Follow All Of The New Developments At Serenbe Farms
When you ask residents and visitors of Serenbe what their favorite part of the community is, you may hear a multitude of different answers, yet most commonly people say they love Serenbe Farms. We totally don’t blame them either - there’s fresh, organically grown produce, composting and beautiful greenhouses full of delicious veggies. Did you know that the farm crew harvests over 60,000 pounds of food each year? Yeah, we think they’re pretty awesome, too!
One of the first of only 103 certified organic farms in the state, Serenbe Farms has thrived since 2004, cultivating 10 acres of land and currently restoring soil on an additional 15 acres. The majority of the 300 varieties of heirloom and hybrid vegetables they produce are marketed through the Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA), as well as supplying local restaurants and farmer’s markets.
Another thing to love about the farm is they’re not only growing our vegetables, they’re also growing the next generation of farmers through their extensive apprenticeship program, classes for adults and children and weekly farm tours. The farm crew is currently looking for their next apprentices, so apply today if interested!
While the farm has been going strong since ‘04, there are some exciting updates to share. The goal of the farm is not only to grow healthy food, but also to support the entire community, from soil, to pollinators, to animals, to neighbors. Their big focus for 2021 is community engagement, so they are honing in on ways to bring more people to the farm.
One way to engage is by sponsoring a tree - that’s right, a whole tree! The farm crew is working hard to plant a fruit tree orchard into Hügelkultur (a horticultural technique where a mound constructed from decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials is later planted as a raised bed) composed of hardwood salvaged from new home lots and compost made from the community. Anyone can sponsor a tree, and have their name (or a loved one’s name) engraved on a plaque that will sit under the shade of the tree for years to come. To make it even more special, you can pick which type of fruit tree you’d like - Shiro Asian Plum, Flander’s Fig, Honeycrisp Apple, Abbe Fetel European Pear, and more!
These trees will beautifully line a new farm walking path that the community can enjoy, as well. While the farm is open to visitors during tours, we’d like to make it a little more walkable and open to residents on a regular basis. So, the new walking paths will be implemented in hopes this will be one more way neighbors and visitors can enjoy visiting, volunteering, and becoming more involved on the farm. The trail will follow the farm layout with gentle walking paths integrated among the vegetable and fruit plantings. “My goal is to create a trail system so my community could enjoy the beauty of the farm. I see it as a way for the farm to give back,” says Ian Giusto, Farm Manager. He says construction will begin soon and the first phase will be completed by the end of next year, so make plans to see more of the farm in 2021.
Another great initiative at the farm is further implementing their composting system. It’s been a great success so far, with community members and restaurants collecting compost just for the farm. They will continue collecting compost, adding it to the construction of their fruit tree orchard and permanent perennial hedge rows, which are an imperative part of the farm. The hedge row system is placed where perennial flowers and shrubs will be grown, supporting local beneficial insects, birds and amphibians. The farm crew is working hard to provide food and habitat for not only residents and the restaurants, but for all forms of life.
That’s the farm update for now, be sure to keep an eye out for these exciting initiatives in 2021. Make plans to sign up for CSA, volunteer to help out, or take a stroll on the future pathways while saying hello to the hardworking farm crew!