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BD of Earthtrine Farm

Rachel Hommel

BD of Earthtrine Farm


BD of Earthtrine Farm

Growing Herbs, Greens, Veggies, and Figs in Ojai


Name: Robert “BD” Dautch

Farm: Earthtrine Farm

Location: 1091 Cuyama Rd., Ojai, CA 93023

What they grow: Famous for their culinary herbs, Earthtrine is home to more than 20 varieties of flavorful herbs, from the common to the not-so-common, including rosemary, thai basil, lemon basil, oregano, fennel, chervil, cilantro, mizuna, horseradish, chamomile flowers, lovage, and mustard-family plants. Additionally, BD grows a wide selection of organic salad greens, bitter greens, assorted mixed vegetables, and 10 varieties of their popular figs.

Where to buy: Farmers Markets including Tuesday in downtown Santa Barbara, Saturday in downtown Santa Barbara, and Sunday in Ojai. Additionally, Earthtrine sells their produce directly to Blue Agave and more than 20 other restaurants.

In season now: Japanese cucumbers, summer squash, cilantro, mandarins, beets, red torpedo onions, earl grey tomatoes, pea tendrils, broccoli, cabbage, leeks, chives, holy basil, thai basil, tarragon, radishes, oranges, and summer field flowers.

Their story: Known by some as the “Organic Alchemist,” BD has been farming for nearly 40 years. Growing up in New York, BD relocated to California in the mid-70s, establishing his first farm in Isla Vista with fellow surfer-farmer friends. After an inspiring year farming in Southeast Asia, BD decided to make farming a full-time profession, settling upon the name Earthtrine. The name comes from astrology, referring to his family’s triangular combination of astrological signs. Otherwise known as “harmony of the earth elements,” the Earthtrine farm in Ojai is a farmer’s nirvana.

“We all began as farmers — everybody used to live on farms,” said BD. “It’s important for people to really discover where their food comes from, to get back to their roots. Being in touch with your local farmer brings back that connection with the earth.”

With more than 100 different crops throughout the year, BD enjoys cultivating produce rich in genetic diversity, including a large selection of heirloom varietals. Certified organic from the beginning, BD is committed to the health of his produce and his loyal patrons. A familiar face at the farmer’s markets, his motto is simple: Go wild, eat weeds!

“I love feeling the symbiotic relationship when I’m at the market,” he explained. “Seeing the gratitude of the market-goers is really special. Everyone has their favorites. I love hearing their insight.”

Tulsi Holy Basil Tea

This tea is commonly used for ceremonies in Hinduism.

1 full bunch of Tulsi basil leaves

½ gallon water

Place herbs in boiled water for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten with local honey or agave nectar. Tulsi tea for centuries has been used to help relieve stress, support immunity, strength, and stamina, and provide relief from colds and flus.

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