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Welcome to

Lodestar Gardens Learning Center

2016 Spring & Summer Schedule



Lodestar Gardens Learning Center is an off-grid, demonstration site, small-scale farm operation and school located in the Concho-Vernon area operated by Clark and Barbara Hockabout since 2000.

Contact Information: (928) 587-1405 carpediem@lodestargardens.com / LodestarGardens.com FB:Lodestar Gardens Learning Center

Our mission is to provide educational opportunities for members of our communities in northern Apache and Navajo Counties. Our 2016 focus is to facilitate opportunities that will strengthen the health and communication within and between our local communities.

How we achieve our mission: We provide chemical-free produce to our communities in our markets year round. We conduct and host workshops on increasing capacity for greater self-reliance in health and food production and for this, we gratefully draw on the wealth of local wisdom that abounds within our surrounding communities. We host events twice a month in the summer which offer fun and enrichment for our daily lives. We publish a weekly email newsletter, the contents of which support our mission. We share our progress in monthly articles in the MAVERICK magazine. We support efforts to network local material and human resources. We offer free tours of our farm and gladly share our experience in developing a permaculture-based operation over the past 16 years. We offer free consultations for anyone who is looking to create a food village in their immediate area. (We are excited to be interacting with three new food hamlets in our White Mt. region.)

Lodestar Happenings – April-August 2016


JUNE-SEPTConcho Community Farmers Market starts Memorial Day and every Saturday thereafter until Labor Day.  Find us at the Concho Elementary School Saturday 9:00 a.m.- noon.

JUNE-SEPT—We continue to deliver salad & juicing produce to LaVie Café & Market Place in Pinetop on Friday. We will also continue to deliver our customers’ Pre-Orders at that location on Friday. Find out what is available each week and sign up for Pre Orders through our weekly newsletter Lodestar Happenings! Request a newsletter or find out more about us: bhockabout@gmail.com

Summer Classes, Events & Workshops

Summer Ceramics Class with RA – May 30, 31, June 1, 2, and glazing day – Receive personal tutoring from a Master Studio Potter @ the Lodestar Ceramic Studio. Make your own ceramic dishware, gifts, and hand sculpted art. All skill levels welcome. Enrollment limited to 8 students—4 wheels available. Clay available $10/bag. Light lunch available $2.

Open Ceramic Studio–Mondays & Tuesdays 10:30am-3:00pm. Work at your own pace in a serene setting. $10/day. Glazes & clay available. Kiln on site. Make a reservation: (928) 587-1405.

Family Farm Days – Bring the family for a day of farm fun. Activities include: nature art projects in the studio and greenhouses, harvest fresh veggies in the gardens, learn about small animal care (goats, ducks, chickens), hike the trail on the property, walk the labyrinth, eat lunch by the pond, learn about solar cooking, play horseshoes. WEATHER PERMITTING: June 19, July 3 & 20, August 3 & 14 or by special arrangement for parties of 10+ with at least one week notice prior to event.

Events Lodestar provides a simple garden meal (including vegetarian options) for workshops for a small fee, or you are welcome to bring your own lunch for the picnic break. Enrollment limited in some workshops.

MAY 28            “Fire & Emergency Preparedness”—What to do and What you need – Jon and Lorie Vaught team up to share decades of study and practice. 10am-3pm. Suggested donation: $10

JUNE   11-12   “Coming to Center” Labyrinth Making with Sue Trumpfheller. 1 or 2-day experiences. Overnight camping available. Learn about the history and uses of labyrinths, how to make your own. Suggested donation $20/day.

JUNE 25          “Natural Approaches to Managing Diabetes” with Dr. Cherylee Lisonbee, Chiropractor & Neurotherapist. Holistic approach to diabetes management with a focus on diet, supplements, & recipes. 9am–3pm. Food preparation is part of this workshop. Enrollment: 10. Suggested donation: $25

JULY  7            “Learn to Balance Your Body: Reflexology, Muscle Testing, and Acupressure”   Karen Warnick and Monte Cunningham team up to offer some very useful self-reliant health strategies for physical attunement and healing. 10 am-4pm. Suggested donation: $15

JULY  23          “Learn Some Valuable Emergency Home Medical Care Strategies” with Jack Williams, RN  CDE. What to do and What you need for sudden challenges. 9am-1pm. Suggested donation: $10

AUG  27 & 28  Illuminating Hearts – “In Love with Sound Tour” Lily & Ryan – a soulistic community experience of energy tuning through organic sound alchemy. Bring new meaning to the phrase ‘of sound mind and body.’ Sounds from many cultures. Each event 10am -1pm. Suggested donation: $15

Local Artist Tribute Dinner – Details TBA



Lodestar Garden Fence

Lodestar is a Lifestyle to be Shared

Lodestar Gardens is a family-owned business and demonstration site offering chemical-free, naturally-grown produce to the White Mountains since 2004. Located 16 miles East of Show Low, in the Concho-Vernon area off of Hwy 61, LODESTAR GARDENS is an off-grid (powered by solar and wind generation) demonstration site based on permaculture principles and biodynamic growing cycles. We are a Art-Farm-Laboratory; follow our explorations and experiments.

