EarthStar Farm has been one of the most rewarding projects of my career. It is all about sustainable agriculture. My love of farm life and animals gets fulfilled each time I go on site. Susan and Chad, owners of EarthStar Farm, have created a profitable organic farm full of diversity. They farm sheep, chickens, microgreens, vegetables, lavender, grapes and fruit.
Sometimes, life throws you an apple and you sure better grab it, because it might turn into an orchard.
How We Started the Food Forest and Grotopo
A simple discussion about fruit trees between Chad and I after a game of hockey, resulted in my first visit to the farm. From there, I designed a one acre food forest with over 240 fruit trees and shrubs. Similar to the Clear Sky Food Forest, each tree and shrub has a metal tree tag that we use to keep track of maintenance and harvest data.
These two projects were the prototype tag projects for Chad’s and my new company Grotópo.
This year we hope to add a gazebo to the food forest center and central beds of perennials, small fruiting shrubs, and lavender, rich in diversity and critical for pollination.
Transition Between Farm and House
Another major design project was creating a transition between farm and house. Like many working farms, the farm began on the doorstep of the house. We wanted to create outdoor living spaces and a sense of distinction between the farm and house.
A redesign of the yard provided shade, perennial gardens and lavender beds while maintaining some lawn for the multitude of working farm dogs. My work on the farm evolved from designing lavender and grape planting layouts to designing beds inside greenhouses, fence corridors for moving sheep or helping with sheep vaccination or microgreen harvests.
It is rewarding; I get to put my hands in the dirt, rejoice in the feel of fleece between my fingers, and soak in the positive energies of the farm.