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Regenerative Agriculture
at Peace Hill Farm

The fields at Peace Hill have been farmed for centuries. While the farm has always been run sustainably, for the last few years, owner Susan Wise Bauer and farm manager Eric Garcia have been working to institute the principles of regenerative agriculture.


Regenerative agriculture aims not just to maintain the land, but to improve it by continually returning vital nutrients to the soil. Instead of monoculture (one crop, such as corn, planted at a time), we aim to plant mixed crops (so, a cover crop of red clover mixed with the corn). Instead of fertilizers and pesticides, we are working to plant crops that can be tilled back into the land, and making use of non-chemical solutions such as compost tea. Rotating mixed groups of livestock (cows, sheep, pigs, poultry) through the fields adds nutrients from manure and improves the soil balance.


In 2023, we’re beginning our biggest experiment yet—taking our two largest fields (around the Bed & Breakfast) back from the farmers who’ve been keeping them open for us by planting them with traditional monoculture crops. For a small farm like ours, farming acreage of this size is a real challenge—but we’re finally ready to give it a try! We’re planning a combination of mixed grazing, pollinating wildflower combinations, and cover crops along with corn and sunflowers. We’re also hoping to establish some traditional hedgerows to divide the fields into grazing paddocks—those will incorporate fruit and nut trees as well as brush plants.


This will be a challenge! Traditional monoculture only farms the top couple of inches of soil, and relies heavily on chemicals, so we have a lot of work to do to restore soil health. And we expect to have a few missteps and failures as we learn. (If you visit, you might be able to see them!) But we’ll keep you posted about our progress on this page, as well as on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.


(from most recent to oldest, read down!)

April 19, 2023. As part of our effort to avoid as much chemical fertilizer as possible, we’re figuring out the best way to compost all the wonderful manure, straw, hay, and wood chips from our barns and stalls. Here’s the trick: Manure tends to have parasite eggs in it. If you spread it on fields that you intend to use for pasture, you run the risk of transferring those parasites right back into the animals that are grazing on it.

March 23-24, 2023. The experiment begins! We're mowing last fall's cotton fields down in preparation to break up the soil and plant our first mixed cover crops.


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