Interested in a farm internship with us?

September 13, 2016  |  Homesteader Blog, Uncategorized  |  No Comments

Interested in a farm internship at Barefoot Farm in 2017? Here is a link to more information:

Barefoot Farm

Watch GOSHEN – a powerful new film about the Tarahumara

Dana Richardson and Sarah Lentz have spent years with the Tarahumara. Last summer, they visited Barefoot Farm to interview Will Harlan. Their film, GOSHEN, reveals how the Tarahumara tribe’s ancient diet and active lifestyle can not only transform your personal health and fitness, but may be the key to preserving Tarahumara culture as well. It is the best documentary ever made about the Tarahumara and captures their lifestyle and beliefs better than anything yet produced.

You can watch the film for free right here:

Learn more and buy the DVD at goshenfilm.com.

A More Verdant World

A More Verdant World

July 8, 2014  |  Homesteader Blog, Uncategorized  |  No Comments

Gentle readers, summer is fully upon us. Most days culminate in the kind of downpour reserved for summer afternoons – sudden and fierce, with raindrops big as eyeballs.

As one would expect, the main chore this time of year is weeding.Try as we might, I’m sure the most abundant edible in the fields is lambsquarters, closely followed by pigweed. Alas, the weeds are so much heartier than our dear domesticates. There are tomatoes to be staked and soon raspberries and kiwis to be pruned, and new potatoes to be coaxed out of the ground. But the tomatoes must first be uncovered like Aztec ruins in the jungle, and sunshine must revisit the squash, and the battle for vegetal dominion over the raised beds needs human hands to turn the tides.

My posts are usually laundry lists marking the passage of time, but that’s how it is out here: each task succeeded by the next, harvests endlessly overlapping, each day given a standard shape by the needs of the goats and the chickens, the eager internal dinner bell of the dogs, and broken up by the mid-day heat that drives me to seek shelter by 2 o’clock every afternoon. In the evening the fireflies play a high-stakes game of Marco Polo that goes well into the night. These mountains sparkle.

Every day our little corner of the earth is more beautiful.

Even more kids on the farm

Even more kids on the farm

June 17, 2014  |  Homesteader Blog  |  No Comments

A while ago, before school was out for the summer, River’s kindergarten class came to visit us at Barefoot. They tried their hands at milking (Celeste, not Juno, who is less patient on the milking stand). They dined on a kid-friendly farm-to-table spread of apples and honey, goat cheese, chips and salsa, and home made ice cream. They got their hands in the dirt planting tomato starts. They watched a cheese making demonstration and saw Will harvest honey with a centrifuge. They completed a farm-wide scavenger hunt and did some intrepid exploring in Walker Creek. And somehow all of our small and oh-so-curious visitors left, though perhaps a little damp with creek water and sticky with honey, none the worse for wear.

the salamanders saw them coming. none were seen that day.





Have you hugged your hen today?


scholarship program launches

scholarship program launches

May 21, 2014  |  Homesteader Blog  |  No Comments

Barefoot Seeds’ Las Guacamayas Scholarship Program provides scholarships for young Raramuri athletes who have demonstrated the desire to continue their education and participate in sports. Our board of advisors selects 5-6 students per year to live dormitory style at Rancho Las Delicias in Urique, Chihuahua, Mexico. Our goal is to support their involvement in school, support their cultural traditions and provide opportunity to participate in indigenous races in the Sierra Madre and ultra trail races in Mexico and other countries.

The students share household responsibilities, participate in Barefoot Seeds farming programs, compete in races, and share in the family atmosphere of the ranch. They enjoy the freedom of playing on the expansive beaches along the river and in our gardens and orchards. They eat fresh vegetables from the garden, make tortillas by hand with corn they help plant and water trees that bring them shade and an abundance of fruit.

