Greentree Naturals Consulting Services
We offer consultation and garden design services specializing in small-acreage sustainable land use for agriculture and homestead living systems based on methods that are committed to caring for the earth, living on the land, and developing the natural landscape using environmentally friendly practices that ensure the sustainable use of land resources (i.e. water, soils, and biodiversity).
35+ years of experience as a certified organic small acreage farmer and educator has provided me with the expertise to help others make well informed choices for identifying strategies for living a more sustainable lifestyle. Whatever your reasons are for pursuing sustainable living, you will need to figure out where to start—then learn how to improve, one step at a time.
We have had so many people contacting us that are either looking for land to buy for small acreage farming or people that already own land that are looking for advice about how to manage the land that they have more sustainably. We have worked closely with people who want to begin farming or diversify their current operation, small acreage farmers looking for ways to increase diversity and profitability on their farm, as well as land owners who simply need some assistance figuring out the steps they need to take to meet their goals on their homestead. We also assist with garden design and layout, utilizing companion planting, crop rotation and season extension techniques for providing a bountiful harvest in our northern Idaho cool season climate. (Read letters from garden design clients at the bottom of this page.)
We are committed to encouraging safer, healthier, and more ecological farming and gardening methods by providing technical assistance and educational opportunities with your goals in mind. Our efforts include projects aimed at working with landowners on ways to retain their land resource base, increase self-sufficiency, creating a farm plan and record system, improve marketing skills, and exploring alternative income enterprises.
“What a wonderful asset to our land purchase decision! Diane's expertise and thoroughness made it an invaluable part of our research. Walking the land with her gave us a clear perspective on the benefits and drawbacks of the parcel we were thinking of buying. She reviews all aspects of the land and that's exactly what we needed. Her written report gave us the information we needed to make a final decision on the land. An essential tool for anyone making a serious land purchase!”
--- Elaine Pandolfi / Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Consultation services provide an individualized program tailored to your land with practical information and resources needed to develop a long term land stewardship.
Particular areas of expertise:
- assessment and advise for maintaining, protecting, and enhancing the resources of the land
- identify native plant species and habitat type
- classify elevation, slope and aspect of the land
- locate best site for garden or growing area and offer suggestions of environmentally sound process to establish site
- recommend varieties of fruits, vegetables and berries for specific growing zone
- suggest specific season extension techniques suitable for our northern climate
- organic gardening and soil building methods
- advise on opportunities for more integrated approaches to sustainability
- expand opportunities for new and existing farmers to prosper using sustainable systems
- suggest sustainable alternatives to brush and grass removal
- provide resource listings for small farm and land management educational programs
- recommend training and apprenticeship programs for entry-level farmers and established conventional farmers interested in making the transition to organic and sustainable methods
- small farm marketing
Our goal is to cultivate awareness and understanding of sustainable organic production by providing onsite visits and site evaluations. The written assessment and report include recommendations for local resources. We are dedicated to promoting organic and sustainable production practices by providing gardeners and small acreage farmers with the information and resources needed to develop a long-term land stewardship.
Services and Consultation fees
First site visit Consultation / $350.00 - Includes site evaluation, soil survey, resource information, written assessment and report.
Consultations / $65.00 per hour – Support and guidance for the beginner homesteader or small acreage farmer.
Mileage reimbursement - Mileage reimbursement rate will reflect the standard IRS mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business for the current year. Mileage will be calculated using Google Maps directions by entering location of starting point (my home address) and site location address, round trip. (https://maps.google.com)
If you have questions, please give us a call at 208-263-8957 or send an e-mail to email@example.com
We also offer a one-on-one mentorship, which is different from our internship program. This one-on-one mentorship can enhance the learning process by providing useful and efficient techniques that can help a beginner homesteader or small acreage farmer develop practical skills for establishing and maintaining a more sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle.
The mentee is not required to help on the farm, unless it is agreed that this would benefit the mentorship. The mentorship is designed to share practical information on day-to-day activities and to help improve skills and operations of an existing small acreage organic vegetable farm. This is a process for beginners to learn from our years of farm experience and rural living in order to cover topics such as garden planning and design, organic gardening, water management, fencing, poultry, composting, identifying infrastructure needs and more!
As a mentor, Diane will visit the mentee's land at least once and is available for phone calls and emails as mutually agreed. She can help identify necessary resources (Physical, financial, personal and educational) to meet your personal goals. Mentoring is also a means of raising self-esteem and the level of confidence needed to be a success. The mentee is asked to pay a negotiable stipend and travel expenses as needed.
