Until the 1950s this property was an active dairy farm often supporting extra friends or family during hard times. Here farming ended before conventional practice turned to the routine application of herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizer. Then, the land lay fallow for 50 years. In places the soils were already played-out or swept away, and it needed time to regain a dark layer once again.
The transition to Green Island came with the decision to return the land to some level of productivity and income generation. But, it would be done responsibly, sustainably, and with creativity. Today, we are gradually conducting trials, establishing unique crops, and generating novel services on the land; such as...........
ECOLOGICAL GOODS AND SERVICES:
Green Island began actively conducting carbon sequestration and selling carbon credits in 2007, among the very first in the state.
We are also protecting groundwater and creating unique and enriched wildlife habitats. These are presently marketable ecological services in several european nations, and that time is coming in the US.
FOOD STUFF TRIALS:
We are continually running small trials on berries, fruits and perennials to learn if they can be naturalized on the land. This includes; currants, gooseberries, juneberry, sand cherry, ground plum, aronia, seaberry, apricots, apples, mountain ash, elderberry, nanking cherry, and much more.
Ribes are a special interest since they are ultra-hardy, productive, tasty, and partly pest resistant. U-pick beds are nearly established and plants are also being naturalized across the property.
Small, young, apple orchards are sited across Green Island. Crab apples are being naturalized as a future source of food for both people and wildlife.
We conduct a personal program of propagating special seedlings and cuttings. Most are planted-out on the grounds, some are swapped. One day they may also be sold.
All projects are undertaken with emphasis on sustainability and low ongoing inputs by choosing the right site and the right soils, and by considering plant needs and relationships.
Reestablishing habit started early here. Ponds for waterfowl and amphibians were dug in the 60s and limited tree planting was begun. These are now mature features. The change to GREEN ISLAND brought a deeper commitment illustrated by this philosophy of environmental fellowship ..... ...
Protect the natural capital,
Cultivate environmental diversity.
And shepherd all animal life.
Special emphasis is placed on benefitting small animals with contained territories since these are less impeded or endangered by the surrounding commercial and residential development.
Some unique habitat enhancements include:
• Artificial basking sites for herps
• A fieldstone hibernaculum
• Raptor perches
• A protective bird feeding enclosure
• Extensive tree and shrug plantings
• Introduction of native forbs
New ideas are annually researched and tested with the goal of building a habitat of exceptional richness... a showcase of rejuvenated bounty and diversity