From Katie Bloxham, SV Persephone

One of the highlights of our time in Dominica last season was a visit to Free Up Farm, a permaculture farm in the Syndicate Rain Forest.  Owners Aubrey and Lulu answered a few questions for Dawg Tales.

What is Free Up Farm?
Free Up Farm is a demonstration site featuring techniques adapted primarily from permaculture and natural farming methodologies.  

We provide food to our surrounding community using a "pay what you can" model to ensure everyone has access to chemical-free produce.  We provide to locals, expats, hotels, airbnb's and restaurants.  We are building capacity to host more tours, groups and events to share tips, strategies and examples of all things related to regenerative agriculture and farm-to-table dining.

What is Permaculture Farming?  How did you learn about it?
Regenerative farming encompasses any agricultural system that contributes back to natural soil and water systems more than it takes.  Permaculture is a design system branch of regenerative farming, and natural farming more a spiritual branch.  We were introduced to both through our travels in Central America, a Mecca for this type of agriculture.  Throughout our time we had the chance to work on farms that were brand new, farms that were 25 years old, thousand person festivals, retreats, yoga teacher trainings, vegan kitchens, restaurants and family homes, trying to soak in as much as we could.

How did you get started?
We travelled for many years from Brazil to Oregon working on permaculture farms, mainly in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and California.  Roots in Dominica brought us back home shortly after Hurricane Maria to put our new knowledge into practice.  A few grants, angel investors and a couple hundred tours later, we are constantly amazed by the special people we met and the abundance on the farm.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
Being able to stick with our "Pay what you can" model; designing and building our new visitor center; and being able to rewild our first generation of pigs, which have assisted tremendously with eliminating almost all food waste on the farm.

What is your favorite part of the farm?
All of it!

What are your plans for 2024?
We hope to lock in a few annual retreats or groups to come to the farm; start trialling workshops and guest lectures; and secure investment to out our 500+ acre conservation proposal into action.

Can people come and visit?  How can we help?
As we mentioned, fruit sales are "pay what you can", and therefore any donations to our overlying cause are helpful.  They allow us to build infrastructure to better receive guests and have lasting impact on the agricultural sector here in Dominica.

Read more about Free Up Farm at:

Contact Free Up Farm at:  [email protected] or WhatsApp 1 (717) 614-3153