We design outdoors spaces to heal and support all kinds of life. In every corner of our farm, you will discover habitats that invite human engagement with nature. In the fire and water garden, one can reflect on the partnership of opposites. In the orchard food forest, notice the importance of diversity for abundance and resilience. In our composting systems, remember the sacred truth that earth knows no desolation. Life emerges from death and decay. Take a seat in the barnyard and witness the complex relationships of communal living. Nature has so much to teach us about living.
Composting Tikkun Farm takes composting seriously. None of the food waste from our Nourishing Families program ends up in the landfill. Instead, it feeds chickens, worms, and solider flies. Vermiculture (worm) composting produces the highest-grade compost available, creating tremendous nourishment for our soil and gardens. Soldier fly larva compost food waste in the most efficient way possible, growing into nutritious, protein packed food for our chickens, ducks, and turkeys. We are expanding our composting program by inviting neighbors to bring their food waste to the farm.
Permaculture Permaculture is the practice of integrating nature’s lessons into our land design, using the inherent qualities of plants and animals, combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures, to produce life supporting systems for all the creatures on our farm. We understand the complexity of nature, knowing that when we tug on one thing, we find it attached to everything else. When we built a pond for the ducks, we soon heard frogsong at night and noticed swarms of dragonflies zipping over the water.
Permaculture systems, mimicking nature’s complex, interconnected relationships, create abundant, low maintenance growing systems on our farm. Rain gardens and swales sequester water, collecting it as it runs down our hillsides, diverting it into our gardens and orchard. Hügelkultur grow beds harness the nutrients from decomposing trees to feed vegetables and fruit trees. Pollinator gardens support the food forest establishing itself in our orchard.
Just as each habitat supports the health of the whole farm, Tikkun Farm offers its support to our neighbors, community, and city. Using our farm as a learning lab, we teach about permaculture principles, showing visitors how to use these practices in their own yards and landscapes to grow soil, sequester water, establish ecosystems, and grow food abundantly.
Learning Garden Thanks to a generous grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Tikkun Farm extends this teaching into the Mt. Healthy City Schools. We have created a comprehensive curriculum of hands-on experiential learning activities for every grade, connected to their core curriculum goals. These activities include: raising baby chicks, seed starting, compost systems, testing water and soil quality, establishing pollinator gardens, removing invasive species. We invite high school seniors to participate in a monthly permaculture curriculum. The students most interested in this work may apply for our Environmental and Urban Agriculture Job Training program after graduation. This program provides students with environmental education, as well as the skills necessary to pursue work in landscaping, hydroponic / aquaponic growing, urban gardening, restoring natural habitats, and more. In partnership with 80 Acres, Brick Gardens, and other employers in our city, we are creating a school to work pipeline for the young adults in our neighborhood, in hopes of disrupting the school to jail pipeline so many of them get trapped in.
Creation Care If you are drawn to getting your hands in the soil – planting, weeding, mulching, tending, and harvesting – then you are welcome to volunteer with our Creation Care program. Our Creation Care program weaves together composting, soil health, watersheds, community gardening, permaculture design, environmental education, nature connection, waste reduction, and more. We welcome volunteers who are passionate about caring for the Earth.
To learn more about permaculture practices, the beauty of restorative farming, and its impact on climate change we suggest these movies: