Rathvinden is a small farm north of Bozeman in the Springhill community.
The farm was originally established to be a rescue for surrendered domestic animals, especially herding dogs, to provide a safe and caring environment, training, and socialization so that they could have a better chance for adoption.
Over time, and thanks to the ideas and inspiration of many friends, workers, and volunteers, the mission has expanded to include a organic flower farm, events venue, and education center.
Using permaculture, experimentation, and holistic management we are attempting to create a cycle of mutual benefit between people, cultivated plants, domestic animals, wildlife, and wildflowers.
Our guiding principal is health, not just health for humans, but for everything. This means using no pesticides or herbicides, fertilizing with compost and organic manure, practicing crop and animal rotation, using natural predators whenever possible, and leaving space for wildlife.
To improve health, we look to nature and try to copy her techniques such as diversity, mixed planting, cooperation with animals (even bugs - especially bugs!), and recycling. We're not always adept at this. We do not often find the perfect answer or complete a cycle, but we're improving and that's the fun and rewarding part.
To create surpluses from healthy cycles, using few outside inputs besides sunlight and water, creating minimal waste, while maintaining or improving the health of all components -- those are the challenges we embrace.
Rathvinden is a gaelic word meaning fort of the faeries, and is named after the original Rathvinden, a 500-year-old family farm on the River Barrow in County Carlow, Ireland.