Current Projects

Whole farm planning
In spring of 2010 we laid out the framework for our whole-farm design. Its aim is to prepare solutions that will heal, regenerate and nourish the land while realizing its full potential to attain financial resilience over time through a more diversified income stream. The plan encompasses all of Koinonia’s 570 acres, identifying the property’s zones and sectors, and presenting an ongoing body of work that will continue to evolve throughout the rest of Koinonia’s existence. Some of the elements of the plan are highlighted in the list below.

Reconciliation House
Koinonia is the birthplace of both Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center for Housing. In an effort to draw our two “daughters” into harmony with each other, we are the site for a collaborative build between New Horizons HFH and Americus-Sumter FCH. Together, these two organizations are constructing a house that will serve as a demonstration of peace through reconciliation on a number of levels. First of all, the sign of peace will be shared as Koinonia, HFH and FCH work together to construct the house. Additionally, we have drawn up a details permaculture design that will demonstrate reconciliation between humans and creation. And finally, this house will be used for hosting seasonal interns and visiting groups, offering the opportunity to demonstrate that it is possible for diverse peoples to live in harmony.

Duplex Gardens
The Prendergast family inhabits half of Koinonia’s Duplex. As permanent members of the community, they have been allowed the freedom to experiment with permaculture gardens around their house. The goal is to eliminate the lawn, replacing every square inch with edible, useful, beautiful gardens. The wide variety of perennial fruits and vegetables includes peaches, pears, apples, persimmons, pomegranate, plum, fig, kiwi, loquat, mulberry, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, currants, ginger, sage, thyme, rosemary, mint, oregano, Egyptian walking onions, Jerusalem artichokes, and many more. In addition, seasonal annuals include tomatoes, peppers, a wide variety of salad and cooking greens, beets, carrots, radishes, squash, zucchini, parsley, dill, basil, and whatever other seedlings we can get our hands on!

Livestock
We manage our livestock through intensive grazing, rotating our cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and rabbits through the pastures, woodlot, and gardens. In addition to providing us with meat, eggs and milk, the livestock have increased the soil health with their fertility and begun to restore balance to the ecosystem through their grazing and foraging patterns. Our cows are 100% grass-fed, and we move them to a fresh paddock nearly every day. The sheep help us manage weeds in the pasture and vineyards. Pigs enjoy life on pasture and in the woodlot. Poultry have access to plenty of grass, and enjoy foraging in our mixed fruit orchard. Rabbits also help keep the weeds down. In addition, we keep honeybees and composting worms.

Earthworks
We harvest rainwater passively through the inclusion of swales and ponds throughout the property. Our first swales were completed in 2009 to provide more consistent water in a 2-acre garden where we have begun to establish a food forest. In summer of 2010 we began constructing a series of swales to mitigate erosion and feed several ponds in the main 80-acre pasture. These areas will be used to passively irrigate new plantings of longleaf pines and other trees, as well as for watering livestock.

Forestry
We manage our 250 acres of woodlands with ecologically sound forestry practices. We believe that periodic disturbance is crucial to maintaining healthy, vital, biodiverse forests. In 2010 we began a low-grade thinning that removed the lesser quality trees and opened up light  to allow the healthier hardwoods more room to fill out the canopy. About 20 acres of clearings were included to provide high-quality summer pasture for our cattle. These areas will be managed with continued disturbance through controlled burning and inclusion of livestock on a rotational basis.

We try to keep this page up to date. Please understand that our farm is a busy place, and that projects are ever-evolving. Feel free to contact either of us if you have any questions about what we say here!

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