Homestead Edible Backyard

Designer:  John Isaac Gutierrez

Homestead Edible Backyard.   Creating and stewarding a dynamic ecological double-plot backyard homestead for a communal house in the downtown Colorado Springs historic district, where its abundance will provide for the future, pleasure and regeneration of its tenants and itself; and provide space to share with community — hosting ecological workshops, foodshed-focused gatherings, (music) house-shows, a separate guest dwelling area, and community woodcarving and creative-space.

By capturing more of the resource flow through this landscape into infrastructure such as landscape-grading seasonal rainfall into a pond; solar collection into a pit-greenhouse and passive solar water heating; leaf-composting to replace peat in soil-building and propagation; and composting the flow of food and garden-waste; combined with extensive perennial plantings and a robust catchment-supplied irrigation system, the surpluses of these implementations will regeneratively meet the needs and goals of the humans and ecology within this system.

John Isaac Gutierrez

John Isaac Gutierrez is an orchardist based in both Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. He is currently establishing a homestead garden space with his public radio journalist partner, Ali Budner, on their fifth acre historic plot in Colorado Springs along with their housemates, Ellen, a local farmer; and Maria, a biologist. 

In a former life, John was a cheesemonger. The culmination of his nearly decade-long cheese career was founding the shop, Cheesemongers of Santa Fe, in his familial home of New Mexico in 2014. The shop still thrives there today.

But in 2017, John traded in cheese (and hobby gardening on the side) for a year of full-time learning and working at the Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead, one of the oldest permaculture teaching sites in North America, on Orcas Island, WA.

John then brought this multifaceted experience and deep love of orchard work back home to New Mexico where he farmed with MiYoung’s Farm in Jaconita and Western Family Farm in Santa Fe. He has since put his efforts into restoration orchard work on his grandparents’ land in Taos, and operating his commercial orchardwork business, Buenas Huertas Tree Care.

Photo credit Rhombie Sandoval