Taproot Farm is located in Hampshire County, West Virginia – two miles outside of the town of Capon Bridge (30 minutes west of Winchester, Va.). The farm is a small portion of the original 400-acre land grant secured by Thomas Edwards in 1750 – and surveyed by young George Washington that same year.
The land has been farmed for more than 250 years. Consequently, much of the soil’s vitality is sapped. Organic nutrients and minerals have been extracted and our job now is to enhance the soil with compost, minerals, nitrogen-fixing cover crops, and livestock manure.
The property is blessed with ample water, flat terrain and full sun. Situated on the banks of the Cacapon River, a wet-weather creek (and waterfall!) bisect our land. We plan to add farm ponds for irrigation and livestock watering.
Our stewardship plan for the farm includes restoration of a 3-acre woodland – our “carbon sink”- and expansion of the riparian buffer by planting native trees, bushes and grasses along the river and creek.
The area is full of wildlife – river otters, muskrats, bald eagles, foxes, turtles, snakes, ducks, turkeys, coyotes, bears and, of course, whitetail deer. Our challenge is learning to protect our agricultural crops without going to war with the critters that lived here before we arrived. Creative fencing, a farm dog and deer management practices will help us coexist with the natives.
Our goal is to create a farmstead that allows us to; enjoy a healthy lifestyle, eat organic food year-round, sustain our family financially, improve the quality of the land and share the farm experience with others.
“I believe that the community — in the fullest sense: a place and all its creatures — is the smallest unit of health and that to speak of the health of an isolated individual is a contradiction in terms.” — Wendell Berry
A recent source of our inspiration- check out this video
We are so inspired by the movement towards a small-scale, local, land-based economy and lifestyle. The following is a clear and thoughtful discussion of what it means to create the “Good Life” (more life) out of less fuel, less income, less land. What an inspiration!!!! Richard Heinberg discusses these things while taking us on a tour of his 1/4 acre oasis. Well worth watching. Enlightened Simplicity