The Granary was a derelict building on a dirt road in 2003 when we decided to convert the property into a welcoming commercial and retail space. At the time there was absolutely no soil and not a tree on site - only asphalt and broken rock because for over 60 years it had just been driveways for big trucks to park to load or unload grain. To 'create' soil, we planted fava beans, mustard and vetch. We also brought in manure to lay on top and planted 45 heritage fruit trees - as the blooming orchards of the Valley of Hearts Delight were gone. As the plants grow up, the roots grow down, breaking up the soil and also fixing or adding nitrogen a major nutrient for plant growth.
As of May 2023, all of the plants and trees that you see on the site are just 18 years old or less, and none have been sprayed or fertilized. It has just been soil improvement with the cover crops! In the first few years after planting, the trees struggled in the barren broken parking lot until we started the short annual cover cycle. Planting a cover crop in the fall and then in the spring cutting it down and leaving the roots in tack with no tilling to add organic matter to the soil.