Planting Things…

In early March we started digging… the soil has been an interesting combination of sand and silt. The area that will someday be a food forest used to be a horse paddock. After clearing the land we were eager to get some plants in the ground. Tractor Supply in Leesburg and Eustis donated peach trees and apple trees to our project. Bonnie plants sent us a gift card to purchase plants and soil we were able to purchase some peas, squash, okra, blueberry and blackberry plants.

We used a german method of planting, with the soil type we were concerned with root rot and we wanted to ensure proper drainage for our plants. Each area was dug extra deep, we filled the bottom with limbs from trees we cleaned up earlier this year. We added the smaller twigs to the top. We had seen this planting method when we visited Eden Gardens in Jacksonville and we were excited to try it.

Once the logs and twigs were in place we added horse manure and pine shavings from the horses that live next door.

Top soil and plants were next and mulch added to the top . Our plants seem to be really happy in their new home. It’s been encouraging to see the plants take root and grow!

This first little section of plants is special to us. We probably got ahead of ourselves and planted a little to soon.. have I mentioned we don’t have water yet? So our watering methods have been… let’s say creative. I’ll save that for our next update but for now it has been so fun to get our hands dirty and start putting together ideas to open the farm to students in the fall of 2022.

another day at the farm…

Last Saturday was another busy day at the farm. We worked with a number of volunteers to clear the trees that had grown over the road leading to the barn.

The farm was mostly left unused by the property owners for the last 7-10 years. It is incredible to see how nature takes back what belongs to it. The property kept beef cattle and was home to a number of horses. There are multiple fences and gates leading back to the barn where our students will be learning. Trees have grown through metal fencing, palm trees have sprouted in the middle of what used to be a dirt road, and long vines need to be cut back to make the area safe and accessible for our youngest students.

With help of volunteers our board of directors worked hard to preserve the unique beauty that is natural Florida while creating a space that is welcoming and safe for students to come and learn.

With all the extra hands at work the day’s goals were expanded to remove a few small trees from the area next to the barn where we will put a green house that will house our aquaponics system. For every tree that was removed a new tree will be planted in our food forest this weekend. The permaculture project is high on the list and after receiving a donation of 6 fruit trees we are excited to start planting.

It was great to have a few of our older students come help. While our program may not be open to students before these kids graduate seeing them smiling and working together to prepare something for their younger classmates was encouraging.

The nature around the barn is so beautiful. We found signs of wildlife everywhere, not just the farm dogs (see Mack showing us around in the picture below). There are so many learning opportunities even in a simple walk around the property. While the amount of work that needs to be done is overwhelming at times the future is full of excitement and imagining our students adventuring around and learning in nature is the motivating force behind this project.

We are still raising money for our well and electric campaign. If you are able to donate towards our cause we would be so grateful! Thank you!!! CLICK HERE TO DONATE or use the form below.


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Cleaning Up the Old Barn

Legacy Foundation board members spent the day beginning clean up projects at the farm. On the property is an old barn. We plan to renovate this barn and use it as a maintenance barn. This is where we will keep equipment and store needed materials. There will also be an office space and a bathroom.

Huge thanks to our Clean Up Day Sponsors!

Thanks to Bin there Dump That- Eustis for the donated dumpster!

Thanks to KWI Grand Rental in Mt. Dora for the use of the skid steer!

We appreciate your support in helping us clean up the barn in preparation for opening the farm to students during the 2022-2023 school year!

Thanks to Legacy Foundation President, Jeremy Ethridge, for running the equipment and keeping everyone on task and busy working!

The day was filled with lots of work and lots of dust! In the end it was day of hard work that paid off. We are beginning to see the potential in our old barn and the excitement of the project has us all ready for what’s to come.

Even the farm dogs are excited…