About the Farm
Cloud Nine Farm is located outside the town of Wilsall, Montana, 35 miles NorthEast of Bozeman near the 46th parallel. The farm is located at 5300’ in elevation, on the lower slopes of sagebrush steppe country near the Bridger Mountain range. We farm in a Zone 3/4 climate with a growing season of 60 frost free days. Our dryland location is brittle; receiving 16” of annual precipitation on average, with extreme temperature swings occurring four seasons of the year.
Cloud Nine Farm is an evolving project currently comprised of certified organic market gardens, mixed fruit orchards, pastures and silviculture, water-catchment earthworks, a herd of Nigerian Dwarf Goats, a flock of assorted poultry, three Rat Terriers, two Cats and three Farmers.
We’ve been experimenting since our inception with permaculture techniques to determine their benefits in our challenging growing climate, and we’ve been pleased with the positive results we’ve witnessed, despite our many early learning curves. We have been utilizing Keyline design and Yeomans plowing for working with water catchment on our landscape, as well as for implementing logistical planning, and as an integral element in experiments in dryland pasture regeneration with non-inversion subsoil plow treatments to our compacted and depleted heavy clay soils.
We have worked on implementing no-till permanent gardens, four-season production methods, planting and evaluating hardy perennial fruit orchard polycultures, developed a detailed map of our operations, and holistically grazed five species of livestock, while operating a market garden over the past ten years.
The farm was started in 2008 by Allison & Seann Rooney & son Wyatt, and has been graced by the helping hands of many wonderful family members, friends, collaborators, employees, and volunteers, along with so many amazing customers; whose help, humor, sweat, shoulders, purchases and love helped us make it this far! We couldn’t have gotten this far without you! Thank you for supporting our work, farm and business!
We value healthy fertile soils, well-managed water resources, and low to zero inputs, especially of toxic chemistry. We want to leave our kids and the generations after, a healthy, biodiverse planet where good economic choices are synonymous with good environmental stewardship, especially within the context of re-localized food production systems. We want to work to better our skills in organic production methods and systems that are designed to mimic nature as much as possible, while growing amazing fresh and locally available foods. We want to make a business that the next generation will be ready, willing and excited to carry on or implement elsewhere. We want to help evolve the way we all think of growing the foods we all need and love. We want to share our work and support others to undertake their own experiments and adaptations.
Our Holisticgoal or Context
With Allan Savory’s Holistic Management system providing an essential framework for the progress, evolution and success of our business, we have articulated the following Holisticgoal or Context for our farm business, livelihood and family welfare, in order to inform our decision-making:
Our goal is to work hard for a regenerated and biodiverse agricultural and natural landscape; which can provide a living wage for all its workers; while building local food security, soils and deep roots; while maintaining a sacred space for rest and regeneration; for care for ourselves and our community, and a for happy and meaningful quality of life.