July 2020 update: as the legal and practical dissolution of Deep Dirt Institute unfolds over the summer, Women Grow Food continues to produce food at Deep Dirt Farm. Kate Tirion is taking a few months’ hiatus to focus her energies on new projects; other regulars have departed to spend their summers in friendlier climes. Cheridyn Egan has stepped in to serve as interim coordinator, ably guiding the efforts of four WGF members and a handful of volunteers who continue to tend the summer plantings in alternating, COVID-wise shifts, trap the endless legions of vermin and pests who find the farm’s veggies irresistible, and perform the other myriad tasks required to keep the vegetable beds producing. As of today (July 5), summer squash, beets, savoy cabbage, kale, garlic and onions are being harvested, while winter squash, potatoes, pumpkins, beans, carrots, tomatoes, dill, fennel, basil, broccoli, chard, eggplant, cucumbers, parsley and peppers are coming on. The ducks have been relocated to Kate and Richard’s home for the summer to lessen the caretaking burden at the farm, but the property continues to hum not only with the buzz of countless pollinators but also with unending birdsong and the raucous cawing of emboldened ravens. 


With the advent of fall—marked by the completion of DDI’s absorption by Borderlands Restoration Network, commencement of the fall planting season and the return of itinerant WGF members—food production activities at Deep Dirt should resume their pre-COVID pace. Doubtless there will be changes, as BRN strives to incorporate small-scale, sustainable food production into its repertoire of programming. Women Grow Food looks forward to this opportunity to grow (pardon the pun), evolve, strengthen, and expand to meet the challenges that face us all of us trying to rescale and localize our food system in regenerative ways.


For the foreseeable future, WGF will continue to need support in order to retain Cheridyn Egan as WGF coordinator and to buy seed, new mouse/rat/gopher traps and bait and many other supplies. WGF members and anyone else wishing to contribute financial support should mail their contributions to Borderlands Restoration Network, P.O. Box 121, Patagonia, AZ 85624. You can also donate online

February 23, 2020

As a Luddite-leaning septuagenerian it surprises me that I am really thankful for a piece of technology: my computer’s ability to sort photos by year, without which I would be challenged to remember all that we accomplished at Deep Dirt Institute and Campus in 2019. It was a phenomenal year, made possible by hard work, engaged students and the generosity of many people, not...

December 12, 2019

According to a recent LendEDU survey, Americans will be spending an average of $668 each to celebrate Christmas in 2019.  The majority of these expenses will be for gifts, followed by travel, then decorations. A full 50% of shopping will be done online, while 47% will involve travel to a store, and a determined 3% plan to hand-make gifts.  Can you guess where most of the sh...

September 25, 2019

Composting is one of the most fundamental practices a gardener can engage in, and is a process used on any permaculture site.  It recycles organic “waste” and turns it into valuable, highly useful material which is used to enrich the soil in vegetable beds, and around trees and other plants. This practice, returns nutrients to the soil and enriches the overall quality of to...

September 17, 2019

This post begins with a simple yet instructive exercise.  Launch your favorite browser and search for the following terms as images:





Do you notice any similarities?  (hint: most of the images are of men)

Many people are aware that women, generally speaking, are paid less than men for doing the same work.  In the U.S., for instance, women a...

August 22, 2019

Mimicking the synergies of nature

One of the principles of permaculture is to do the least amount of work for the greatest yield.  Anyone who has gardened for an extended period of time is naturally on the lookout for easier ways of doing things. And it seems to me that over time, virtually every gardener, in their own evolution will gravitate towards the permaculture way of...

July 29, 2019

Did you know that nearly 4,000 students and other youth have visited Deep Dirt Farm, now Deep Dirt Institute, over the last 14 years? Kate Tirion mentors, teaches and inspires hundreds of young people from Arizona and around the world who come to experience successful permaculture practice here at the Institute every year. Youth have been fundamental to our growth and succe...

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Deep Dirt Institute


Campus Address:

#76 Stevens Canyon Road

Patagonia, AZ




© 2019 Deep Dirt Institute

Deep Dirt Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit # 82-1550846 

Mailing Address (general): P.O. Box 765, Patagonia, AZ 85624

Mailing Address (donations): P.O. Box 121, Patagonia, AZ 85624