About Bohai House

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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. Large windows bring the outside in, inspiring both creativity and peacefulness. Among its many meanings, the Chinese word “bo” implies “vibrant and thriving”, befitting the environment around which everything at the farm is organized. The space is alive with excitement for planning and managing the farm’s needs, and preparing the harvest for new and surprising products. “Hai” means “sea,” reflecting water, energy and life. Here we dry herbs for salts and rubs, combine fresh produce for salsa and chutney, can preserves and pickles, and bake breads. The flexible design is perfect for both work and social functions. Our hopes and dreams for Elkstone Farm are born in this house that offers many possibilities for local food products.

Just behind Bohai House, nestled among the native grasses, we built two herb spirals – one for culinary herbs and another for medicinal herbs. This beautiful vertical garden uses rocks to create a gently rising spiral. The design helps manage wind and water while also retaining heat to keep plants warm at night. Proximity to the kitchen allows easy access for our regular harvesting forays and is consistent with permaculture’s use of zones in site design.