We began Brambleberry Farm in the fall of 2003 on land that Esprí’s parents generously share with us in the beautiful hills of southern Indiana. We started out as primarily a market garden and CSA, producing (non-certified) organic produce using no-till methods, and avoiding petroleum-based machinery such as tractors and tillers, which may compact the garden soil when over-used. While we were supporting ourselves with annual produce production we were also developing a complex food forest of perennial fruit trees and berries, which became the propagation base for our current fruit, nut, and berry nursery. Since building our strawbale house on an adjacent area of the property we have begun developing new permaculture systems around the new house. Our old garden beds have become an opportunity for a farm incubator project, and we are focusing our efforts on permaculture systems around our new house as well as our hand-crafted wooden kitchen utensil business.
Currently we are developing a 3.5 acre pasture by rotating different species of livestock through it to improve the soil with their grazing, manure, and trampling behaviors. In 2010 we planted mixed orchard rows running N-S on 60’ centers within this system to increase the yields of the given acreage once the trees mature. We have grazed cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks and geese in this system, but at the moment we are limiting the grazers to cattle and poultry. We hope to have hogs in the system again by the time the orchard starts bearing, in order to clean up the fruit drops and thus break the pest cycle.
Brambleberry Farm is a small permaculture-based nursery and market farm. We sell fruit, nut and berry plants. We sell plants from the farm by appointment only (we do not have a regular storefront at the farm at this time). We offer consulting services and educational tours of the farm and our strawbale house.
Introducing our newest homesteading project: rabbits! We're raising Rex rabbits in a colony system, which is so fun for the kids - way more interesting and interactive than having them isolated in lots of small wire cages. This is the bamboo rabbit tractor I just finished that will allow us to easily move them to fresh pasture. The bamboo is from our own grove - it's a super lightweight and strong building material. The roof is reused aluminum roofing that we got for next to nothing at an auction. This is the lightest animal tractor that I've made to date, but it was also the most labor intensive to build because, frankly, bamboo is a PITA to work with. This pen will be just for the males and the females who haven't reached breeding age. We have a semi-permanent pen for the mamas to raise the babies in a more stable environment - they still get forage in addition to rabbit pellets, but we have to bring it to them. Stay tuned for lots of cute bunny pics!
Since starting Brambleberry Farm in 2003 we have raised a multitude of fruit and berry plants to fruition with only organic practices. We selectively plant out only disease-resistant cultivars and species to boost our chances at overcoming many disease and pest pressures in our humid Midwest climate. What we offer for sale are mostly the plants we’ve had on-the-ground success with, but also some that are not bearing yet but have good potential to be grown successfully without the use of synthetic sprays.
As ecological farmers, we feel very strongly about the importance of living soils . We grow our plants in potting mix containing a high volume of live compost , peat moss, pine bark nuggets, composted chicken manure and alfalfa meal. We believe that these plants are much healthier, happier, and less prone to insect, disease, and drought pressures as a result of their living soil. In addition, they will inoculate your own soils wherever you plant them with beneficial microorganisms and fungi!
Newly grafted fruit trees, seedlings, and hardwood cuttings
We keep regular hours during the months of April through June: open 9-5 Saturdays, and 9-5 “Call Ahead” hours on weekdays. “Call Ahead” hours means that we are open for business, but occasionally are away from the farm, so you should call us before you come just in case we’re out running errands. During the months of July-October we usually have call ahead hours as well, see our Facebook page for updates. We are also willing to make appointments outside of these hours if necessary, please either message us, call us or email us to schedule an appointment. We can make appointments any day of the week (except Sunday mornings).
How to Purchase Plants:
Come visit us at the farm! We do not ship plants. We carry a very large selection of unique plants and varieties, each in relatively small quantity. This makes pre-ordering difficult—we prefer for customers to come browse in person. However many of our customers drive over an hour to reach us, so please don’t hesitate to message us, call us or email us to make sure we have what you’re looking for in stock or to schedule an appointment if you can’t make it on a regular open hours day.
Exceptions to the no shipping rule: in season we will ship scionwood, comfrey root cuttings, and tubers such as sunchokes.
We DO NOT SHIP plants. We can arrange door-to-door delivery for large orders. Delivery fees for door-to-door service are 35¢/mile plus $15/hour. So for example, a delivery to Louisville, which is an hour’s drive for us and about 50 miles away, would cost $35 for gas and $37.50 for labor (2 hours on the road and 1/2 an hour to find the place and unload, etc.). This could be worth your while if you are interested in a personal consultation for your landscape or garden. See our consulting fees. For plant orders over $600, we can deliver for no charge to areas within one hour’s drive of us. You also save via quantity discounts this way. Go together with friends or neighbors on a group order and save!
The State of Indiana requires us to add sales tax (unless we are delivering to you out of state)! Prices do not include tax.
Everything except grafted trees: Quart pots $6.00; one gallon pots* $12.00; two gallon pots* $22.00
Grafted varieties: one gallon* $16.00, two gallon pots* $26.00
*size designations are nominal. We use “trade gallons” (which are slightly less than a gallon) as well as recycled pots that may vary in exact size. There are a limited number of two gallon plants available – first come first serve.
Quantity discounts: 15% off $500-$999; 25% off over $1000.
