Elkstone High-Altitude Permaculture Garden
Steamboat Springs, CO
PHOTOs by LISA LEE BENJAMIN
This demonstration garden, located 8,000 feet above sea level, was a way for the client to connect and give back to the surrounding agricultural community of Steamboat Springs. The challenge was to design a high-altitude food garden in a harsh climate. In collaboration with Evo Catalyst, architect Michael Thompson, and permaculture guru Jerome Osentowski, a working farm was created, cultivating heirloom apple and pear trees as well as climate-adapted berries, bush cherries, ground cherries, raspberries and blueberries. An innovative passive solar, climate battery greenhouse houses 20 varieties of lemons and limes. A cottage industry is run from the ranch house, producing preserves, flower essences and creating employment opportunities in this remote community. The permaculture approach to this project dictated that design decisions be made to serve both human desires and the needs of non-human organisms and soils on the site.