Deep Spring Farm was established in 2015 when my husband Michael and I/Leela planted organically grown rabbiteye blueberry plants. We are ever grateful to be growing food and restoring a springfed ecosystem in Alachua County, North Central Florida. 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, herbs (basil) and flowers, such as zinnias and sunflowers, are grown for guest picking. Registered Florida Nursery plants grown onsite, including persimmons and figs are ready to purchase and plant.
Recreation, in addition to agriculture, is what makes Deep Spring Farm a day trip destination. Guests are welcome to explore the 22 acre grounds, have a picnic, take in the views. Deep Spring Pond is the body of water closest to CR 1491. There is a covered platform and picnic tables. The trail around the 1.5 acre 30′-35′ deep pond is a pleasant hike. Neighborhood wildlife includes squirrels, red shouldered hawks, soft shell turtles, great blue heron, little green heron, egrets, an anhinga, osprey, swallowtail kites, other birds, and plenty of fish in the pond.
The weather is often hot, so cooling off in Deep Spring pond appeals to some. I swim often from April to October. Using the dock is the best way to access the water. When the water is low, walk in from the beach. The water is tannic with visibility to 4 feet depth. Minimize walking on the sandy/muddy bottom, as it disturbs sediment and decreases visibility.
Please stay on paths and avoid off trail walking/climbing on sloping pond banks (which continue to take a tremendous amount of time and effort to restore). Thanks for helping keep paths clear by removing fallen branches and Spanish Moss and piling debris in beds where other plant debris is present. Buildings and cargo trailers are private.
Sunrise Pond is on the east side of the farm. It is 2 acres and 10-12 feet deep. It is also springfed, but shallow because it is not a sinkhole pond. Both ponds have extensive restoration work still to do. I love doing it and welcome volunteers. The typical focus is removing invasive plants, such as torpedo grass. We envision a lot more native plants around both ponds and all over the farm and appreciate plant donations. There is always something to experience at the springfed ponds, encompassing 4 acres of surface water total. Michael and I are graduates of the Florida Master Naturalist Freshwater Systems Course and glad to share #floridapondlife with you.
Prior to Deep Spring Farm, Michael owned and operated an ornamental tree and shrub nursery and grew hydroponic lettuce in his home state of Tennessee. We practiced growing organic vegetables, became Certified Master Gardeners, and earned Permaculture Design Certificates. Michael is the experienced farmer and 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 freshwater 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 where the provenance of food is a core value. We want to share the experience with you. Our long range plan for Deep Spring is 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. The short term focus is on growing crops, building facilities, and restoring natural habitat.
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 crafting. Thank you for being a friend of the farm. You are our farmily!
- Alachua County Farmers Market on 441
- Our Santa Fe River
- Adventure Outpost
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park
- High Springs Farmers Market
- Temple of the Universe
- Halcyon Days Photography (farm photo shoots)
- Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak
- Florida Folk Festival at Stephen Foster State Park
- Heartwood Soundstage
- Swallowtail Farm
- The Old Fashioned Farmstead
- Lola Farm
- Frog Song Organics
- High Springs Orchard
- Visit Gainesville Events
- Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
- Alachua Conservation Trust
- Working Food
- Florida Museum of Natural History
- Lubee Bat Conservancy
- Carson Springs Wildlife
- Edible Northeast
- St Augustine Ampitheatre
- Florida Phoenix News
- Journalist Craig Pittman
- John Moran Springs Photography
- Florida Master Naturalist Program
- Alachua County Extension
- USDA Organic Regulations
- John Caldwell, High Springs Realtor