Barbara Vaughan Bailey is the owner of the Blue Moon Stead property, which is home to both Horseradish Ranch LLC and Blue Moon Stead LLC. Blue Moon stead produces specialty crops for the Gorge community, focusing on flavorful and unique heirlooms not commonly found elsewhere.
Blue Moon stead goes beyond just the use of dry-farming and no-till soil management for more sustainable food. Rather than settle into production models commonly used in commercial-scale agriculture, Blue Moon Stead is committed to diverging from the beaten path to ask the question, “How can this be made or done in a better way?”
A great majority of Barbara’s projects involve exploring how to conserve water through the use of new tools such as precipitation and dew collection basins, wick-irrigation, and measures to prevent the loss of soil moisture through evaporation — and also old methods, such as re-forestation of parts of property and re-establishment of many types of native trees and plants. Crops are preferentially selected according to more unconventional criteria, such as:
- drought-resistance/low water use
- storage capacity/shelf life
- nutrient-dense sources of food
- deep root masses that prevent erosion
Blue Moon Stead’s goal is to find the best ways to ensure the continued agricultural productivity of this land while taking care to preserve its greatest asset: its wild nature. New strategies that benefit the wildlife, watershed, and native ecosystem are explored with each coming season, and with a new partnership with Horseradish Ranch, Barbara hopes to ensure the preservation of the land and continued harmony with the wilderness surrounding it for many years to come.