Inheritance Farm Permaculture located in Chichester offers permaculture and sustainability education, creating a welcoming learning environment for permaculture and sustainability in New Hampshire. In 2015, Inheritance Farm hosted the 3rd Annual New Hampshire Permaculture Day, an event previously held at D Acres of New Hampshire. The theme was “Emerging Permaculture”, with farm tours and classes on establishing a permaculture farm, making rocket mass heaters, gathering wild edibles, and making a bench by hand. The guests to share their knowledge about permaculture for some of the classes.
By Colby Sawyer Students (February 27, 2016)
Sam and Erin Schreier are in the process of obtaining ownership over the land of Inheritance Farm, which is located outside the beautiful town of Chichester, New Hampshire. They live with their three children and two dogs in their farm house. The farm consists of 200 acres, where the Schreiers raise pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, and a rooster. Each of the animals has an important role in adding nutrients to the soil, so that the Schreiers can grow crops in the future. They have an orchard, they grow hay in the fields, and they use and own only one tractor. A previous owner grew berries in the field, and today a small patch of wild raspberries still grows there. Sam and Erin do not have gardens or crops at the moment, and their pigs are turning over the land where crops used to grow.
Inheritance Farm is a permaculture farm, and the Schreiers strongly believe in the permaculture principles. Permaculture is defined as an ethically based design principle which incorporates the use of perennial solutions to improve the land, the organisms living on it, and community. The three main ethics that guide permaculture are Earth care, people care, and fair share. Permaculture is also defined by twelve main principles that range from “produce no waste” to “catch and store energy” to “integrate rather than segregate.” Many of these principles are utilized on the farm.
Sam prefers to view permaculture as a 21st century enlightenment, using modern world values and skills needed to get out of our past practices. He enjoys experimenting on the farm by building a greenhouse and two outhouses. These outdoor toilets were built for Permaculture Day, and they are “no stink outhouses” because they use biochar to suck up ammonia.
Sam was 11 years old when his parents acquired the farm after living in Jacksonville, Florida. Sam’s parents owned the farm for fifteen years, and Sam wants to buy the farm and the house from his parents within two years. Erin grew up on a self-sufficient farm growing vegetables and raising animals. Sam and Erin met when Erin was a professor at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, New Hampshire, She still teaches English courses, but is now at Southern New Hampshire University.
One historical element on the farm is the suspension barn. There are very few suspension barns in the United States. They are unique because the structure of the building is held up by the roof. Large timbers are needed in order to hold up the weight of the building and form a free-stall basement area. This suspension barn is believed to have been built around one hundred years ago and was renovated fifteen years ago. The blocks from the foundation were used to build a massive stone wall that now borders the front of the property, and has become the farm’s landmark feature for passers-by.
In the summer of 2015, Inheritance Farm hosted the 3rd Annual New Hampshire Permaculture Day, an event previously held at D Acres of New Hampshire. This event included tours and forty classes, and the theme was “Emerging Permaculture.” Their classes included how to establish a permaculture farm, how to make rocket mass heaters, how to gather wild edibles, and how to make a bench by hand. They invited guests to share their knowledge about permaculture for some of the classes. They also gave food from their Give Away Garden to their guests. Approximately three hundred people attended.
Future plans include teaching classes on the farm, growing crops for family use only, and sharing their knowledge on permaculture principles.
Sam and Erin Schreier
112 Pleasant Street, Chichester, NH
Acadia LeBlanc, Amanda Binette, Ceilidh Peden-Spear, Giulia Trolli are students of the Environmental Studies Department of Colby-Sawyer College