Sustainability is based on a simple principle: everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony and permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Our goal is to maintain A Wrinkle in Thyme Farm for the benefit of our children, grandchildren and generations beyond. Our view of sustainability is an ethical principle that involves:
Energy Conservation & More
We are doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels. Our biggest energy use is the propane used to heat the water required to wash our fiber. It takes more than 40 gallons of 140° water to wash five pounds of wool. In 2010 we designed our Tesseract Fiber Building and Learning Center to use a solar thermal hot water system and a radiant floor. This uses the sun to preheat the water before it goes into our propane-assisted 200-gallon storage tank. In the summer, we are able to heat nearly all of our water using the sun. Even in the darkest part of winter, we still get a significant boost from solar.
Our 1960s little Farmall Cub Tractor is used to spread manure from the barn to improve the quality of the fields. The draft horse helps make trails in the woods for firewood, recreation, and collecting sap. In the future, we hope to use his strength to spread manure too. Most people are aware that organically-grown food is free from exposure to harmful chemicals, but that is only one small part of what organic is about. A larger part of organic agriculture involves the health of the soil and of the ecosystems in which crops and livestock are raised. Chicken manure, sheep and horse manure and sheep belly wool are used to nourish our soils. We use organic practices though we choose not to be certified.
In 2012, we built an earth oven with the help of our neighbor, Randy. Mary Ann, her daughter Jess, and partner Iver built the stone base. A group of energetic friends together with family members completed the process of blending sand with clay from the frog pond in Danville where Marty grew up. The outer layer went up the next day with a similar process with the addition of straw to the clay mixture. We enjoy pizza and bread made in the oven.