Brambleberry Farm

Brambleberry Farm
Paoli, IN

Apprenticeship Mentor Farm

Agroforestry Systems:

Farm Information

Espri and Darren Bender-Beauregard began Brambleberry Farm in the hills of southern Indiana in the fall of 2003 on land that Esprí’s parents generously shared. Brambleberry started out as primarily a market garden and CSA, producing organic produce using no-till, sheet-mulch methods. While Espri and Darren supported themselves with annual produce production, the pair developed a complex food forest of perennial fruit trees and berries, which became the propagation base for their fruit, nut, and berry nursery. Now, this nursery is their main farm income source and focuses on local sales of regionally appropriate species and cultivars of trees and shrubs. The farm no longer raises vegetables for market, but it does occasionally sell excess fruits, berries, and meat to local vendors. The old garden beds have become an opportunity for a farm incubator project. 

Farm Information
Farmland Owner: Espri and Darren Bender-Beauregard

The main growing area is a 3.5-acre silvopasture where Espri and Darren rotate different species of livestock, which improves the soil with their grazing, manure, and trampling behaviors. The pair planted mixed orchard rows running north to south on 60-foot centers within this system to increase the yields of the given acreage. Over the years, Brambleberry has experimented with grazing cattle, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and geese in this system, but at the moment, it is limiting grazing to cattle, rabbits, poultry, and occasional feeder hogs.

The farm runs entirely on collected and stored rainwater, with neither municipal water nor wells to draw from. Developing the skill of using rainwater has allowed the farm to prevent erosion from roof runoff, keep a few small ponds topped off, and water the nursery, garden, and livestock. The farm currently has 11,000 gallons of water storage in three different, independent systems and demonstrates rainwater harvesting practices to its visitors. 

Espri and Darren are also artisans. Espri makes beautiful kitchen utensils and cutting boards from local hardwoods, which she sells at a number of local outlets. Darren is trying to figure out how to free up time to regularly work in his blacksmithing shop, with the hope of selling hand-forged knives, kitchen tools, and farm tools alongside Espri’s work.

Apprenticeship Opportunities

Apprentices support Brambleberry’s nursery with a variety of tasks, such as mixing potting soil and potting up trees and shrubs, plus watering, weeding, and mulching. Apprentices will learn about pruning and grafting trees in-field and in the nursery. Other duties include moving fence posts for rotationally grazed cattle and other basic farm maintenance.

Apprenticeship Program

Availability: Open



Support Our Work

Sponsor an Apprentice

Your gift could provide experience and technical education for aspiring farmers through on-farm training with a mentor farmer and community building opportunities for farmers, apprentices, and those interested in incorporating trees on farmland.