Since 2015, we have slowly been transforming our wooded 5-acres in Norwell, MA from a simple residence into an active forest farm.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT & THE WHY NOW
A majority of New England land between 1830-1850 was once cleared for pasture, tillage, orchards and buildings. Since the decline of agriculture and the textile industry in our region, nature has taken back much of that land and the forest's ecology has been restoring the balance. Inadvertentlly, scientists reported in 2010 that after more than 150 years of forest regrowth following the regional decline in agriculture, the great period of New England reforestation had ended. They showed that forestland was being lost to development in every New England state and that the land was changing in irreversible ways (Source: Wildlands and Woodlands, Farmlands and Communities: Broadening the Vision for New England, 2017). At the same time, according to the United Nations, Food production must double by 2050 to meet the demand of the world’s growing population. With 2/3 of New England’s prime farmland laying fallow (meaning left unused), there is an opportunity to produce food within existing forestland and fill two needs with one deed. And that is how the idea of Bell Forest Farms was born.
To become a viable agroforestry farm model that exists with limited acreage inside of a suburban setting.
Food can be found in your wooded backyard and we are going to prove it.
By observing and learning from our environment, such as how nature replenishes its soil, how nature protects and conserves its water resources, etc…we can learn how to imitate these natural processes in our daily living. The more closely that we can work with nature, the more likely we are to establish a balance which will provide us with the things that we need without hurting the environment. It boils down to this...we grow like the forest and in the forest.
WHO WE ARE - FOREST FARMERS
Mari Creatini Bell & CJ BELL
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