SpiritWorks Farm Blog
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The most exciting prelude to our season is celebrated with the creation of a full venue management team that embodies the energetics of the triskelion, the celtic spiral of life. Todd Nestell, is the Farm Manager and former two season farm intern. Megan Neary is the Apothecary Manager returning after a productive internship last year and Lindy Dewey is coordinating Wellness, FarmStay guests, and on-site Programs. Together we are developing a management model we feel will not only yield high productivity but illustrate the value of interrelated mutually supportive elements in a multi-faceted coordinated system.
With this triskelion team as our basis, we are now able to offer comprehensive educational opportunities and have designed our apprenticeship and internship programs for those looking to deepen skills and experience in Farm Management, Herbal Apothecary Marketing, Wellness Program Design and Implementation, and Culinary Herbalism.
We expanded our campground to ten sites and welcomed campers from HipCamp.com. One site offers a lean-to and several provide tents with airpads. We opened our Farm Store Apothecary and finally began selling the hand-crafted artisan quality organic herbs grown here.. FarmsStays in the Retreat Center were and extraordinary successful first season.
2017 Season Summary
Finished kitchen for Retreat Center, created a viewing platform to look into the gardens and built a chicken hotel using 1880 plans from the North Dakota Dept. of Agriculture to optimize light and ventilation at this northern latitude.
2016 Season Summary
In 2016, we built a Bunkhouse for Farm Stay guests and farm-based wellness retreats
June 28th, 2016
Of note is that we are not currently having Open Farm times. However we are going to the Farmer's Market in Kalispell on most, not all, Saturdays.
2015 Season Summary
During the 2015 season, several terraces with raspberries, goji berries, garlic, shallots, fruit trees, and 1000 strawberry plants were planted. We also created the triskelion - a 63 foot herbal mandala garden, installed a 20'x100' high tunnel, chicken coop, grape arbor, and established the herb nursery.
As I sit down to write out the goals and our focus for the coming season, I need to acknowledge that the land here is the leader and that future information may shift what I write today. With the magical changeability that is inherent when working with nature identified, I will attempt to create some expectations for what it may be like during the coming year. My apologies in advance for the length of this. May the information provided help you make a confident decision regarding your interest in coming here.
If any or all of what you read below sounds of interest to you and is consistent with what you want to create for yourself, I look forward to hearing from you. Please respond to the questions presented below when you contact me.
Also, to make sure you are creating realistic expectations regarding your interest here, please read the reviews on my farm on the WWOOFUSA.ORG website carefully and also read my reviews of those who came here (These reviews can be accessed by clicking on the name of the person doing the farm review. If you do not have access to the WWOOFUSA.org website, please let me know and I will send the reviews to you). These reviews will help you to be realistic regarding what to expect.
WOW again, I really skipped more than one beat once things started cooking here. So the summary below may help to fill in the gaps - what it does not mention is the incredible bountiful harvest. Numbers to follow when they are available.
2014 SEASON SUMMARY and LESSONS LEARNED
First of all, I want to say something about the previous season. There were many extraordinary people who came and worked the land here. This property and its productivity were transformed. While it was all happening, it was awesome to watch how the land worked on the people who came and on myself as we worked with the land. We grow more than plants here, we all grow together, individually and in the community we create. This is why I ask for those wanting to come here to reflect and to share on these questions :
What attracts you to SpiritWorks and what are your goals in coming here?
What specific skills do you want to learn and develop?
What are your personal development goals?
What are the aspects of your life experiences and where you are on in your life journey that you want known?
What do you want to experience while here?
What do you want to leave behind as your gift to the land and the community - both on this property and locally?
Last season revealed much to me regarding what works well and what is needed to shift in the expectations I offer those coming here. Offering people an opportunity to develop themselves to become intune with nature and what is needed in a farming endeavor and then giving them a time clock does not work. Therefore I offer a nature based immersion experience with the expectation of long days, and an irregular schedule as we pace ourselves with the requirements that come with farming. I acknowledge that each person has their own pace, stamina and that the needs of the farm vary with weather and the plants themselves. I seek to offer a farming lifestyle that works well for the needs of this growing farm and is balanced with having fun with the other opportunities that this part of the world offers - rafting, camping, biking, hiking, hot springs, etc.
For this reason, I am creating more space for a larger community to be present here so that many hands can make light of the work here and we can more easily honor individual needs and stamina, acknowledging that it takes time to get strong with outdoor work, and that we all also want to play, especially me.
Wow it is May already -
spinach, carrots planted
swiss chard, lettuce, kale, etc up in cold frames
area that was clear cut, is ready for seed for green manure
major earthwork has occurred that includes stumping trees that were cut and creating the foundations for functional spaces.
one shed was modified into sleeping quarters for one intern with a kitchen and gathering space for eating and preparing herbal preparations for the apothecary
many beds have been turned and are ready for planting
grass is green, daffodils blooming and everything is popping up.
Ready for interns to arrive so there will be time to play and bike up Road to the Sun before it is openned to cars.
January 2014 -
Cut down trees for new expanded garden area and for more sunlight to nourish existing gardens
Sent some of the trees to the saw mill
Put seed house back together (it is holding 59 degrees when is it 20 outside).
Networked for educational opportunities for interns
Met with locals interested in co-creating here
Skiied a lot, hiked some