How We Farm

We grow our natural dyes with great care for the land, soil, and creatures who share our farm. We manage our small acreage as a holistic ecosystem with a diverse range of crops, trees, shrubs, and perennial plantings. All of our crops are grown chemical-free and by hand.

Natural dye crop field, coldframes, and nursery.

Growing with care

We have been influenced by a number of different growing practices, both traditional and contemporary. We value the efficiency and organization that a bio-intensive market garden approach provides, especially for annual crops. When it comes to perennials and managing the entire farm as an ecosystem, the holistic views and guiding principles of permaculture have been most helpful.

Our farm is managed as an ecosystem with shrubs, trees, perennial gardens, and as little disturbance of the soil as possible. All of our farm’s organic matter goes back into the soil and many areas are filled with woodlands, perennial flowers, berries, and other food and year-round habitat sources for the birds and creatures who share our farm. Our dyes are produced with thoughtful consideration to the environment, and we are always seeking ways to minimize resource use and waste while maximizing our positive impact.

For our crops, which are mostly annuals, we use a permanent bed system. This means that we build the crop beds once and then leave the soil as undisturbed as possible after the initial preparation. We nourish our soil from the top down using natural amendments such as compost, wood chips, straw, seaweed, or green manures.

All of our crops are grown spray-free without chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. Wherever possible, we choose open-pollinated seed and we’re always sure to plant a few extra beds of flowers to keep the bees and insects happy.

We hope you will not only love the vibrancy and range of our natural colours, but feel good about using them in your creative work.

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in—what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
Hopi sunflowers in the late afternoon sun
A row of Hopi sunflowers in the late afternoon sun. Not only do they look gorgeous in the field, the seed hulls make a lovely blue, purple, or grey dye, and the birds devour any leftovers we may leave behind!