Earthstar Farms is a collective of four small organic farms located in the foothills above Boulder, Colorado. Together Earthstar Farm, Wildcat Gardens, Wildstar Farm and Starlight Caravan share over 150 acres of mountain meadows, pine forests and areas of cultivated gardens. The growers are all neighbors and hold the land as sacred. Earthstar Farms has been USDA certified organic for over 30 years and is committed to following earth-wise, sustainable practices such as Biodynamics and Permaculture.
The original EarthStar Farm land, consisting of 180 acres of mountain meadow and forest, was purchased by David Tresemer in 1987. It had been stewarded by Gilbert and Anne White since 1958. (There is a lovely trail nearby named after Anne U. White.) A large portion of the land had been farmed since the 1920s, producing dry peas, potatoes and alfalfa hay. Gilbert White was a professor of Geography at University of Colorado Boulder, and was interested in water hazards management. He documented a large, dramatic landslide on the land after a very intense rainstorm (stronger and more localized than the 2013 floods). That 1920 mudslide moved tons of topsoil into an area that is now growing gardens and organic herbs.
After David purchased the land, he began to apply organic gardening practices, and in 1990 the farm became USDA Certified Organic. David called upon the expertise of Debra St. Claire to help identify the native plants present on the land, which included St. John’s Wort, Oregon Grape Root, Yucca, Arnica, Gayfeather, Mullein, and others. Earthstar Farm began with these native wild-crafted herbs, and many of these same herbs are still being harvested today.
David has continued with his land stewardship, including forest management (removing over 5,000 trees to promote greater fire resiliency and forest health), erecting fences, terracing new garden areas, growing native plants from seed, designing the landscape for water retention and to benefit native plants. Earthstar Farm started using Biodynamic techniques early on, and continues to use them today.
Over the years, many wonderful volunteers and gardeners have worked on the land, leaving their caring imprints and contributing to the farm’s evolution. Currently Earthstar Farm is being managed by Tracy Koivisto.
Numerous energy works and sacred structures, including the StarHouse, have also been built on the land. These enhance the life force of the area and contribute to the interconnection of people with nature, supporting a healthy setting for much of the work that occurs on the land.
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