If you have large project requiring dozens of plants for a more affordable price, contact us and we can possibly custom raise smaller plug-type stock for lower prices.
Quantity discounts apply to the total after any sale prices are taken off.
Scionwood and Cutting Stock
We have a decent selection of scionwood available for purchase from our grafted fruit trees. We also may have extra cutting stock from our berry pruning if you are interested in propagating your own plants. Please call or email for a list of what varieties are available at any given time. We’re happy to ship these propagation units at non-dormant times of the year, such as bud wood for summer bud grafting.
Scionwood is $2 per stick (approx 12”), minimum order 10 sticks. Priority mail shipping is $10 for up to 20 sticks, and $15 for up to 40 sticks.
The widest selection will be available starting around mid to late May. We also have a more limited selection that you can purchase anytime, including through the winter months. Since we offer potted plants, they may be successfully planted at any time of the year, unlike bare-root stock. We still recommend planting earlier summer and later fall, especially if you have hot, dry summers. If planting in the middle of the summer, potted nursery stock can still do very well but must be kept watered until established.
Most stock is young, current year rooted cuttings and grafted one-year rootstocks. Some that are left from last year will be one-year+ plants. Note that we will only sell plants which we feel are vigorous and very likely to succeed.
Since we do not ship plants, customers can see and select from the plants available to ensure that they receive a quality, viable plant. However, if you feel like a plant did not succeed due to an error on our part, please let us know and we are happy to work with you to come up with a fair solution. We will first offer replacement plants if they are available, and if not we will offer money back. We do not guarantee plants past the current year’s growing season – i.e. plants that die over the winter are not eligible for replacement.
We provide consulting services in the following areas:
· Permaculture design for urban or suburban home landscapes or rural homesteads. This includes edible landscaping.
· Energy efficient home design and energy efficient home landscape design
· Rain water harvesting systems
· Soil improvement and pasture improvement
· Setting up “guilds” of mixed plant species that each help the whole system perform
· Home-attached solar greenhouse design and maintenance
· Solar site mapping for plotting sun access for planting or passive solar home design
· Integrating livestock into the homestead system
· General homesteading questions answered
· Planting demonstrations, advice and help
· Pruning demonstrations, advice, and help
· Fruit tree grafting lessons—learn to graft your own trees!
Fees are seasonal, due to the seasonal nature of our nursery work. March through May are the three most busy months of the year for us. In the past we have just blocked out that time and declined consulting jobs, but we recognize that those months are also critical for many of our clients, and we want to be available in the spring if really needed.
$30/hour for one-on-one consultations and drafting landscape plans, with a 2 hour minimum charge. Driving time to your site is $15/hour plus 40¢/mile (round trip). Phone consultations are also $30/hour, but only have a one hour minimum charge.
$50/hour for one-on-one consultations and drafting landscape plans, with a 2 hour minimum charge. Driving time to your site is $25/hour plus 40¢/mile (round trip). Phone consultations are also $50/hour, but only have a one hour minimum charge.
Examples of typical consults:
Example 1:the quick consult
You are a do-it-yourselfer, and just bought a new home with a big backyard. You want to green it up: maybe put in some edible landscaping and improve the energy efficiency of your house. We can drive to your home to look at your site with you and evaluate your options for trees and shrubs that will thrive in your unique soil and sun conditions. We can recommend placement of trees to seasonally shade your home (surprise – it’s not on the south side!) and provide wind breaks. This sort of consult could cost as little as $60 if you live next door to us, or $130 if you live an hour away (Louisville or Bloomington). This is broken down in this way: Louisville is an hour’s drive for us and about 50 miles away, so gas would cost $40 and time spent driving would be $30. The 2 hour minimum consult would cost $60.
Example 2: the complete consult
You have been dabbling in homesteading for a few years and are ready to go all out. You’ve purchased 20 acres in the country and are building an off-grid home and homestead. We can help you apply permaculture principles to the design of the homestead as a whole. We can design a rain water harvesting system for you to supplement or replace the need for a well. We can work with you or your architect to maximize the energy efficiency of your home, perhaps including a greenhouse for the south side of the house or barn. We can assist you in finding local and sustainable sources for building materials. I you just need a little help to get started with the process a one day consult could be enough to get you off and running (about $300-$400 depending on driving time). If your project is more ambitious it could involve a couple days of consulting to get started, followed by weekly phone consults. If you would like drafted landscape plans and building placement maps drawn up, drafting services would probably start at around $300.
Example 3: the econo-consult
You can take advantage of our tour prices ($25/hr) and bring your questions with you to tour our homestead. You can see what we’re doing here on the farm and get some inspiration and advice on your own project as well. We obviously can’t be as helpful without seeing your site, but there are many situations where all you need to troubleshoot your homestead challenges is the opportunity to see how someone else has solved similar issues. Rain water harvesting is a common situation where this tour/consult option is perfect. We have 5 different complete collection systems on our property, plus two neighbors who have lived with rainwater cisterns as their sole source of water for over 40 years. We have one system in our off-grid Airbnb cabin that is completely electric-free and gravity feeds to a sink and shower basin. The other systems utilize a pump and pressure tank. This is our cheapest consult option, starting at just $25.