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Christina & jOchen Manning Lebek

Garden Consultants

 
 
 
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Mission

Modern Farmsteads was founded with the belief that even though many of us will never own or run a working farm, the truth is, we can all live off our land a little bit. In our experience, growing food creates community, impacts our health holistically, benefits the environment, and brings us joy.  Regardless of where you call home, the size of your property or the establishment that you run, at Modern Farmsteads we have made it our mission to help city folks and urban dwellers learn the rewarding and simple ways to grow vegetables and fruit that fits within their busy schedule and particular living situation. For our corporate and food industry clients, we offer the ability to offer the freshest food possible. Our clients range from those just starting out who want to grow herbs and greens, to those who hope to introduce freshly grown vegetables into their family’s diet, and also individuals and families eager to transform their whole property into an edible landscape that feeds them with the seasons. 

Additionally, we consult for restaurants and catering firms who want to create productive culinary gardens that offer the full farm to table experience for their customers.

We meet in your growing space and consult about where to place your raised beds, to what grows best in our region and our initial garden consult includes a garden design. We also offer concierge garden installations and ongoing maintenance services in order to design, build and sustain your garden for the years to come.  

 
 
 
Photo by Mackenzie Cruzan, Mcruzan Photography copyright 2019

Photo by Mackenzie Cruzan, Mcruzan Photography copyright 2019

 
 
 

Background

As recently as 60 years ago, most of our grandparents still grew a lot of their own food, and the property their house was built on was an integral part of feeding their family. Almost everybody grew at least some fresh produce, ate with the seasons, and canned what they could. With the rise of the processed foods industry and big agriculture, farming became about how to make the most money, not how to make sure we are eating food that is green and nutritious, as well as fair and affordable. Most of us lost the sense that we could provide for ourselves, that food could be fresh, economical, and delicious. At Modern Farmsteads, we are part of the movement of people who are recovering those skills and traditions amidst our busy, technology-driven lives. Wherever you live, however large or small your residence, we’d love to help you have the joy of growing fresh, wholesome food and with that, the many benefits that come with this beautiful way of life. 

 
 

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Wherever you live, however large or small your residence, we’d love to help you have the joy of growing fresh, wholesome food and with that, the many benefits that come with this beautiful way of life. 

/  Christina & Jochen  /

 
 

Experience

Christina and Jochen began their gardening journey just under 20 years ago in Boulder, Colorado in a community garden. At the time, they had little children and a small budget. The challenge was to learn how to grow their own food that was organic, economical, and that would help them work toward sustainability.  It became a fun family endeavor where their little girls proudly grew their own spinach (and therefore loved and ate it), while Christina and Jochen learned numerous international practices, regarding how to grow almost every kind of vegetable, from the global community who gardened with them.  

Since then, Jochen and Christina have grown food at home in Northern Ireland, micro-farmed on a traditional English allotment garden in London, England, participated in a community garden in Northern California, and have come full circle to Colorado where they settled in Longmont and have been turning their small, old-town property into an urban farm that produces fruit, herbs, and an abundance of vegetables with which they feed their family of five almost year-round.

Christina and Jochen have come to love what they call “Modern Farmsteading” - a way of living where they weave growing their own food (+ milling and baking their own sourdough bread) in and around their family’s busy schedules with all the demands of modern life.  For many years, Christina worked in senior corporate and non-profit roles by day, and by night and on the weekends she could be found in her family’s, friends’ and neighbors’ gardens - trouble-shooting and helping them enjoy the opportunity of being connected to the food they eat.  In 2018, she stepped away from corporate life and she and Jochen set up their own company - Modern Farmsteads - so that they can help their neighbors up and down the Front Range begin to have the garden that they have always hoped for.

 

Master Gardeners
2018-2019

NorCal Community garden
2013 – 2016

Royal College of Art
2010 – 2013

London Garden Allotment
2010 – 2013

No. Ireland Foodscaping
2007 – 2008

CU Boulder Community garden
2001 – 2007

 
 

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When an individual has the chance to taste freshly grown produce from home, they quickly realize that most commercial produce, sold in stores, is a shadow of what fruit and vegetables are supposed to taste like. Home gardening is no longer a lost art - the reality is, we are in the middle of a gardening renaissance where foodscaping (vs. landscaping) is moving into mainstream thinking. Jochen and Christina are more than garden consultants, they become friends who go above and beyond to help beginning gardeners like me each step of the way.

/  Nik  /