One-on-One Mentorship fee: You pay upfront a $450 fee that would entitle you to an on-site visit and written evaluation to your property + 5 hours of mentorship time. The follow up one-on-one mentoring could be on the phone, over the internet, or one-on-one at Greentree Naturals throughout the growing season.
My family and I moved to Sandpoint, Idaho October 2022 from the Post Falls area and jumped right in to land ownership. We immediately began dreaming up plans for our land. We put the pedal to the metal when we arrived, clearing land and doing what we could in the winter months. Driving to our home every day we had always passed by Greentree Naturals so I looked them up and immediately signed up for Diane's Organic Gardening Workshops, and also made an appointment with her to get a consultation done on our land in the spring! It was very exciting, and we couldn't wait for the snow to melt! It was an incredibly easy and fun process, and we couldn't be more grateful for Diane and her time with us on our land! She quite promptly sent us an overview email with all of the information and knowledge she blessed us with during our consult, and further research and thinking on her part in the total overall plan with our land. We are grateful every day for her knowledge and expertise in the matter, and over the moon thrilled to have her part of our resources and on our team! Do not hesitate to do the same for your land and family! Call Diane! :)
---CC Yandon/Sandpoint, Idaho
Letter from Susan Wheeler 4/2/2012
“Our family had the good fortune of meeting Diane Green when we were new to North Idaho. We came from a sunny climate where growing a garden was rather effortless. We knew we were going to need some help in this new climate and were fortunate to find Diane and her farm class through the University of Idaho Extension.
It was at this class that we learned that Diane is a wealth of knowledge and a warm and gentle person. As we attended Diane’s meetings, we gained confidence daily for the coming spring. We were enjoying her class and the knowledge so much that we elected to have her out to our home for a site visit to talk about our property. This was an excellent experience as she taught us how best to position our garden, how best to care for our animals and how to appreciate our property’s uniqueness.
After her visit to our property, Diane provided us with a beautiful analysis of our property with written narrative and drawings to depict her recommendations for reaching our goals. As spring drew near, we constructed a garden where Diane had suggested and began to implement what we could of her recommendations. Our first season was fun as we applied what we learned, but as winter approached and our crops were not maturing in time, we realized we had much more to learn. So, it was back to Diane to plead for help.
She took our call so kindly and expressed her eagerness to help us more. She came to our home for another consultation. This time she helped us with her farmer-to-farmer mentorship program with the purpose to help us in a side by side manner. With this program, we find ourselves drawing on the lessons we learned from the original farm class and site visit then taking the lessons to a new more advanced level. Diane has helped us think through the reasons we did not have success last year. She has offered solutions and provided verbal instruction along with photographs and reference materials as we prepare for this growing season. She communicates with us by email where she keeps tabs on our progress and encourages us along. She is very prompt and professional returning calls and emails usually within minutes, but certainly within a day. We could not be more delighted with the privilege to have this intelligent and generous woman as our mentor and friend.” ---Susan Wheeler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Letter from Joe Mangina 3/12/2010
“When my wife and I relocated to Sandpoint a desire high on our priority list was to have a good size vegetable garden. It had been many years since I had a proper garden, due to our moving around and the living conditions restricted us to container gardening for several years, so we were both anxious to try our hand once more at having a real garden.
Once we were established in our home I quickly laid out the garden site complete with deer fencing and we built a walled in area for a herb garden. Naturally I wanted to grow everything even as my wife was cautioning me that I may be overextending myself. As I began reading the various gardening books and laying out the garden I began thinking my wife was right and I could use some help in the planning phase. Fortunately, the year before I had heard a lot about and had met Diane Green, so I contacted her and asked for help…….she responded promptly and actually drew up a detailed layout plan for both the garden based on the rough sketches I provided as well as the plans for a formal herb garden.
I laid out the garden exactly as Diane diagramed it complete with trellises, walking paths and flowers. That was the easy part, now came the hard part that is how to maintain it as an organic garden. Here I had very little experiences, so once again I turned to Diane and enrolled in the six week gardening course that she offered over the summer. This turned out to be a life saver as we went through things step by step with hands on experience in her own magnificent garden. At each phase of the season I learned exactly what I should be doing and how to go about it….it was truly a wonderful experience and the other exceptional part was her husband Thom who was also there and was very gracious about answering my myriad of questions concerning watering systems, mulch and everything else that came to mind.
The end result is that we ended up with the most beautiful, organized garden that I had ever had. I am looking forward to building on what I learned last year and branching out on my own this year. I’m sure I will be continually turning to Diane and Thom as questions arise.”
-- Joseph Mangina (email@example.com)