Every day is a new discovery.

The art of growing, of partnering with nature, of being self sufficient and having basic skills have been all but forgotten since the introduction and reliance on quick fixes, the “replace it” vs. “fix it” mentality, and bags and bottles of amendments.

Our farm experiments constantly with ideas, installations and things that we believe just make sense. The results, both amazing successes and epic failures, bring us another step closer to new (old?) discoveries. Observation and experimentation are as important to us as succeeding as farmers.

“All over her farm, Cicala is asking research questions. She’s growing alternative crops like passionfruit and honeyberry, engineering water-protective terraces on once unplantable hillsides, sculpting and cultivating a mound of infertile soil clawed out to make an irrigation pond. She’ll evaluate temperature variations and changes in soil fertility as that soil ages. ‘We do an enormous amount of research here,’ said Cicala."

From Southern SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education)

Click here to read the whole article.


Important to note

Cricket’s Cove Farm & Forge is in south central Virginia.

Our annual temperature ranges from 100+ degrees to -12 degrees.

Our average humidity is 68%; summer humidity is easily in the 80%+ range.

We have 54" annual rainfall, concentrated in spring and fall, often gifting us 6"+ in a 24-hour period.

Late summer is brutally hot, excessively humid and with little to no rainfall.  

Our soil was initially compacted red clay, saturated with crystal rock, with less than 1" of topsoil.

If you post blogs or share podcasts, please remember to include your environmental details — it puts everything in context and makes all the difference in the world.

Read our stories to learn about our trials and tribulations. And for those who try some of these ideas on their own soil, please keep us posted.


Did you know you could tell the temperature by listening to a cricket?

Count the number of chirps a single cricket makes in 15 seconds. Add 40 to your total and it should be close to the Fahrenheit temperature.

The correlation between cricket chirps and temperature was first reported by Amos Dolbear, who published an article about it in 1897. As a result, the original formula he devised was named Dolbear’s Law. This simplified formula isn’t as exact as Dolbear’s, but it’s easier and faster to calculate, and will be close to the actual temperature. Try it!