Enjoy a virtual walk on the land of Genesis Farm. We invite you to experience the beauty of the landscape and wildlife as you witness the gentle human imprint on the land, buildings, and gardens. We invite you to come into the beauty and diversity of this land and the ways our human presence is held here.
At the end of the driveway from the Silver Lake Road entrance, you arrive first at the Farmhouse
. The original house was built in the 1830’s. A large kitchen was added over 150 years later, yet it offers the warmth of age along with plenty of space for meal preparation and cooking classes. There are five guestrooms, three baths, and a composting toilet was installed in 1987.
Iychtos, sculpture by Frederick Franck, is the centerpiece of the flower and herb garden across from the Farmhouse. Frederick and his wife Claske, long-time friends of the Farm, created Pacem in Terris, an extraordinary sanctuary and sculpture garden on the banks of the Wawayanda River in Warwick, NY.
Walking west, stop at the Memorial Garden
which was designed as a “river of life,” planted with wildflowers. Seeds are sown during the growing season in memory of those who have died. Ceremonies on Memorial Day weekend and on November 2 are open to those who would like to join us in these special days of planting. For more information, click on Memorial Cards
Standing at the center of Genesis Farm land just beyond the Memorial Garden, the Grandfather Tree was named and blessed by Chief Thundercloud, a Cherokee healer and tribal chief who lived in this region.
Take the path through the trees up the hill to the Medicine Wheel
marked by animal-totem poles at the four directions: eagle at the east, coyote at the south, bear at the west, and buffalo at the north. Nearby is the Tipi
, used during programs as a gathering place for morning prayer and ritual.
Follow the grass path westward and continue up the hill through the meadow. The kiwi orchard, planted in 1986, provides grape-size kiwis after the first ripening frost of autumn.
Continue through a wooded area, emerging into the lawn at Bread and Roses, our guest residence which has welcomed program participants since 1990 and can accommodate 12 guests. Adjacent to Bread and Roses is the Art Studio.
Nearby is Wildwood Hermitage, a cozy, simple structure offering beauty, light, and openness to those seeking silence and solitude.
Returning back to the Farmhouse, visit the Library nearby – home to over 2,800 books, journals, and other resources pertaining to Earth literacy. Generous gifts from the Betsy Gordon Foundation allowed renovation of this former tractor shed in 1991 to provide classroom and library space for Earth literacy students, and in 2009 to add additional space and technology upgrades for teaching.
The solar panels
on the south side of the library were installed in 2005, providing electricity for the Farmhouse, Library, Office, and the Strawbale House.
From the solar panels, cross the stream and follow the grass trail east, climbing to the highest elevations on the land. The Strawbale Hermitage, built in 1992, provides a simple, peaceful sanctuary at the edge of the forest.
A seat under the Locust Tree offers an expansive view of the farm, the Kittatinny Ridge and Valley and the Delaware Water Gap – a perfect spot for watching sunsets.
Tucked away alongside the trail beyond the Locust Tree, the Cairn was created under the direction of Michael Davidson who managed the stone yard at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
After visiting the hillside, walk to the Pond
on the trail by the stream, which originates at an
underground spring that feeds the pond and then winds through the woods into the meadow and wetlands. The water flow varies with the seasons and weather, but the stream-bed is always visible. At the pond you may see frogs, turtles, fish, herons, and the occasional swimming bear. With a dock and boathouse, this is a favorite place for summer swims and restful canoeing. A gift to the Farm by neighbor Katherine Shepard in 1998 along with the surrounding 86 acres, we call it Shephard’s Blessing.
Returning from the Pond to the end of the driveway, the Office is a former farm building renovated in 1998 to provide staff working spaces and a small conference room.
The Tea Garden just outside the Office was created in 2002, another gift of the Betsy Gordon Foundation. Made with wood milled on the farm, the raised beds contain a variety of herbs which are used in our kitchen. The small greenhouse nearby serves as a space for sprouting seeds and storing garden tools.
The Seed-Saving Sanctuary Garden, just beyond the Tea Garden, was created in 2001 in collaboration with the Garden State Heirloom Seed Society. Since that time we have cultivated, saved and distributed fifteen varieties of heirloom tomato seeds.
The Strawbale House nearby demonstrates energy-efficient sustainable building that is also beautiful. Construction began in 1993 by teams of international volunteers; it provided an opportunity for local community members and builders to work and learn together. The house has a composting toilet and grey water waste system. A solar space heating panel was added on the roof in 2007.
The Barn, built into the hillside across from what is now the Library, has a lower level that once housed dairy cows and stored milk and is now used for a workshop and storage space. The upper level is an open space for program activities. Take time to appreciate the post and beam construction, with the date 1836 carved into one of the major beams.
Pass by the Wetlands as you travel back up the driveway. The stream flows into this rich ecosystem, where our young summer campers encounter the web of life close up – turtles, frogs, birds, cattails, and more.
At the entrance to the Farm is the Garden House, the heart of the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm. The lower level contains a root cellar and a distribution center, where Garden members pick up their weekly produce. The second level houses an office, a kitchen, and a work space where seeds are saved. Attached is a greenhouse used to start seeds in the spring and grow summer vegetables and herbs and winter salad greens. Cultivating approximately 35 acres, the three gardeners and their apprentices grow vegetables, beans, grains, herbs, fruit, and flowers using biodynamic methods. Members and other volunteers often help with weeding and harvesting. The gardens and fields of Genesis Farm also serve as an outdoor classroom for the local charter school.
The Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, NJ, have placed all but five of these 226 acres into farmland and woodland preservation, with the hope that the community of all life will be nourished by this place long into the future.