About Orchestra Farms
Our body is that of this greater Planet. As we tend this Earth and join in the rhythm and cycles of nature, so do we deepen our own sense of Belonging.
Orchestra Farms is a natural playground for deepening relationship and curiosity with plants and the health of soil.
The journey from an idea into a lush oasis of abundance!
Orchestra Farm's humble beginnings started in 2016 when Reed was made a generous invitation to farm on an unused field in the lower acreage of the original Bullock Estate on Salt Spring Island.
The first year was full of the arduous labour of building soil & beds, turning soil, and truckload, upon truckload of sheep manure from the upper pastures. A (nearly) 100ft greenhouse was donated to the project (which collapsed under snow weight the second winter) and another 50ft greenhouse set up within the same timeframe and seeds sown to grow the first yield. This first year was full of experiments and learning the natural ways of the land.
One very unique quality being the abundance of flowing water.
With a seasonal runoff from the hill beside the farm, there is enough water to keep 75% of our beds fed during the spring/summer/fall! The second-year trenches were dug beside all the beds and snaking through the greenhouses so the natural flow could irrigate our crop... amazing indeed.
This created an Oasis environment when many lands as close as across the street were parched. We have now lain some big 'O' piping and covered with drain rock or woodchips to create greater ease in tending.
We have wanted to take a different social approach to the farm. Enjoying spending time with friends while doing farm tasks. The second-year we implemented occasional "Best Day Ever" to gather friends to connect with us and the land while tending the garden and share a meal. In the third year there was a "Family Plan" introduced to bring more nourishment to the farm and the lives of those tending it. For this four hours a week of tending was requested to share in the abundance. Part of this abundance is the experience of being with the lushness of the farm, and the social connections, along with produce.
In 2020, our plans were interrupted by covid, as so many. With a request to limit peoples involvement, our social agenda really took a hit. Thank fully we manage to bring in another family to continue tending the Orchestra with us, and a few good friends popped in along the way to make it something special.
Here now in 2021, with the growing season about to burst. We find out rhythms with creating long lasting mixed berry patches, with a mixed understory. the nursery will be expanded, and trials with chestnut, hickory, pecan, pawpaw, kiwi, apple and more will continue. And the will be mixed veggie patches to provide the bulk of our veggie needs for the year.
Our objective is to embrace Tending and play, Regeneration and connection. Acknowledging the life, from microbial to megafauna, the sacred and our obligation to be in a clear minded and heart space to cultivate foods, medicines, and generations of well adapted resilient beings of place.
Reclaiming our place in the village of life.
Ready to join us in the dirt?
"Best Day Ever" Community Farm Play
Bi-Monthly Farm Play
Bi-monthly opportunities for the extended community to come share the fun of tending the land together. It is also an opportunity to enjoy the rejuvenating nature of the farm.
Potato hoe down
Every year a lively community gathering is held where folks of all ages and skill levels come out to the potato patch to get their hands in the earth. The treasure hunt of this starchy crop never ceases to get boring. Laughter, music, and squeels of delight fill the farm!