We invite you explore the many facets of our farm with our interactive map.
Roll over the different environments for a quick peek, or click to find out more.
The largest of Elkstone Farm's agriculture environments is also the longest-term project. Agroforests are an integrative approach combining forestry and agriculture - trees, shrubs and crops - to create a diverse, productive and mutually beneficial environment. Incorporating the contour of a southwest-facing slope, we planted rows of non-timber trees - Siberian pea shrubs, plums, sand cherries, burr oaks and buffalo berries.
The warm, homey feel of this country farmhouse is the perfect setting for the commercial kitchen, office and caretaker apartment. Only the kitchen's professional equipment reveals the commercial nature of this space with flowers and buzzing bees adorning ceramic tile surrounds, and French doors leading to a covered front porch overlooking Elkstone Farm and Strawberry Park.
Bursting with vibrant color and aromatic scent, the flower garden contains both annuals and perennials that we use to create bouquets for restaurants and markets. We planted more than 3,000 bulbs and dozens of seeds including tulips, daffodils, iris, peonies, alliums, and sunflowers. We also grow wildflowers such as daisy and aster, and other indigenous flowers that are hardy enough for this dry environment. Vivid bouquets of these beautiful and fragrant flowers are enhanced with exotic varieties grown in the greenhouse.
The greenhouse hosts a variety of perennials with an emphasis on Mediterranean plants. The warm, dry subtropical climate is perfect for citrus, figs, grapes, pomegranates and olives. Even on the coldest winter days it feels like a Mediterranean oasis. Our large assortment of herbs includes many varieties of lavender, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, mint, basil and chives.
The centerpiece of Elkstone Farm, the pond garden is a serene setting enhanced by fruit trees and bushes, herb gardens, flowers and a few seasonal vegetables. Apple, pear, plum and cherry trees will be producing fruit within a few years. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, currants, gooseberries and aronia are abundant around the pond.
To satisfy demand for our fresh produce, we're constructing hoop houses to grow annual plants. Rows of summer crops, grown in traditional organic gardening style, include salad greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash and basil. In the late summer and early fall we start carrots, onions, spinach and cold-hardy vegetables to have produce throughout the winter. Once the plants are established, the hoop houses act as cold storage.
One long-term goal is to establish a robust grove of fruit trees. The orchard is planted on a south-facing slope behind the greenhouse, the most exposed place on the farm. Initially we potted bare root whips and cared for them in the greenhouse. When they were large enough to transplant outside, we created guilds which are distinct groupings of plants that work together for their mutual benefit.