Current scholarship recipients for the school term 2013-2014 are Catalina Rascon, Silvestre Rascon, Emma Gonzalez, Felipa Torres, Said Torres, Rosario Lopez, and Carmen Lopez
Emma, Said, Felipa and Rosario currently live at Las Delicias along with Mickey, Benjamin, our dogs Perita and Vaquero, 20 something chickens, 40 cows and a lot of wonderful visitors from around the world.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 2014/15
DAN LIEBERMAN FUNDRAISER IN ASHEVILLE, NC. MAY 23-24
ULTRAMARATON DE LOS CANONES GUACHOCHI: JULY 18-20
SCHOOL STARTS: AUGUST
ULTRA TRAIL DE MEXICO, HIDALGO 80K: OCTOBER 11
FESTIVAL DE LAS CULTURAS CEROCAHUI 60K: OCTOBER
RACE OF THE LIGHT FEET SORIOCHIQUE: DECEMBER
RACE OF THE LIGHT FEET URIQUE: JANUARY 2015

OPERATIONAL BUDGET PER MONTH FOR 8 STUDENTS
RENT AT LAS DELICIAS 200.
FOOD/BASIC SUPPLIES 500.
SALARY(house manager) 800.
HEALTH CARE 100.
TOTAL $1600. (USD)

At Barefoot Seeds we are asking individuals, runners’ groups and organizations to help sponsor one Tarahumara young person on our team for one year. Our goal is that our supporters will be as closely connected to the students and their activities as possible, by: Communicating with the students through emails with letters and photos, visiting with them in Urique and seeing them at the races. They will send regular reports of their activities and photos of current events.

$1600 (USD) PER MONTH BY 8 STUDENTS == $200. PER MONTH

If you would like to make a contribution without specifically designating a student please do so…..a little goes a long way.

All funds raised above the goal will go to support travel expenses to races outside the Sierra Tarahumara

LINKS
http://barefootfarm.org/
https://www.facebook.com/barefootseeds?ref=hl

**Guacamaya is the name given to a type of colorful macaw that is often seen cruising through the mango orchards in Urique Canyon, a bird that brings a smile to everyone’s face when sighted.

—-

LAS GUACAMAYAS
ESTUDIANTES RARAMURI /PROGRAMA DE BECAS ATLÉTICAS PATROCINADO POR BAREFOOT SEEDS

DIRECTOR DEL PROYECTO:MICKEY MAHAFFEY
CONSEJEROS: WILL HARLAN/SERGIO MARES G./RICK MARCIAL/ ROSA CABADA GUTIERREZ/DR. DAN LIEBERMAN/ ALEX PADILLA/ DR. AARON BAGGISH/BEATRIZ MENDEZ/MARCOS FERRO
PATROCINADORES: BAREFOOT FARM, RANCHO LAS DELICIAS, CORRIENDO POR LOS RARAMURIS, BAJA TACOS AND SHRIMP

PROPÓSITO
Proveer becas para atletas jóvenes Raramuri que han demostrado el deseo de continuar su educación y participar en los deportes. Nuestro grupo de consejeros selecciona 5-6 estudiantes por año para que tengan un lugar donde vivir en el Rancho Las Delicias en Urique, Chihuahua, México. Nuestra meta es apoyar su desarrollo en la escuela, apoyar sus tradiciones culturales y proveerles una oportunidad de participar en carreras de indígenas en la sierra madre y en ultra maratones en México y otros países.
Los estudiantes comparten las responsabilidades de la casa, participan en los programas de agricultura de Barefoot Seeds, compiten en carreras, y comparten en familia la atmosfera del rancho en donde viven. Disfrutan la libertad de jugar en el rio y en el jardín y hortaliza; También comen vegetales frescos del jardín, hacen tortillas a mano con maíz que ellos ayudaron a plantar y riegan las plantas y árboles, mismos que les dan sombra y fruta en abundancia.
Los jóvenes que actualmente cuentan con esta beca en el término escolar 2013-2014 son: Catalina Rascón, Silvestre Rascón, Emma Gonzalez, Felipa Torres, Said Torres, Rosario López, y Carmen López

