“I used to live in NYC where I sometimes wore suits and often sat in front of a computer for “work”.”
Today, you’ll find Phillip Crosby living on 20 acres on the side of a mountain in Western North Carolina where he is building a regenerative homestead.
How he got there is what we wanted to know.
Phillip grew up in Central Florida in a conventional farming community where oranges and strawberries were abundant. His grandfather had a 20 acre orange grove which has since died, unfortunately following the trend of many orange groves in Florida.
Phillip ended up taking a job in New York. He remembers building his first “garden” out of scrap wood on his rooftop in Brooklyn and is convinced that no matter how small your space is, you can grow food.
That New York experience is where Phillip would meet a friend that he would bike with for 10 months from Oregon to Peru. His co-pilot on the adventure wrote a best-selling book about the journey called To Shake The Sleeping Self.
The adventure taught him about the ancient traditions and agrarian ideals of Latin American cultures, especially Mexico, where multigenerational families often live on the same compound and steward and appreciate the land that provides for their sustenance.
It was this trip that connected the dots between agriculture and health.
The first step in Phillip’s dream becoming a reality happened two years ago when he purchased land in the mountains of North Carolina near Asheville with his mother – 20 acres of gently sloping to steeply sloping mountainside from the road to the ridge line – and that’s just the beginning.
Phillips goal is to integrate the ideology and research he has accumulated over the past 10 years into creating a community centered around real food.
The regenerative practices at work on his farm include no use of chemicals, no tilling, cover crops, and strategic water systems to flow through the ecosystem.
One of his dreams is to build a Walipini on his land – A walipini is an underground greenhouse that lets you grow food year-round. The name “walipini” comes from the Aymara Native American language and means “a place of warmth.” The idea was first developed in Bolivia, South America.
He funds his regenerative farm experiments with his body butter business that he makes himself along with other handcrafted goods.
Phillip describes himself as a combination of socialite and hermit, brave adventurer and shy home body, entrepreneur and quitter. His story is an inspiration for anyone with any background and a desire to have their own farm, even if it starts with a plant in the windowsill of an urban skyscraper.
There is soil all around all of us that could use some stewardship and love, whether its a planter box in a city or a fenced in backyard or whatever. The biggest thing is assuming the responsibility to care for it and get started wherever you are.
And on that note, we are heading outside to do just that.