Black Currant First Planting at the Conserv2 Prairie Restoration Site
Both the perennial agriculture and the ecological restoration disciplines work to make the world better and more sustainable in their own ways. Nature Keepers brings them together by adding a touch of perennial agriculture, such as our black currants (we call them our "Prairie Berries") and surrounding them with native prairie and oak savanna. Because currants are shrubs which are perennial, there is no tilling of the soil like annual crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. They mimic shrubs that were part of the natural landscape only they are in rows to make harvesting feasible. Between the 4 foot wide currant rows are 15 foot wide strips are prairie.
Nature Keepers caps the amount of crop planted area to 20% or less of the total nature sanctuary area. For this 37 acre sanctuary, the currant section will be no more than 8 acres of currant rows with their prairie strips. In 2019 we set out to find out if this will work or not with our first test planting of 600 currants. 2020 will bring a very small crop as currants take about 3 years to become established. In addition 2020 will be the third year of prairie establishment and the weeds, like the dandelions in the photo, will get crowded out. Another 600 currants will be planted in 2020.
Just as we learned a lot from the 2019 work, there are a number of feasibility questions that we will better understand as 2020 unfolds, Your purchase of Nature Keepers' Black Currant products will expand the program to establish hundreds of acres of nature sanctuaries and to find other Nature Friendly crops. We invite you to join with us and to share the Nature Keepers Idea and our delicious products with friends as we journey to create Places They Call Home.
Mark & Jennell Ballering