Purchase our produce year round at La Vie Marketplace & Cafe in Pinetop 11a.m. – noon

and May-Sept at the Concho Community Farmers Market 9 a.m. – noon


businesscard-front businesscard-back

REQUEST A WEEKLY LODESTAR NEWSLETTER with a list of our market produce and you can pre-order  – bhockabout@gmail.com

Lodestar Gardens Learning Center – Summer 2015 Schedule
To register: bhockabout@gmail.com or call: (928) 587-1660

Ceramics Class July 6-24 – 2 & 4 day/ week offerings – sign up by June 30

Self-Guided Farm Tours – (10am-3pm) – July 14 & 28, Aug 11, Sept 15

Family Farm Days – art, veggies, small animals – July 19, Aug 9, Sept 6

Local Artist Tribute Dinners – art, food & spirits, conversation under the stars in the Lodestar Loft – July 31, Aug 28, Sept 25 – $35/person donation to artist and dinner cost


8.5"x11" Front Trifold Template

2015 Join us for the

Saturday WINTER Lodestar Farmers Market

EVERY week   January – May   11am-3pm

Click on Farmers Market News. Check out the produce available this week.  Email your order to insure you have nutrient-dense food on your table throughout the winter. Find out what this week’s topic is for the FREE demonstration/workshop. Sign up to take a tour of Lodestar Gardens Learning Center. Learn how to get a map & directions. (Our road has been greatly improved!)



Here are some captured moments from January Saturday Markets

Icy greeting cropped

2015 January 3rd Grand Opening

of the Saturday LODESTAR Farmers Market

Every week we offer free workshops on art and agriculture topics and      free farm tours. Listen to live music with RAZach while you wait for your order to be harvested from our greenhouses.

Sip on coffee, hot chocolate, or homemade soup and look over our ceramics, fiber arts, goat milk bath products, and crafts for sale.

Learn, eat, listen, and meet great people–it’s a cultural destination.

Email for a map & directions, or to ensure your produce order: bhockabout@gmail.com

Call (928) 587-1405 for further information.


Lodestar Welcomes Odyssey Preparatory Academy

in our Pen and Plow Scholar Art-Ag Immersion Program 

Community Garden Banner 8x3

Young scholars from Casa Grande will spend three days in the White Mountains experiencing a sustainable lifestyle based on art and agriculture. This is the first of four visits to Lodestar the group will make throughout the 2014-2015 school year. Photos of the fun forthcoming.


 The 2014-2015 calendar for the Pen and Plow

educational offerings for residential and local participants

soon to be posted on this site

Singing Hands Local Workshops 

Singing Hands Participants August Workshop 2014

Singing Hands Participants
August Workshop 2014

Interested in future workshops? Contact us: lodestargardens@lodestargardens.com or call: (928)587-1660

Are you ready to step into your greater potential? If you are ready for change and growth, we will afford you the time and space to do so in your own self-designed fashion. Through an immersion in art and nature your mind, body, and spirit will sing a new song , vibrate with a new energy.

Look for our new logo and revised 2015 brochure – soon to be posted

  Pen and Plow 2014 brochure 

Year-round, we sell our chemical-free, naturally grown produce at our SATURDAY LODESTAR FARMERS MARKET

January to May 2015 – Free workshops, tours, music, great company.


From May – September we sell at the Show Low Main Street Farmers Market.

This year we are responding to many requests to grow produce especially good for juicing and fermentation.


We host/train WWOOFers and residential students.


We facilitate/conduct local community workshops

Farm Day May 24 High Tunnel SEED SAVING discussion

Farm Day May 24 High Tunnel SEED SAVING discussion

Farm Day Feeding Ducks Pondside - Fertigation System discussion

Farm Day Feeding Ducks Pondside – Fertigation System discussion

Farm Day Goat Lover

Farm Day Goat Lover

Farm Day Green House ART Project - Plant Paint

Farm Day Green House ART Project – Plant Paint

Owners, Clark and Barbara, are committed to sharing their knowledge about growing food, re-skilling, and local resilience. We have been building our operation project by project. We are learning junkies happy to share what we learned and eager learn from others.

Sign up for a weekly Lodestar update Farmers Market @ Café Bocado in Pinetop, AZ – bhockabout@gmail.com

2014 Lodestar Gardens Goals:

1. enhance our regional foodshed by increasing our capacity to provide fresh, local produce year-round to our region of NE Central Arizona.

2. work with other growers to create a regional food hub.

3. offer sustainable agricultural education.

4. integrate the arts (specifically ceramics, literature, and photography) with agriculture to create a fulfilled and balanced life and share it with others.


Free Workshops in 2014


Update on our latest ON-SITE PROJECT. . .This month, track the progress in building our S-BRET dwelling (a nest of straw bale on rammed earth tire foundation) dwelling.  Join us in a work in progress. Observe or participate. FREE workshops

During the month of July the rammed earth tire layers were laid and leveled. In August & September we will devise a system of attaching straw bale walls to the rammed earth foundation. Dave and Andrea Foster will explain their approach to creating this design. Use what you learn to build a solid, well-insulated structure at a very low cost.


Earth rammed - solid jammed foundation

Earth rammed – solid jammed foundation