Emma, Said, Felipa y Rosarioactualmente viven en el rancho las Delicias junto con Mickey, Benjamín, nuestros perros: Perrita y Vaquero, 20 pollos, 40 vacas y nuestros muchos visitantes de todo el mundo.
ITINERARIO DE LOS EVENTOS 2014- 2015
RARAJIPARI/ARIWETA CUITECO 9-11 MAY0
RECAUDACION DE FONDOS DAN LIEBERMAN EN ASHEVILLE,NC.
23-24 MAY0
ULTRAMARATON DE LOS CANONES GUACHOCHI:18-20 JULIO
INICIO DE LA ESCUELA: AGUSTO
ULTRA MARATON DE MEXICO, HIDALGO 80K: 11 OCTOBER
FESTIVAL DE LAS CULTURAS CEROCAHUI 60K: OCTOBER
RACE OF THE LIGHT FEET SORIOCHIQUE: DECEMBER
RACE OF THE LIGHT FEET URIQUE: JANUARY 2015

PRESUPUESTO OPERACIONAL POR MES (8 estudiantes)
RENTA RANCHO LAS DELICIAS $2,000. PESOS
COMIDA/SUPLEMENTOS BASICOS $5,000. PESOS
SALARIO
Director $4,000. PESOS
Administradora de la casa $4,000. PESOS
CUIDADO DE LA SALUD $1000. PESOS
TOTAL $16,000.PESOS

PRESUPUESTO OPERACIONAL POR ESTUDIANTE:
$2,000. PESOS AL MES
$24,000. PESOS AL ANO

Todos los fondos extra obtenidos tienen como propósito pagar los gastos de los viajes a las carreras fuera de la Sierra Tarahumara
Estamos buscando personas, grupos u organizaciones que patrocinen un tarahumara joven de nuestro equipo por un año. Nuestra meta es que los patrocinadores estén en contacto cercano con los estudiantes y con todas sus actividades, como sea posible, es decir, comunicándose por correo electrónico, visitándolos en Urique y viéndolos en sus carreras. Los estudiantes mandaran reportes de mensuales con sus actividades y las fotos de los eventos actuales.
Si quisieran dar alguna contribución sin tener asignado a algún estudiante, por favor háganlo. Con poco se hace mucho. Para donaciones, entrar a la liga.

LINKS
http://barefootfarm.org/
https://www.facebook.com/barefootseeds?ref=hl

April Showers

bring spring flowers... and the planting of parsnips

April Showers

May 1, 2014  |  Homesteader Blog  |  No Comments

So much has been happening here as the season swung suddenly into full gear. Spring is a fickle season, lulling our orchards into a false sense of security with balmy nights for a week at a time before snapping back to snow and frost, just as the first branches dare to flower.

Our little bucks have all found good homes and Star, Juno’s little doe kid, has grown precocious in the absence of her cohort. Stocky little Luna has gotten over her jealousy, although it probably helps that Star is now almost the same size as her (they grow up so fast). We have been milking Celeste and Juno for almost a month now, which means roughly two gallons of milk a day – plenty for the novice cheese maker to play with.

Potatoes are in the ground and the raised beds are all showing signs of life. The peas are looking lively, but the broccoli suffered in the last frost. The strawberries are flowering, and we harvested our first asparagus last week (!). Weeds are making alarming advances in every corner, but that’s to be expected, and we do our best to keep our crop islands above the rising tide of chickweed, clover, dandelions, and crab grass.


Asparagus makes its entrance

Broccoli is one of my favorite flowers

We’ve been working around the April showers, but they have certainly been drawing our schedule for us. In some ways though, the rain seems to be doing a lot of the work. It’s amazing what a warm, rainy night can do.


Our blueberries are thick with flowers and loud with bees, promising good things ahead. Our other berries received a lot of attention last week as we cut out all of lasts season’s fruiting stems (shoots are biennial and die after fruiting), attempted some weed control, trained the truly unruly semi-erect varieties, and planted a new row of raspberries.

http://barefootfarm.org/?p=1226&preview=true

The season has just begun. There’s so much still to come, and each day is greener than the last.

