We are ever grateful to be growing food and restoring a springfed ecosystem in Alachua County, North Central Florida. Deep Spring Farm was established in 2015 when my husband Michael and I (Leela) planted blueberry plants. Crops (blueberrries, vegetables, flowers) are grown using organic practices and inputs. Given small scale production in compliance with USDA organic regulations, the farm is exempt from organic certification requirements.

Guests typically visit the farm during the June blueberry picking season. Fresh picked annual vegetables are usually available, including tomatoes, peppers, garlic. Kale and flowers, such as zinnias and sunflowers, are grown for guests to pick. Nursery plants, including persimmons and figs are ready to purchase and plant. The weather is often hot in June, so cooling off in Deep Spring (35′ deep, tannic) appeals to some. I swim often from April to October.

We moved to FL from Tennessee, where Michael owned and operated an ornamental tree and shrub nursery and grew hydroponic lettuce. In TN, we learned to grow organic vegetables, became Certified Master Gardeners, and earned Permaculture Design Certificates. Michael is the experienced farmer, has a FL nursery license, and is a member of the International Plant Propagator Society. I am the uncredentialed conservationist (BS Environmental Planning) and spend hands on time harvesting food, landscaping, and restoring the springfed ponds ecosystem.

We are fortunate by design to be within 30 minutes of a progressive college town (Yay Gainesville!). Being close enough to the ocean for a day trip, enjoying the local music scene, collaborating with local farmers/gardeners, volunteering with local nonprofits, kayaking rivers…there is much to love. This wonderful community reminds me of my home state and college experience in Eugene, Oregon.

We are deep into crafting a land based lifestyle and want to share the experience. Our plan for Deep Spring was to host events and overnight guests, retreat style with yoga (teaching since 1999), massage (I maintain my license), yoga swing, meditation, dance, campfires, music, pond swims, stargazing. We simplified to focus on growing crops, building facilities, and restoring natural habitat, but the hospitality desire smolders slowly on.

What do you love about north central Florida? What do you need help with? Please tell me about your travels. Talk to me about the good food you are cooking. Thank you for being a friend of the farm. You are our farmily!