Earthbound Artisan Focuses on People and the Planet
May 30, 2015 10:51AM
● By Sheila Julson
Mid-century American urban sprawl brought with it a desire for many to “keep up with the Joneses”, accumulating material goods in bigger homes. With larger houses often comes expansive green lawns maintained by fertilizer and pesticides, as well as fences that keep nature out. While some people still favor sprawling, lush lawns, Tim Seifarth, owner of Earthbound Artisan, in Ephrata, has noticed a cultural shift toward a desire for sustainable landscaping that returns to nature.
Seifarth’s landscaping experience began when he cared for his own family’s yard and worked for landscaping companies during his young adult years. During that time, he gradually became aware of environmental and cultural injustices. When he chose to open his own landscaping company, he thought about how he could incorporate his social values and make his business unique compared to other landscaping companies.
He opened Earthbound Artisan in January 2014 with a commitment to avoid chemicals and use manually operated tools that do not require fossil fuels, whenever possible. “I don’t mind the physical work,” he says. “I can save money and avoid the whole concept of getting a machine that uses gas and oil. I will benefit, and the earth will also benefit.”
Earthbound Artisan is a full-service landscaping company, but the environmentally sustainable component is a large part of the business. Seifarth does not use synthetic chemicals, and he focuses on designing landscapes and gardens that do not require fertilization and weed control. He is a Landscape Industry Certified Technician through the Professional Land Care Network (PLANET), a certified permaculturist and a certified arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture.
Seifarth educates clients on how plants can provide nutritional and medicinal benefits. “I want to connect people so their properties aren’t so separated from nature,” says Seifarth. “Some people want to fight nature and create unnatural spaces, but if we work with nature and invite it in, it can enrich our lives in many ways.” He also offers hardscape design using natural stone or reclaimed materials and provides storm water retention and rainwater-harvesting solutions.
In 2014, Seifarth participated in the Great Social Enterprise Pitch, an annual competition that encourages green and socially conscious entrepreneurs to present and develop their business ideas. He’s looking forward to growing the business to build a sustainable culture and employ people who need to choose a career path and learn a skill. “I want to grow the company into a social enterprise, not only by putting the environment first, but another fold of that is to create interesting green jobs for people who may not have employment readily available to them,” enthuses Seifarth.
For more information, call 717-405-7941 or visit EarthboundArtisan.com. See ad, page 27.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.