Know Your Grower ─ Peaceful Belly

Drive up Bogus Basin Road, then look left, near Hidden Springs in the Dry Creek Valley. There you’ll see a small farm with big ideas — a place where the goal is “to develop a regenerative system” and to have fun doing it.

“Having a farm that’s not just organic, but alive,” said Josie Erskine, the farm’s co-owner.

Alive, indeed. Peaceful Belly animates our saliva glands with organic produce such as kale, chards, beets, peppers, arugula, tomatoes and melons. The Boise Co-op is honored to feature many of the Erskines’ exceptional foodstuffs.

Josie started the farm 13 years ago with her husband, Clay. After having trained at an organic farm in Oregon, the couple decided to apply their knowledge and passion in their home area, the Treasure Valley. They got right to work on their 60-acre plot, building the soil and water quality; supporting local bird species; boosting the insect population; and participating in “beneficial species planting.”

“We’re really trying to do conservation practices,” Josie said. For instance, they are researching ways to reduce tillage and, in turn, cut down on CO2 emissions.

It’s all part of the Erskines’ underlying motive to run a farm that mimics nature as closely as possible. They believe it can be done in a profitable way that also satisfies local folks who yearn to truly know the people from whom they buy food.

“Real peace starts with a belly full of food,” Josie said. “From there, we believe anything is possible.”

Facts on the Farm

  • The best part of Josie’s job? “The space that I get to enjoy,” from Stackrock to cloud shows and, in general, the ever-changing landscape.

  • Josie’s favorite dish that utilizes Peaceful Belly produce? Tomato sauce featuring all sorts of veggies “slowly cooked down together.”

  • What did Josie and Clay do before farming? Josie traveled around doing musical and theatre performances. Clay, a former snowboard instructor, went all over the world in search of killer mountains and water for kayaking.