Green Horizon Farm

Green Horizon Farm
Elk Mound, WI

Apprenticeship Mentor Farm

Agroforestry Systems:
Alley Cropping
Windbreak

Farm Information

Green Horizon is a regenerative nut and berry farm established in 2021. It is gradually transitioning the organic row crop land to organic nuts and berries. The first planting, in 2021, was 4.5 acres and included serviceberries, aronia berries, elderberries, currants, tart cherries, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and a few apple trees. The owners expanded on another 3.5 acres in spring 2023. The focus of the expansion will be black currants and aronia. Both fields include diverse groundcover that we primarily let stand during the growing season to benefit insects and ecology more generally. Both fields also include other diverse shrubs and crops to benefit ecology. We are working with the Savanna Institute and Propagate Ag on the design and implementation of the farm. Green Horizon was designed with agroforestry, permaculture, and holistic design methods. The property is adjacent to the land that my grandfather farmed since the 1930s. It’s a beautiful setting that is about one-third row crops, one-third forest, and one-third wetlands. There is a large 5-acre pond adjacent to the field. 

Farm Information
Acres: 8
Established: 2001
Located: Elk Mound, WI

Apprenticeship Opportunities

Activities will take place on both the existing and new field. For the new field, we will likely start preparing the field in late April or early May. This will include intake, storage, and maintenance of plants as they arrive. We will measure, mark and till the rows. We will then lay rows of organic cardboard weed barrier with a customized tractor implement. Next, we will plant the rows using a water wheel planter, and the plants will receive a little TLC to ensure that they are all upright and in the ground properly. 

Apprenticeship Program

Availability: Open

Some of the biodiversity species will be planted by hand. Next, we apply wood chips on top of the cardboard as an additional weed barrier and to help preserve soil moisture. Lastly, we will install above-ground drip irrigation; this is only used when we experience drought conditions or to fertigate the plants. We will also construct an electric 3D fence to keep deer out of the new field. For the existing field, the primary activities will include observing the plants and identifying pest and disease issues and general plant health, and then working with me to determine the appropriate organic solution. For insects like Japanese beetles, this would include spot spraying with an organic solution. We might also determine that it would be useful to construct more bird houses on the property to control the insect population.  Plant health issues may require increased use of drip irrigation or nutrient supplementation. The existing field also requires weed management in rows – though much of this is addressed by our wood chips in row. Weeds will generally be burned, though some hand weeding will be necessary. There will also be opportunities to mow the fields and keep the grasses down under the electric deer fence. We also welcome  engagement on planning future expansion of the farm, including crop selection, and management practices, including nutrient management. 

Qualifications

Benefits

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