Animal, Vegetable, Fungus

Animal, Vegetable, Fungus

April 1, 2014  |  Homesteader Blog  |  No Comments

Ah, spring. A week of snowstorms and 60 degree days. Celeste gave birth to triplets (three bouncing baby bucks) during Tuesday’s storm.

This week saw a hundred new shiitake logs drilled and plugged with thimble-shaped spawn capsules.

Action shot


round pegs, round holes

We almost doubled the size of our mushroom operation. Of course, the new logs won’t fruit this season (they’ll spend most of the year establishing themselves in their new hardwood homes), but next year will bring an embarrassment of riches in the shadier parts of the property.

Snowcaps, living up to their name.

The cats eye the raised beds as though they were the giant litter boxes of kitty heaven, but at least they avoid the starts we put in the ground this week.

itty bitty tatsoi babies, and Katie's fabulous fingernails

We planted flats of tomatoes (Roma, Amish Paste, and Brandywine), peppers, basil, and sage – but they’ll spend the nights indoors until May, when the last chance of hard frost is gone.
Starting tomato seeds

The first veggies (lettuce and the like) won’t be ready to harvest until late April or early May, and patience is a virtue I’m still learning, but with potatoes to get in the ground, and mulching, and mowing, and a million other things to do, asparagus season will sneak up on us before we know it.

New Arrivals

Just look at that face

New Arrivals

March 23, 2014  |  Homesteader Blog  |  No Comments

Shout it from the rooftops, the kids are here! And our kids are the cutest, smartest, sweetest, most precocious kids of any kids that ever were (can you tell that they’re my first?). At 9 AM on Wednesday, our oldest Saanen doe Juno dropped a little buck and a little doe into the world without a hitch.

Our dwarf Nubian goat, Luna, seems to be having jealousy issues because she’s no longer the cutest goat in the pasture. Our other Saanen, Celeste, is due any day now, and if she’s not holding at least two in there I’ll be massively surprised. By now, dear reader, you have probably noticed the deliberate celestial theme in our caprine nomenclature; we are still trying to name the newest members of the family, so please feel free to leave stellar baby names in the comments.

In a few months we will be looking for a good home for Juno’s little boy, so if you or anyone you know has a goat-sized hole in the heart, give us a holler! We’ve got just the goat for your troubles.

Never mind the snow that’s coming for us on Tuesday – Spring is here, and you can look forward to regular posts on farm activities, and of course more pictures of baby goats than are strictly necessary.


arnulfo's team wins traditional ball-kicking race

arnulfo’s team wins traditional ball-kicking race

January 23, 2014  |  Homesteader Blog  |  No Comments

Each year, Barefoot Seeds helps organize and support a Tarahumara rarajipari and ariweta — traditional team ball-kicking and ring-throwing races. Women toss a hoop ahead of them with a stick as theyrun; men kick a heavy wooden ball as they run, often for 100 miles or more.

Last weekend, the fourth annual Race of the Light Feet rarajipari/ariweta was held in Urique. Below is a race report from our project manager and race organizer in the canyons, Mickey Mahaffey:

The mens’ rarajipari race ended at near midnight on Sunday after 17 laps and 119 kilometros (74 miles). The Batopilas team crossed the finish line together: Arnulfo Quimare, Silvino Cubesare, Florencio Quimare and Bonifacio Quimare. The veteran team from Guachochi stayed even through the first 7 or 8 laps, then slowly dropped to about 3.5 kilometers behind and stayed behind at that distance for the remainder of the race.

As they have demonstrated in the other rarajipari races, Arulfo and team orchestrated a smooth rotation of runners actively moving the ball forward while their teammates dropped back to run a few laps in ‘cruise control’ and stop to drink pinole.

The young girls on the Urique ariweta team ran with their hearts wide open but could not keep pace with Isidora Rodriguez Gonzalez, 36, from Tatahuichi, municipio Guachochi. Catalina Rascon, age 13 outran Isidora in the 63k at Sinforosa Canyon and again in the 60k at Cerocahui…but not in the indigenous race. Isidora is the long running ariweta champion in the Sierra Madre, the Arnulfo Quimare of women. While we ate lunch together about 30 minutes after the race she admitted to being very tired but the,glow of contentment so manifest in her face was striking. Isidora and Catalina ran 42 kilometers in the morning race; later I saw them late in the night, their brilliant skirts swishing in the light of ocote torches, running stride for stride with the lead rarajipari runners.

