Deep Spring Farm was founded by Michael and Leela Robinson as an organic farm retreat patterned after nature. Drawn to the north central Florida region for proximity to a progressive college town and world class springs, they plan to farm and soon homestead the land the rest of their lives.
In planning what kind of life they wanted together, Michael and Leela considered the sum of their life work and recognized that they were earth keepers. They concurred that creating a destination organic farm that welcomes people was the most ethical, practical and rewarding use of their skills in caring for each other, people and planet. It also passed the big dream test: a dream so big it made people laugh.
Prior to stepping off the bluff to start a new farm from scratch, lifelong farmer Michael founded an ornamental tree and shrub nursery, Green Village Plants, in his homeplace of Morrison Tennessee. He traveled to Oregon for a nursery tradeshow and met Leela at a yoga workshop. He liked the cookies she baked. They grew a big organic garden in TN after marrying in 2006. Michael diversified the nursery with a hydroponic greenhouse. Michael attended the first and many Bonnaroo music festivals, only stopping because of planting 2 acres of organic blueberries that are ready to harvest when the festival kicks off each June. In planning and decision making, Michael asks himself, how is it done in nature?
An Oregonian and U of O environmental studies graduate, Leela worked in land use planning and small business management. She paid off college loans by riding a bicycle instead of driving a car in Eugene. To balance the cerebral computer work, she became certified to teach yoga in 1999 in California and graduated from massage school on Maui in 2003 (FL License MA 67017). Immersing in springs and the yoga swing make her day and she is delighted to get you inverted.
- Graduates of permaculture design course in Summertown TN.
- Master gardeners in Warren County TN before relocating.
- Michael is a member of the International Plant Propagators’ Society.
- Since 2017, Leela is an advisory board member of the Florida SARE Advisory Council, providing input to Southern Agriculture Research and Education.
- Graduates of Florida Master Naturalist course, Instructor Lars Andersen.
- Supporters of local seed – gardening organizations: Forage/Working Food.
- Leela completed the Alachua County Citizens Academy in Spring 2018.
- Leela has taught yoga locally at the Ayurveda Health Retreat in Alachua, Swallowtail Farm Festival, Farm to Family music festival, Florida Folk Festival, and Hulaween.
- Big fans of all the local organic farmers, springs conservationists, agriculture pros, University researchers and local food advocates. Thanks for being a mover and shaker for the planet and people.
Starting DSF keeps us grounded, though we regularly flex to volunteer and visit with local farmers, the beach, music festivals, the river. We stay hopeful by playing the long game of acceptance and nonjudgment.
There is so much more that unites us than divides.
Peace ~ Peace ~ Peace.