harmony with the natural world. Mollison himself states that, “It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing for their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.” For example, pumpkins planted in between hop plants, the ‘Three Sisters’ (corn, beans, and squash) system of planting, or peas trailing up a nut tree would all be examples of permaculture practices. (http://library.open.oregonstate.edu/permaculture/chapter/what-is-permaculture/)