Florida Springs Institute will once again be hosting Into the Springs, a music festival in support of springs protection, at the beautifully serene Deep Spring Farm. Community involvement is key to the success of small-scale organic farms, and we are glad to support its owners, Michael and Leela Robinson, efforts at DSF. You may already know Michael and Leela through their volunteerism with environmental and local food organizations or from visiting the farm to pick blueberries. We want to share more about the farm’s work with freshwater ecosystem restoration, organically grown food production, and wellness ecotourism.
Michael and Leela Robinson founded Deep Spring Farm (DSF) with a plan for an organic farm retreat patterned after nature that welcomes community. They landed on CR 1491 in Alachua County in 2013 with their work cut out for them. The acreage was overgrown with invasive plants, and littered with burned-out buildings, broken down fences, a dilapidated unlivable mobile home, and tons of trash. The springfed pond was all but invisible with overgrown banks rooted with old growth smilax and covered with thick aquatic weeds. Yet, the countryside was quiet, the road access good, the parcel was high and dry and the potential for waterfront vistas and farmland productivity was conceivable, given enough time, money and labor.
Fast forward to 2018 and enjoy the transformation. The farm grew to twenty-two acres with acquisition of the lovely springfed pond to the east and surrounding pasture. DSF practices organic growing methods which they call Springs Friendly Agriculture. The 3rd blueberry U pick season concluded in July 2018. More perennial fruit crops are planned as funds become available. The goal is to have flowers and edibles to harvest year round. Ongoing ecosystem restoration makes both ponds enjoyable for water recreation while supporting plant and wildlife biodiversity. This rainy summer has grown lush wooded areas around Deep Spring Pond and nature trail. The waterfront platform that hosts our Into the Springs performers is also used for yoga classes and camping. Sunrise Pond has beach access perfect for launching a kayak or SUP. The farm has hosted one wedding, another upcoming. We can imagine many more special occasions.
DSF aligns with sister farms, organics and environmental organizations, to share resources for building resilient local food systems and ecosystems. FSI is proud to once again partner with Deep Spring Farm to create a wonderful weekend of live music, workshops, yoga, and recreation in the name of springs protection. We hope you’ll join us on the farm for Into the Springs.
First Annual Into the Springs Music Festival