At Cowhorn, our current thinking is to leave some areas untouched and to “landscape” other areas. For example, we are tending our ditch bank to allow the native grasses and flowers to grow. Our “landscaping” includes removing the invasive blackberries, so that the natives can re-establish themselves.
In other areas, our landscaping is more structured. For example, by Blocks 6 and D we are building a rock wall and will plant a maple tree so that we will have shade in the years to come. Yet a third approach to honoring the natural environment involves creating corridors for bugs and small animals to use as highways through the farm.
A tour of Cowhorn would show habitat breaks throughout the farm that serve this function. For our aviary friends, we built a series of perches to allow them to travel from the mountainside to the river without harm. Our experiences so far have shown us that by working with these spaces respectfully, vitality and surprises result!