Do you really believe in the fallacy that man has been able to improve upon what nature has provided us with?
At Maini’s Hill Cottages, we strongly believe in the principles of natural farming and companion farming, while taking great care to minimize our impact on the environment. We strive to observe nature closely and learn from its wisdom.
Our commitment to maintaining a harmonious relationship with the natural world has yielded abundant rewards in the form of healthy, disease-free plants and bountiful, delicious crops. A stroll through our orchard is an immersive experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired by the sheer magic and positivity of nature – an often overlooked yet vital force that underpins all life on our planet.
As you step into our gardens, you will be greeted by a wondrous sight that we fondly refer to as the man-made forest. However, this majestic forest was not created by our own hands. Instead, we simply allowed nature to take its course and facilitated its growth.
The towering oaks that now provide ample shade to our apple trees during the winter months were once small saplings, but with time and careful nurturing, they have grown to become a vital part of our ecosystem. Thanks to this natural shade, our apple trees receive the minimum chilling hours required to produce an abundance of fruit in the summer months, while also preventing weeds from encroaching on the area.
Underneath the protective canopy of the oak trees, apricot seeds, oak acorns, and chestnuts fall and take root, competing for the limited sunlight. When the time comes, the older trees graciously make way for the younger ones to take their place, ensuring that this beautiful forest will continue to thrive for generations to come.
In our garden, we recognize the important role that flowers play in maintaining the health and wellbeing of our fruits and vegetables. By allowing them to grow in harmony with nature, we have been able to create a thriving ecosystem that benefits all.
Marigolds, for instance, have been found to be highly effective at keeping worms at bay when planted around vegetables. Meanwhile, nasturtiums act as a natural barrier, protecting cucumbers from pests and disease. These are just a few examples of the many ways in which flowers can support the growth and health of our garden.
Nature has its own way of practicing companion farming, as can be seen in the symbiotic relationship between pines and rhododendrons in the wild. Even the fungi in the soil and the moss on the trees play a vital role in this companionship that develops in nature.
Rosemary and lavender, in particular, are known for their ability to repel insects, which is why you’ll often find these herbs flourishing in our little herb garden. By allowing nature to take its course and observing its wisdom, we have been able to create a thriving, self-sustaining garden that is as beautiful as it is bountiful.
At our orchards, we have planted white Dutch clovers, which act as an excellent ground cover. In addition, these clovers serve as green fertilizers, improving the health and quality of the soil. The tiny leaves of the clovers are home to ladybirds that feed on harmful insects that may cause damage to our apples. The beautiful white flowers of the clovers also attract honey bees, which play a critical role in the pollination of our apples. In addition to these benefits, the dense foliage of the clovers adds to the beauty of our orchard and helps in controlling the growth of weeds, while preventing soil erosion.
If you happen to come across a four-leaf clover while strolling through our orchard, be sure to keep it. Many believe that it brings good luck, adding a touch of magic to the already enchanting surroundings.
. Do read this about White Clovers and Ladybirds
Our orchard is home to a diverse range of insects, some of which attract birds that play a vital role in maintaining the health and balance of our ecosystem. These birds feed on harmful insects, helping to keep their populations in check and protecting our precious trees.
By fostering a natural balance between insects and birds, we have been able to do away with harmful pesticides and other chemical treatments. This not only helps to protect the environment but also ensures that our fruits and vegetables are healthier and more delicious.
We’re passionate about sharing our knowledge of natural farming, companion farming, and bio-dynamic methods with our visitors. At Maini’s Hill Cottages, we go beyond just organic farming and work in harmony with nature to create a truly sustainable and self-sufficient ecosystem.
By observing and learning from nature, we have been able to develop unique and effective farming practices that prioritize the health and wellbeing of our crops and the environment. We are always happy to share our insights and expertise with visitors, so don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have.
Whether you’re interested in learning about our use of cover crops, composting methods, or natural pest management techniques, we’re always happy to share our secrets with you. By working together and learning from each other, we can create a more sustainable and harmonious world for all.