Earth trine. Two separate words when combined have a special meaning. Earth is self explanatory. But what is trine?
The man behind the successful Earthtrine Farm, Robert “BD” Dautch, explained that trine refers to an aspect in astrology. As applied to one of the Ojai Valley’s most successful organic farms, it is the conjunction of the astrological signs for BD, his wife and his son. All three have “earth” signs. All in harmony with the earth.
In a lengthly article last year in Ventana Monthly, BD was called an “Organic Alchemist” who turned dirt into gold. Having toured his farm I can say he is that for sure. I see him more as a Renaissance Man with an important twist. Instead of helping to bring about a revival of art and literature, Dautch brings a revival of interest in small farming, as opposed to large corporate farming, with a focus on organics.
In talking with BD on his farm one can tell that he is one with his crops, the fields, and the earth under his feet. He is completely and literally “at home.” In addition to his passion as an organic farmer, BD is a family man. He has a son and two daughters at home and feels it is important to spend time with them before sending them off to school each morning. And, oh yeah, did I mention he is a Vegan?
Prior to 1974, when BD began his career in organic farming, he planted and attended to community gardens in Isla Vista. Today he farms two locations in Ojai: 10-acre and 3-acre organic farms near the Nordoff Cemetery. In addition, he farms five acres of organic produce in Carpinteria.
Although the majority of land on his farms supports oranges, he also grows an abundance of other fruits, vegetables and herbs. He not only harvests over 100 different varieties of produce throughout the year, he harvests and distributes edible weeds that sprout up naturally on the farm. The farm motto? “Go wild. Eat Weeds!” Naturally.
BD strives for a balance with nature and says that this is not always easy especially on an organic farm. When asked to elaborate he said “You can’t count on consistent weather. Inconsistent weather affects the timing on insect hatchings.” He implied that you have to be ever vigilant for insects that will eat the produce or kill the trees. “Work on a farm”, he said, “is never done.”
In sum, BD is a person of many talents including organic farmer, business man and family man. Look for him and his crew at the Ojai Certified Farmers Market each Sunday under the Earthtrine banner.