Green Scene Blog: Spring on Sharondale Farm


Folks, here’s a new post from Mark Jones, who tells us what’s up with his Sharondale Farm and several other projects. Busy guy!

As we break out of the slower winter season here at Sharondale Farm, many new projects are budding on the horizon. With the early warm weather, pruning of the fruiting trees and shrubs has taken priority. We have beautiful nectarine and plum blossoms from the cuttings brightening up the house. Some of the willow prunings are replanted with the intention of growing living structures like a fedge (fence-hedge) and a dome room.

I am almost ready to pour several slabs of concrete, including the floor of a ferrocement cistern that will collect about 3,500 gallons of rain water off the barns. The plan is to grow a small ecosystem with catfish and aquatic plants that will enhance the nutritional value of irrigation water for the garden. This first step in developing a comprehensive water management plan will lead to a small pond and wetland to capture some of the surface runoff that cascades off the property and across the road during heavy rains. More on this as we develop it.

I’ve planned several workshops on growing mushrooms and permaculture. I am also preparing to participate in a professional development workshop about teaching permaculture creatively.

A new local mushroom club is forming–want to be a part of the planning? The first public foray is at the Ivy Creek Natural Area on Earth Day. This event is free and open to all. So if you’re a mycophile and mushroom stalker or always wanted to be one, come on down.

We five farmer-owners of the Firsthand Farmers Cooperative are developing a very interesting and diverse CSA program for this year. We will offer all the delicious and nutritious farm share items from last year: vegetables, herbs, eggs, dairy items, and mushrooms. And we’ll add a variety of other awesome locally produced items including: pastured meats, beautiful flowers, slow roasted coffee, farmstead ferments, and baked bread.

For those of us rooted and growing in our places, our projects blossom to cross-pollinate with other ideas and projects. The seeds of collaboration germinate, growing our interdependence and strengthening the resilience of our communities.