Activities on the farm
All cultivation and production is based on the principles of permaculture and regenerative agriculture, which have stricter operating criteria than today’s Debio-approved organic agriculture.
The premise of regenerative agriculture, with inspiration in the example of nature, is to create closed cycles, so that energy, nutrition, life and other elements are safeguarded in a holistic cycle. This means, for example, rebuilding the ecosystem in the soil so that the earth’s ability to store carbon increases, soil life improves, erosion is prevented and water is absorbed.
Georgiana is a bee-keeper but for the time being we are focussing on establishing optimal habitats for bumble bees – wild bees and insects. With lynx and pine martins in the forest we will need some careful preparation before inviting chickens to join us but we hope to do this in the not-too-distant future.
Georgiana has begun with the establishment of the forest garden, an edible garden developed according to permaculture principles. We’ve been inspired by Jen McConachie in her forest garden knowledge and also by Andrew McMillion and Stephen Barstow from Kvann. Eventually, we envision both the production of spices, herbal teas and other herbal products, and have started with courses and herbal walks led by Mari Jerstad (www.marikaape.no).
In addition, vegetable production will be for our own consumption so that we become self-sufficient in that area. We are pruning and caring for the old fruit and berry garden with apples, plums, blackcurrants, currants and gooseberries for the production of juices, jams, jellies and possibly cider.
Biodiversity: We have begun to register the biodiversity, on the land of Opsal Gard
We have a good collaboration with the farmers that currently bring their mother cows on our grazing meadows. We are also using manure for compost production, but eventually may include some of the old Norwegian milking cows for milk, cheese and other dairy products. This would fit with our vision of self-sufficiency.
When it comes to the forest areas of the farm, our main focus is to re-establish a natural forest that is typical of the place with the greatest possible biodiversity. This means that a larger amount of the current spruce trees will be taken out for both timber and firewood, and the areas grazed and self-planted with a more diverse flora. We aim to do forestry in the most gentle way possible, hopefully with a horse, so that there is no major damage to the forest floor and remaining vegetation. We would like to collaborate with local sawmills on processing timber that can be used for the restoration of the farm.