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Back of Beyond Farm is a small, family run operation in Rist Canyon, Colorado. We work closely with natural rhythms to create wellness teas from indigenous and naturalized plants. 2013 marks our 4th year of supporting our community through tasty teas. In the year ahead, we hope to continue our work of not only producing healthful teas, but also exploring the edges of what it means to farm and be a part of a place.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

And Wildness Appears....

After bemoaning the lack of wildness (the Spirit of it at least) we had a wild weekend of bear and deer and cousins and trampolines.

On Saturday morning I took the dogs for a short hike behind the house. There is a belt, remaining post fire, 50 yards from the house, 25 yards wide, filled with down logs, thick Douglas Fir, moss, arnica, chokecherry and mountain maple shrubs. When the dogs and I got above this thicket, I spotted something I took first for the yellow lab, Libby, then when I noted she was at my heels, I immediately thought it a Mountain Lion, and then "it" turned and faced me, I saw it was a bear - very blonde, smallish.

Our neighbors had reported this bear hanging around their yard. And in an instant, wildness reappeared on our little farm. The bear ambled off and so did we. But the knowledge of her (or him) napping this close to the house, unseen, unheard, not disturbing us, brought back an overwhelming sense of mystery. Something I needed in that moment. Another gift of the forest.

And, I think, that's what we are all called to remember and hold least I know I am....that magnificent discoveries are right here, always - maybe napping - but present. In seeking to farm where and how we do, it's these moments that drive all else. With kids jumping on the trampoline, herbs growing on the mountainside, compost composting, a bear can exist and share home with us. Ah, wildness returns to my soul. 

Planting: Today is a fruit day, tomorrow and Thursday are root days. Friday a flower day. A week to do it all! It's in the Stars.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Sometimes it all feels a little too tame. A little, "Unwild". Even here, with reports of a light tan "grizzled" bear from the neighbors, dive bombing hummingbirds, deer tracks in the mud of the creek, with towering pines and scented fir, it feels a little, well, domestic.

We're missing pieces: Bison, Wolf, Grizzly Bear. I am ready for their return. I wait for it, an advent season without known end.

Years ago, when my family first started harvesting bison for part of our year's meat, my Dad put a bison skull on the compost pile behind the barn. It disappeared. Either the Earth swallowed it, or a coyote ran off with it. But my Dad looked for it, and on the prairie looking CAN be a little easier. No sign. I wonder if that's how things start to come back to a place? If a coyote running with a bison skull through the broad prairie below the rolling North Dakota hills can bring the Spirit back and when the Spirit is back, maybe then the physical body can return.

We farm wildynamically - because we're trying to cultivate a Spirit of wilderness in our herbs and in the mountain side and forest of the farm. Maybe this calling forth of Spirit will lead to an incarnation of the wild - maybe it will show up in a displaced Yellowstone Wolf or wandering Wolverine. Or maybe it will show up in me, or Luci, or Jen.