We develop non-harming, plant-centered, wild-hybrid food systems that facilitate wildlife habitat, and along the way, we offer safe haven to farmed animals to live out their lives as active parts of these systems. Currently, 109 Khacki Campbell ducks live in our barn, and happily roam and forage daily in the permaculture orchard. SHO Farm spans 1300 acres in Vermont’s Camels Hump Watershed.
We’ve developed a farming pattern that mixes wild edibles with cultivated perennials. Re-wildling agriculture harvests are ‘conciously foraged’, mapping and propagating wild plants and mushrooms indigenous to our region, but doing so alongside deliberately-placed cultivars, deep phenology, and using the right equipment for the job. Focussing on nutrient-density, unique flavors, and ease of cultivation, we’re leaning toward the wild side of meeting our food needs more and more all the time! You can attend a private workshop to learn about rewilding agriculture /wildlife-assisted permaculture. LEARN
*Birds perch on woody perennials in pastures and spread fruit seed through their manure Coyote, bear, and fox eat berries and spread the seeds in their scat. Deer browse at certain times of the day, deposit manure where they browse, and travel mown pathways, thus can make excellent orchard allies. Wildlife not only clean up fruit drops, but can also play a large role in propagating a system over time.
*We have transformed our pastures into pollinator habitat, mowing sections every 2-3 years to regenerate flowering plants, letting wild plantings of plants like elderberry and willow develop. We practice a mowing regime that favors multi-aged stands of plants, so that a myriad of animal, bird, and pollinator needs can be met. We discover new, important plants all the time by NOT mowing, through the power of careful observation.
*Mice and voles use unmown areas as winter habitat, which attracts raptors, fox, bobcat, and coyote to feed on them. Abandoned mouse and vole holes become nesting sites for ground-dwelling bees and concentrate nutrients which ultimately find their way to surrounding plants. The intricate world of soil, plant, water, animal, insect interactions fascinates us, as the learning never ceases, and the potential for more robust life-filled habitat enriches all. PHOTO OF HUGE ELDERBERRY AT THE BASE OF A WOODCHUCK DEN
*Woodland edible and medicinal mushrooms often grow on dead and decaying wood. We’ve developed a forest management plan that leaves woody material on the forest floor parallel to contour, to slow and spread water (thus preventing topsoil and nutrient runoff into valley streams), and to act as a substrate for the many medicinal and edible mushrooms that grow in Vermont’s woods. We also innoculate newly-fallen trees with select mushroom spore.
For more information about our many SHO Farm activities, visit our Facebook page here: link to Melissa Hoffman Facebook
Our ecologically-designed farm campus incorporates solar, wood biomass, composting toilettes, and artful use of local and salvaged natural materials.
Become a Partner
If you would like to partner with us, fill out the form below and one of our staff members will get back to you.