Thursday, July 18, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Bug Hill Farm: Edible Landscape with Permaculture Roots

Bug Hill Farm is a small, USDA certified organic farm and apiary in Ashfield, MA that demonstrates the success of permaculture techniques.  At Bug Hill Farm, Kate Kerivan cultivates a wide variety of crops, including raspberries, gooseberries, currants, wild and cultivated high-bush blueberries, alpine strawberries, native elderberry and elderflower, native Aronia, and honeyberries.  From the berry crops, wild harvested flowers, and locally produced raw honey and maple syrup, Kate crafts non-alcoholic cordials, shrubs (drinking vinegars.) sauces, and spreads.  Growing fields and an additional 38 acres of forest are managed for the health and well-being of native wildlife and plant communities, with particular emphasis on providing habitat for native pollinator insects.

This season, Bug Hill Farm is embarking on a research project that will employ techniques of agroforestry and permaculture to expand berry production into marginal, forested areas of the property, while managing these areas for the overall health of local forest ecosystems.  The research will include small, experimental plantings of perennial woody berry plants that are common in transitional ecosystems into early-successional forest land in order to determine which cultivation methods will produce the best balance between environmental sustainability and cost of production.  The project’s main research objective is to examine changes in soil quality as a direct effect of experimental land management and cultivation techniques, namely maintaining land in an essentially arrested state of early-successional woodland and utilizing the high-carbon wast produced by such management practices in the construction of Hugelkultur beds.  Join Kate to learn more about this highly productive edible landscape.  $20 for Ecological Landscaping Association members, $25 for non-members.  Register by calling 617-436-5838 or register on line at