If you thought that having a farm in a cemetery was an exciting way to use space, how about when a former Methodist orphanage now social outreach center decides to turn their lawn space into a bustling farm? Too damn cool.
You know what’s cool? When the head farmer is practicing and applying permaculture design on their farm. Adrien of Heritage farm installed a fruit tree orchard which surrounds the garden beds on this 3 acre plot. Working with the topography of the land, Adrien used the natural 50 foot depression at the bottom of the hill for his benefit. This is where rain naturally runs off of the building and roads too. Utilizing this resource reduces their waste water and increases their productivity. The space is being used to cultivate mushrooms, but not in your ordinary run-of-the-mill-way. The farm receives from local mushroom farmers the mycelium activated sawdust. Mycelium being the roots of the mushroom, its fruit. These are discarded because after two fruitings of producing mushrooms, a third fruiting is possible, but commercially unreliable. By looking to permaculture, Adrien is getting the most out of the land and boosts the farms opportunity for more income.
Fun fact about Adrien? His favorite vegetable is stinging nettles. He wild forages those bad boys, boils them for four minutes and enjoys them as is. How’s that for free fresh wild veggies?
To learn more about Heritage Farm go to: http://heritagefarmphiladelphia.org/