What is Rainbow Grove?

Rainbow Grove is many things…

  • Research Farm
  • Conservation Site
  • Wildlife Refuge
  • Education Site
  • Homestead
  • 1/2 Acre Nursery
  • 1/2 Acre Garden
  • 3 Acre Food Forest
the entrance to our new 3 acre food forest

Our Practices

lupin and foxglove take the show in our wildflower garden

Regenerative

We have the soil food web in mind with everything we do.

We love building soil and helping the things that depend on it. Sometimes that means leaving dead plants in place to be utilized by native wildlife as shelter for the winter. Other times that means broadforking an area so that we can help new plants get established.

We spread seedballs containing seeds of low growing perennial groundcover plants like white clover and creeping thyme on the paths we mow, so that there will always be something growing there to protect the soil.

No-Till

We treat the biology in the soil as best we can and aim for minimal to no disturbance.  We’ve never used a tractor, BCS, or tiller.

We generally use a broadfork for new bed systems, casting seedballs for seeds, a hand-held drill for small plants, a 2-hand auger for small trees, and sometimes a shovel for larger bareroot trees.

Other than that, we rely on leaves, woodchips, biochar, compost, worms, fungi, and the plants themselves to maintain a healthy soil structure.

No-Spray and No-Kill - A Biodiverse Ecosystem

We use zero herbicides, zero fungicides, and spray nothing designed to kill or even deter any form of life.

We believe the best thing to do to help a plant out is to multiply the biodiversity of our native ecosystem. 

We increase our biodiversity in 2 main ways:

  1. By having a diverse collection of plants that in turn support a wide variety of native species.
  2. By spreading the microbial diversity in leaf mould, fungal inoculated wood chips, compost, and compost tea.

Compost

We make our own compost on site and it has 100% ground contact with our native soil, so it’s automatically inoculated with local spores and other forms of native microbial life.

The bulk ingredients include municipal leaf mould, alpaca manure, horse manure, and the clippings from mowing our paths all of which are free and abundantly available in our area.  Our Compost stimulators are organic kelp meal and Bocking 14 comfry grown nearby.  We also throw in as much biochar as we can while maintaining the appropriate carbon/nitrogen ratio.  We choose not to use cow manure because our local dairies either throw the babies in little igloos and keep them in there their whole life for veal or simply kill them and throw them in the trash.

These ingredients are initially HOT COMPOSTED, turned and mixed as well as we can on day 1 and then again on day 2, 3, 5, 8, and 13 (thanks Fibonacci).  We then let the pile sit for a few months or more before we use it.  This method tends to sterilize most pathogens, and seeds, allows it to cool to an ideal temperature, and allows native biology to  re-establish itself.

Aerated Compost Tea

We make our compost tea in a 5 gallon homemade airlift vortex bioreactor.  We put in about 4 gallons of water from our local brook, half a gallon of sifted compost, and a handful of organic kelp meal. We do that in the early morning and spray the lot of it in the late evening the following day, allowing the mixture to brew for around 36 hours.

For foliar fungal issues like leaf curl and powdery mildew, we will add a small amount of homemade sauerkraut and cashew yogurt.

 

We live here...​

...amongst the Douglas firs and oak groves

We’re a handful of artists, musicians, designers, and innovators interested in permaculture, food forests, wildlife, and ecological succession. 

We’re dedicated to building healthy soil, planting trees, and living a regenerative lifestyle.

...in a Rainbow Valley

It often rains heavier in the northeast of our beautiful valley while the sun in setting in the southwest, flowering this area with countless rainbows 🌈🌈.

A rich white settler around 1850 appropriated the name Mohawk Valley (from a valley in his home state of New York) six years before the Pe-u band of the Kalapuyans who once resided here were forced out of the valley and onto a reservation.

We don't know how the Pe-u band referred to their beautiful rainbow-filled home, but perhaps they also would've preferred the name Rainbow Valley to the one contrived by colonizers who stole their land.

Our Food Forest

It's Growing

It’s an infant with sequoia sized aspirations.

It’s all planned out with tposts, wire, and irrigation in place, just waiting for more plants and waiting for 100+ years of change and  ecological succession.

rainbow above our new 3 acre food forest