On Saturday, after the men spent the morning carving balls and sticks, we walked the course with the cabecias (captains) of the teams from Batopilas and Guachochi/Urique along with the runners and began debates about which rules would apply. I knew that each team represented two different Tarahumara dialects and customs but I had no idea the extent of the differences; in rarajipari the rules and styles are entirely different. Perhaps most curious is the fact that they live so close geographically; only about 5 hours by foot separate the two cultures.

Three hours after we started the walk we resolved the final issues about how long the race would be and whether they would run with sticks like in Batopilas, or without sticks as is the tradition in Tatahuichi. The much older Tatahuichi runners knew they could not beat the younger Quimare clan in a “short” race of 75 to 100 kilometers; they also knew their chances of persuading Batopilas to run more than 25 laps would be unlikely. Instead, they argued to extend the course knowing they could more likely outlast Batopilas at a longer distance. In the end the Guachochi/Urique team agreed to 25 laps however they held strong on increasing the length of the Urique course by about 1.5k longer than previous races thereby making a total distance of about 168 kilometers or 105 miles.
Martin Ramirez, 54, the 7th place finisher at Leadville in 1994 and 12th place at Western States and who has run the Ultramarathon Caballo Blanco two years, led the way for Guachochi most of the race. After 17 laps I asked their cabecia how Martin was doing and he said, He is behind by half a lap but I am confident he won’t stop before he has completed 25 laps.

Right after they completed 18 laps I got a message that the race was called because a runner for the Guachochi/Urique team dropped out of the race and, later in the night, started running with the ball again.Guachochi had agreed from the beginning to invite a few runners from Urique to run with them, even Miguel Lara showed up and decided to run (he dropped out at 16 laps with cramps). We regretted that a runner from Urique tried to pull this off but the saving grace was that the cabecia for Guachochi/Urique was the one who reported the infraction. It was a shame that one of the runners tried to cheat and stopped the race earlier than planned. How amazing it would have been to see them complete 25 laps, yet despite all, everyone present in Urique was deeply gratified by the beauty of the race and amazed once again by the exuberance for life the Raramuri show us. Through the example of their lives they truly demonstrate to anyone who cares to pay attention: how to be a real human being.

looking for 2014 farm interns

looking for 2014 farm interns

September 13, 2013  |  Homesteader Blog  |  No Comments

Wanna join us on the farm in 2014? We’re accepting applications for 1-2 interns to help with planting and harvesting, processing and storing produce, weeding and mulching, and selling produce at market or delivering donated produce to communities in need.

Our farm is a seven-acre, off-grid organic homestead in the mountains of western North Carolina. We grow organic berries, vegetables, and have over 100 fruit trees. We also have dairy goats, chickens, and bee hives. We are a nonprofit, and most of our surplus produce goes to families in need.

We live adjacent to the trails and waterfalls of Pisgah National Forest. The Appalachian Trail and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are nearby. A mountain creek with abundant swimming holes flows directly beside our property.

The farm is 30 minutes from Asheville, N.C., a thriving and progressive metropolis full of music, arts, and restaurants.

Interns would need to provide their own transportation. They can certainly carpool to Asheville with us whenever they like; we both work in town and travel there regularly. English and intermediate Spanish spoken.

We would expect 20 hours a week, organized at the discretion of the intern(s), the weather, and the weekly needs of the farm.

We have a separate cottage for the intern(s) with air conditioning, a full kitchen, bathroom and shower, living room, and a porch beside a pristine mountain creek. High-speed internet access is provided free of charge. All utilities will also be paid for. We also will provide fresh eggs, milk, vegetables, honey, potatoes, apples, and other farm fresh produce.

If you’re interested in joining us, email harlanwill@gmail.com with a letter of introduction and a resume.