February 2014 - Robert "BD" Dautch of Earthtrine Farm - Ventura County Agricultural Education
February 2014: In Ojai ‘s Arbolada there is truly a little piece of paradise on the corner of Cuyama and Del Norte Roads. Behind an elegant row of bark stripped white eucalyptus trees a gorgeous yellow craftsman style home (my favorite house in the valley) stands as the welcome mat to 12 acres of pretty orchards and row crops known as Earthtrine Farm. The name refers to his family’s triangle combination of astrological signs. It is a farming nirvana with the Topa Topa Mountains prominently stretching across the back ground, rich soil you can smell, rock walls, flowers, trees laden with oranges, unique scarecrows and row crops. BD is the steward of these natural elements that design his masterpiece – Earthtrine Farm.
BD has been farming for nearly 40 years. He grew up in Buffalo, New York. As a previous New Yorker myself, BD and I had a sympathetic chuckle about the winter back east as we stood in short sleeves in the middle of his fields. He relocated to California in the mid-70s, establishing his first farm in Isla Vista with fellow surfer farmers. He now calls Ojai home and travels mostly between the valley and Gobernador Canyon in Carpinteria, where his other farm is located.
Earthtrine grows more than 100 different crops throughout the year. They are famous for their culinary herbs, from rosemary, parsley, thai basil, lemon basil, oregano, fennel, chervil, cilantro, mizuna, lovage and mustard family plants. BD is also known for his wide assortment of greens, including, chard, dandelion, green leaf and kale. Every where you look there is a different crop.
“Where can you find BD’s plethora of fruits and vegetables,” you ask? The Earthtrine Farm Stand is appropriately right in the middle of the Ojai Farmers Market on Sunday mornings. He also sells his goodies in the downtown Santa Barbara Market on Tuesday and Saturday. BD was very proud to tell me more and more restaurants are buying directly from his farm. It’s definitely a trend to see farms listed on restaurant menus. People want to know and educate themselves on where their food is grown. Why didn’t I think of that?
When I asked BD what was one of the best parts of being a farmer? He said, “Meeting and interacting with the customers who take home my produce. It’s a great feeling knowing my work with be on their tables.” Earthtrine doesn’t have a website – when I asked BD quickly responded with a “No”. “I don’t need one. If people want my organic produce – they can find me”. This guy is the real deal. Once we finished the interview he walked over to one of his orange trees and started pruning.
Thank you BD.