Lynn Gillespie of The Living Farm owns 132 acres and is leasing 80 acres. On the farm they grow organic alfalfa and grass hay, corn silage and organically grown GMO free barley, oats and triticale grains for the animals. They also lease pasture land for horses and cows.
On the Living Farm they are always interested in eco-friendly practices: they are continually working the farm towards total self sufficiency. Their ultimate goal is to take the whole operation off the grid.
Solar heated Greenhouse: The Living Farm was awarded a grant from Colorado State University to run an experimental solar heating greenhouse operation from 2004-2007. Lynn built a solar heating system for 19 grow beds in one of thei greenhouses. The beds then grew salad greens all winter with only solar heat. This system is still in place and running smoothly to this day.
Low tunnels and frost blankets: Lynn uses low tunnels in the greenhouses to capture heat for the plants for the night. She also uses frost blankets to hold in heat at night. This system has allowed them to totally stop using propane heaters in all of their greenhouses.
Passive solar heated house: They built the main house in 1996. It is super insulated and has a passive solar heat system. This house requires very little heat to maintain the house. They rarely run the heater after February, and it doesn’t come on until after Thanksgiving – and they live at 5500 ft. in the Colorado Rockies.
Composting: All of their plant waste from their gardens, house and greenhouses gets composted in with their animal manures to create their compost for the following year.
The organic philosophy at The Living Farm is one from their past, before “organic” became something you did, not who you are. Organics on The Living Farm is a belief system that is deeply ingrained into who they are. There is no certification body that can tell them who they are in their heart and soul. Therefore, they don’t feel the need to certify their farm. Lynn can tell you who they are and how they raise every plant and animal on the farm. You can even come out and see for yourself. They have not needed any piece of paper to help them sell their farm products, they seem to sell themselves. They just raise the food as if it were going onto their own table: free of chemicals, nutrient balanced and environmentally friendly.
Be sure to view Lynn’s Abundant Garden Course that she is offering online.