Camino de Paz Orchard – Berry Research – Education Program

Project Overview

FW09-041
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2009: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
Principal Investigator:
Greg Nussbaum
Camino de Paz Farm

Commodities

  • Fruits: apples, berries (other)

Practices

  • Crop Production: crop rotation, cover crops
  • Pest Management: cultural control
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter

    Summary:

    Project Purpose:

    Restore fruit production as a key part of the integrated biodynamic farm.

    Major Work Completed:

    Establishment of cold air corridors, wildlife areas for beneficial insects and animals, enhanced irrigation capability, intercropping and a soil development program.

    Significant Results:

    Measurable change in cold air flows, reduction in the size of the farm’s frost zones, major improvement in beneficial predators.

    Impacts:

    Vibrancy has been restored to the farm. Visitors and instructors comment on the power of mutually-supportive and integrated features boosting production.

    Fostering sustainable agriculture:

    The Camino de Paz Farm & School is an educational facility serving adolescents and adults. It consists of a middle school and a fully functional, diverse, biodynamic farm. A core part of the curriculum is for the students to run the farm and its programs – experiencing the profit and loss and day-to-day challenges of agriculture and community work. The students produce as much of their own food as possible. They take their surplus to the Santa Fe Farmers Market 52 weeks per year. Their businesses include: pastured poultry (meat and layer), goat dairy (milk, cheese, soap), market garden farming, fiber sheep and goats, and finished fiber arts. In addition, the arm serves the greater community as an environmental learning center by hosting six weeks of summer camps, biodynamic farming conferences and permaculture and sustainability workshops.

    Project objectives:

    *Correct systemic imbalance that has impeded past efforts for increased production.

    *Restore fruit production as a key component of the biodynamic farm organism.

    *Install wildlife corridors and reintroduce beneficial insects and animals.

    *Conserve soil and improve the aquifer.

    *Promote good community farming practices.

    *Increase added value production and farm viability.

    *Enhance marketability and return on farm production.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.