Siblings Dani and Nick deRuyter at the entrance to the main plot on Punkhorn Farm. A landscaper by trade, Nick clears the land and manages the compost while Dani handles the plants.
Bees and butterflies are attracted to the lavender, and lend their pollinating services to other plants on Punkhorn Farm. Dani deRuyter keeps bees to improve the odds of cross-pollination (which strengthens the vegetable strains) as well as for their delicious honey.
One woman’s weed is another’s medicine. This curly dock, growing in the shade of a melon leaf and a morning glory vine, is used to improve liver function and soothe cuts and insect bites.
Noted for its nutrient-packed grains and leaves, the perennial plant amaranth is well-suited to the Cape Cod soil and growing season.
Punkhorn Farm may soon include Punkhorn Brewery, with these hops and the barn under construction in the background.
Farming is a family endeavor for the deRuyters, who have lived on the Punkhorn property for three generations. Dani deRuyter (right) built a large raised bed garden for her sister-in-law Jackie deRuyter, nieces Lauren and Marley, and nephew Josh (not pictured).
Permaculture combines organic farming techniques with natural processes that integrate cultivated plants into the ecosystem. Beneficial insects, such as ants, protect vegetables from pests and disease.