P.O. Box 425
Boonville, CA 95415
or phone Gwendolen "Wendy" Rowe at (707) 376-8331
|As 2012 draws to a close we prepare to
goodbye to Lone Tree Farm in its current incarnation. Most of our
Highland pony breeding stock will be dispersed; a unique opportunity
for other Highland pony breeders and enthusiasts.
Many thanks to all the wonderful volunteers and apprentices over the years--over 200 since 1998. It has been a privilege to share our time here with all of you and to see this beautiful place leave a lasting impression on so many people. We hope you will all stay in touch!
Lone Tree Farm was operated by Wendy Rowe from 1995-2012 on the family homestead where she grew up. Located in the beautiful coastal mountains of Northern California, the farm took its name from Lone Tree Ridge, the local landmark overlooking the homestead. The Lone Tree itself burned in 1980, but is fondly remembered in still local lore, and in the Lone Tree Farm logo.
Lone Tree Farm was established to promote sustainable agriculture and good stewardship of the land. Most of the property where the farm was located is redwood and Douglas fir forest maintained in its natural state as wildlife habitat. The ridgetops are rolling grassland, interspersed with oak and madrone, which provided year round pasture for the ponies as well as areas for market gardens and orchard.
|Wendy received her fromal
training in gardening in 1994 from the UC
Santa Cruz ecological horticulture apprenticeship and later earned a
B.A. from the Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Communities program at
New College of California. French Intensive and
Permaculture techniques were put into practice on the farm and selling
produce at Farmers Markets became a mainstay of the farm from 1995-2005.
Volunteers helping with produce sales at a local Farmers Market.
From 1998 through 2012 over 200 short-term and long-term volunteers and interns participated in the farm, receiving hands-on education in organic gardening techniques, sustainable living skills and animal husbandry.
In addition to organic fruits and vegetables, the farm produced a wide variety of items for sale such as eggs from pastured poultry, wool from Shetland sheep, walnuts, cut flowers, fruit preserves, baked goods, nursery plants, and herbal salves and soaps made in small batches in the farm kitchen.
The use of appropriate technology had always been a main feature of the off-grid homestead. A traditional gravity flow spring water system required constant maintenance to supply the house and irrigate the garden. Electricity for the house was provided by a home built micro-hydro electric system and later an upgraded solar system installed with the help of volunteers.
Volunteers learning how to make French Intensive-style compost.
Hand tools and projects oriented towards a human scale rather than mechanization were the farm theme, with occasional help from the ponies. As well as providing "natural horsepower", the ponies played a vital role in the soil fertility program by providing manure for compost. Following traditonal methods, each batch of compost requires careful monitoring and turning to ensure that all ingredients reach 150 degrees F, resulting in a complete and balanced fertilizer.
Using pony power to haul firewood.
The ponies became an integral part of the farm ecosystem and also well-loved members of the family. They received firm but gentle training, and family and volunteers enjoyed riding and driving them for pleasure as well as for farm work. Horse training and teaching horsemanship became an incresingly important part of the farm from 2001 onward.