Stonecroft Farm, Grafton, tries growing lavender, aronia, walnuts

Kristine M. Kierzek

Mike Trinklein has planted hundreds of trees and plants, only to watch them fail. It’s all in pursuit of permaculture and perennials.

Stonecroft Farms, Grafton, isn’t your typical fruit and vegetable farm. He grows aronia, peaches, pears, honey berries, quince, saskatoon, walnuts, lavender and more.

Every year and every crop is a lesson learned, all chronicled on his website. America’s Test Kitchen recently featured his local food quest on its podcast “Proof.”

His first failure was 100 chestnut trees, almost all destined to be dinner for hungry deer. It was a lesson learned. His apple trees didn’t take. He’s patiently awaiting fruits from plum, peach and pear trees. He’s harvested exactly one nectarine.

So when his lavender took off and produced heartily last summer, he was more than a little excited. Trinklein’s approach is patience and perseverance to build permaculture. Of course, success is seasonal when it comes to farming, and he couldn’t do this if he didn’t have another job to support himself.

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