Molly Rockamann first visited the Mueller Farm as a 15 year old. Her father took her there to see the farm and meet Al & Caroline Mueller, the farmers, because of her nature-loving, vegetable-eating ways. He thought she might like to see an organic farm in the city he grew up in – Ferguson. That visit left an indelible impression on Rockamann, and she told herself that one day she hoped to work on that farm.
After studying environmental studies in Florida, agroecology in California, development studies in the Fiji Islands, and working with farmers in Ghana and Thailand, Molly returned to her hometown of St. Louis in 2007 and met organic farmer John Wilkerson at the Ferguson Farmers Market. She learned that he’d been renting an acre of the Mueller Farm from Caroline since Al Mueller’s passing in 1999, and asked to join him. In 2008 Rockamann decided to start EarthDance as a means of preserving the historic Mueller Farm while connecting more people to the land through community food production. Her experience as an apprentice at UC-Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems in 2005 inspired her with the idea to create a part-time apprenticeship program for local residents in St. Louis.
In September 2008, The Open Space Council became EarthDance’s fiscal sponsor, giving 501c3 status to EarthDance, and enabling us to receive tax-deductible donations. The Open Space Council is an organization that works collaboratively to conserve and sustain land, water and other natural resources throughout the St. Louis region.
In 2009 EarthDance inaugurated the part-time training program for 12 beginner farmers. In our second growing season – 2010 – we expanded the program with 31 apprentices and almost double the acreage – to grow more local, organic food and farmers for the St. Louis region. The 2010 apprentices also acted as the first share-holders for our pilot community supported agriculture program (CSA) year. In 2011, EarthDance expanded its acreage and offered public CSA shares for the first time.
On May 24th, 2012 EarthDance, bought the farm! The Open Space Council, along with a few donors, provided funds to purchase the farm, with the understanding that a conservation easement will be placed on the land to protect it from development.
Big plans are in store for the Mueller Farm: future infrastructure includes a greenhouse, packing shed, office space, education center, small livestock barn, commercial kitchen, and an art barn for on-farm events. But first, additional funds must be raised. EarthDance is also seeking plumbers, carpenters, landscapers, and contractors to lend a hand in their farm-raising.
EarthDance is currently embarking on its 7th season of its Organic Farming Apprenticeship program. EarthDance sells at the Ferguson Farmers Market, operates a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, and offers farm tours and volunteer opportunities on the farm.
We hope to see you on the farm soon!
Organic farmers feeding the world.
Communities caring for the land.
Farms inspiring creativity.
We envision productive local farms where creative endeavors can bloom alongside flourishing produce. We envision former strangers cultivating the land together and growing relationships in addition to sugar snap peas. We envision an Artist-in-Residence gaining inspiration from the beauty of a community farm and in return sharing their talents with farm-workers and farm-goers. We envision individuals from all walks of life coming to EarthDance to learn skills in organic farming and gardening, to taste a fresh-picked carrot, and to see where their food comes from. We are dedicated to seeing this vision through to reality.