Around the Red Barn

Around the South (front), North (back), West (left) and East (right) sides of the red barn, you will discover the following:

Irises, Lilly of the Valley and Elderberries: Fragrant Bearded German Irises surround the front and east sides of the red barn. Lily of the Valley are found in the shaded area at the back of the barn, while an elderberry grove is found on the barn’s west side. Red Elderberry shrubs are found throughout the gardens to the south and north of the barn. When ripe, snowshoe hares forage the bottom elderberries, we humans harvest the middle, and the meadow birds help themselves to the tops. Nature can be abundant and luckily there is enough for everyone. Rich in nutrients, Elderberry syrup is best mixed with yogurt or even fresh cold water for a thirst-quenching drink.


Strawberries: Row upon curved row of strawberries multiply in front of the barn. A path leads through strawberry patches, past a picnic area towards the surrounding moss and lichen forest. 


Vegetable Beds: Curved rows of vegetable beds has, for the 2021 season, beets for pickling and borsht, cabbage for sauerkraut, carrots for juice and basil for tomato sauce and omelettes.


Five Centimetres of Soil: Just beyond the curved beds, lettuce vigorously grows on a bed that exposes some of the rock underneath. This area around the barn is comprised of fairly flat Silurian coral with a modest layer of soil on top. Excess water collects within the coral depressions keeping the vegetation well hydrated. The ancient dolomite rock itself is teeming with microscopic life. 


Softub Hügel: A recycled Softub is filled with sticks and stumps from the cleared meadow topped with turf and soil. Used as a nursery in the Spring, it now houses a hardy mix of lettuces.


The Horses: The barn was once a shelter for horses and donkeys. During their stay, their foraging changed the forest environment and produced a treasure trove of rich soil. The surrounding dead trees stand as sentinels left behind from either manure making soil too rich for conifers such cedars, hemlocks and balsam firs, or from the hardwood barks of maple and beech being so tasty. 

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