Tour of Dr. Joy Falkenburg’s Home Landscape
Dr. Joy Falkenburg hosted a SDSPA tour and local foods potluck celebration on Aug. 9, 2019 at her home in Custer, SD.
To anyone stepping foot onto the property of Dr. Falkenburg, it may appear a bit chaotic, where a large semi-load of seeds of every imaginable northern climate variety may have gotten dumped by a windstorm of some magnitude… for there are flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables in every nook and cranny, climbing walls and wrapping post, tumbling over pots, and bulging at the seams of fences. And yet, planned space opens to the weary where one can sit and breathe and talk, and rest. A playhouse. A greenhouse. A round stone table – a friendly climb for kids. Two fire pits with space to commune.
It was not a windstorm. Since 2003, Falkenburg has built a sanctuary where she can retreat from and for her healing practice. A large glass, wood and metal greenhouse sits to the southwest of the house and is ready for any seeking repose with a comfy bed right in the middle. Maybe a little warm in the summer months, but in winter, stars can share space with the fresh scent of herbs.
The yard that wraps around the Falkenburg home is landscaped with lush beds of flowers and a walkway that meanders around the Southside and to the back of the house. Clematis and woodbine combine and climb the wooden posts supporting the deck. Flowers and perennial shrubs and a variety of trees envelope the yard to create a calm and welcoming space.
Another garden plot is just northeast of the house lovingly labeled the Gorilla Cage (30’x30’) with raised beds. Here artichokes, beans, golden raspberries, sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, onions, chives, carrots, asparagus, spinach, beets, green beans, hollyhocks and poppies thrive.
Down below the barn is the newest addition to the Falkenburg landscape, a three-quarter acre orchard built this year (4 months old). A sub-irrigation system brings water to 35 trees including: cherry, peach, plum, apple, and pear. A new fence has been erected to protect the trees and other living things growing there. Raised beds contain a variety of vegetables including peppers, Swiss chard, kale, dill, lettuce, corn, cucumbers, squash, etc. Other new perennial fruit includes: raspberries, grapes and chokecherries. Within the space is a chicken yard with 40 hens, two pheasants, and a rabbit. The hens produce 220 eggs per year. A duck yard is also there where two potbelly pigs also share a water source. Along the wall of the barn a large sunflower is painted with the words, “You always attract more bees with honey than vinegar.” Falkenburg envisions that one day a farm stand will be added where community members can come and buy fresh produce.
You might ask who does all the work? The answer also involves a vision for family where all generations serve, caring for the land and each other. Therefore, Falkenburg’s children (Matt, Nancy, Ryken and Lincoln) manage the chores. She wants her kids to think like ranch kids, not a physician’s kids. They need to know and value work and service. And in this sense, the apples don’t fall far from the tree.
We can learn something from Dr. Joy who strives to create healing spaces through gardening where people feel welcomed and enveloped in beauty. The spaces we create matter. When you plant a seed, it will grow. Gardens help people. Enjoy the process and make sure there are plenty of flowers.
For more photos of the event, please visit our photo gallery- SDSPA Farm Tours 2019.