leslie witter Leslie grew up in Michigan, but fell in love with the mountains working seasonal jobs during college. Her background is in ecology and wildlife biology. She spent over 10 years working in these fields, primarily in the Rocky Mountain West and the
Canadian Arctic. Concern with humanity’s impact on ecosystems led her to make a switch from research work to more direct involvement in sustainable lifestyles.
With that in mind, Leslie decided to try out organic farming in 2012 working at Cloud Nine Farm in Wilsall, MT. She loved it and continued to gain experience at small-scale organic vegetable, dairy, and livestock farms in southwest Montana (Cloud Nine, Amaltheia, Gallatin Valley Botanicals) and Oregon (Horton Road Organics) for the next four seasons.
In 2017, Leslie opened Root to Rise Gardens, a 1/4 acre market garden, vacation rental & yoga retreat center in Wilsall. She ran that successfully for four years and is excited to use the experience to restart at a new location in Red Lodge with a narrower focus on farming and local food systems.
When she's not farming, you can find Leslie practicing yoga, hiking, running, cross-country skiing, baking or canning. She's excited to use a business restart as a chance for a little more focus on work life balance and a little more time with her true love, George... playing outside and maybe finally learning to downhill ski!
George is our resident carpenter & explorer of all things homesteading!
george downing George grew up in Colorado and has always loved the mountains. He pursued one of his other passions and got a degree in music from University of Colorado Boulder before switching gears and beginning a career in outdoor education. George ski instructed and taught other outdoor skills in Colorado & Montana for 10 years, most recently in Big Sky.
George moved to Red Lodge in 2015 where he began a career in carpentry and started developing his homestead property. He completed a tiny-ish (450 sq. foot) passive solar home on the property in 2018 and has been gardening for years. George is excited to help create a market garden on the Red Lodge property, as well as continue to explore other homesteading ventures like poultry & small livestock, beekeeping, and mushroom cultivation.
George works a day job as an independent contractor in carpentry, primarily building second homes in the Red Lodge area. However, he's excited to pursue additional independent work in alignment with his passions for green and human-scale building (contact us if you'd like to hire George to build your custom tiny home or need help with homestead carpentry projects!).
When George isn't building or gardening, he still loves enjoying the outdoors skiing, rafting, hunting and hiking. You can also find him relaxing playing guitar or cooking up a storm!
joining forces Thanks to the good intuition of a mutual friend, George & Leslie met in 2019. We bonded over shared interests in gardening & local foods, a love for the outdoors and interest in mindfulness practices. We've both had winding paths over the years and are so happy that they crossed. We're excited to build a farm and a life together!
Leslie is our garden & market manager!