The most important component on a subsistence farm is the nitrogen that feeds your crops. It is also the component most lacking, due to how it reacts within your farms environment. Nitrogen must be generated, composted and redistributed back to where your crops can best utilize them, seasonally. It must also be done within a rotational concept! We never replant our vegetable garden in the same area that we grew on last season. At Past Thyme we strive to stay on a four-year rotation. This gives the ground that we grew on last season the needed time to rest and regenerate. Meanwhile this land will be utilized as pasture for our Meat Birds, Laying Hens, Soay Sheep, Donks and Dogs. Then finally the fall before we plant our garden we will seed a mix of legumes into that area to give the soil one last shot of nitrates.
The animals that we have chosen to live with us at Past Thyme Farm have all been selected based on their cost to support verses their ability to produce nitrate. As we have stated many times . . . For Past Thyme Farm to succeed at sustainability it is very important that every component we put onto our farm, gives back to the farm more that it takes!