Why “Oak & Ash”?
It’s a question we get asked often. The answer ties us personally to the land, much like how we approach farming.
In Celtic zodiac, people are represented by trees, not mythical creatures. Matthew is an oak tree, and Lindsey is an ash.
It seemed pretty logical from there.
Before we even got married, we dreamed of a farm, of all that it could be; a combination of our skills and experiences, a haven. We knew we wanted to surround ourselves with the abundance of nature and use the resources of the land we chose to create a small, mindful farm. When we found this property, with its wild blueberries, tall white pines and hardwoods on top of a large hill, we knew we had found home and set to work building our house, and then transforming the 7.5 acres lot into a farm, with a mind on respecting the forest.
We knew this was going to be different, different then what most people expect when they think, “farm.” Starting a farm from scratch is a very difficult job, but when working with a small lot, it’s even harder, and more important to do so strategically and mindfully. There was never to be clear-cutting on land to put in pasture and crops, there was to be a symbiotic relationship between forest and farm, hence, we are a Forest Farm. Our approach to farming is based on the philosophy that we are the stewards of this land, it is our job to conserve our property’s natural resources and features over a long period of time, but use it as a working case study for how to shape those resources into a functional farm.
By working with conservation in mind, we are using the principles agroforestry (forest farming), polyculture (growing a variety of crops together, permaculture (focusing on perennials crops over annuals), and ‘no dig’ gardening (you do not till the soil, you do not rotate, you instead feed the soil with layers compost and allow the mycorrhizal network or microbes in the soil to be maintained), to create our forest farm.
Our methods and products may be a little different from other farms, but everything we do, we do with conservation and education in mind. Everything we learn, we hope to share with others, through classes and hands on workshops, through community outreach, cooking demonstrations and unique farm shares that combine the experiences of a farmstead, with the abundance of the land.