photograph by stasia garraway for folklife magazine

elisa rathje lives, writes and films the small work* at appleturnover, a small farm on a small island. elisa makes short films, podcasts, letters and books about ways of living that regenerate a thriving household, community and planet. to get right into elisa’s philosophy and practices you might enjoy this interview and these articles. now you can join her in directing the subjects of the farm + farmhouse tours and get one-on-one mentorship from wherever you are with the mentorship messages. find out more about working with elisa here.


appleturnover is home to a pair of little milk goats, a trio of geese, a flock of chickens and runner ducks, a small unschooling family of artists, writers and filmmakers, as well as a charming farm cat.

the micro-farm is part walled kitchen garden, part silvopasture. all 1 ½ acres of this century-old heritage apple orchard are filling up with a forest of food, fibre, fodder, fuel and medicinals, with ponds, a root cellar, a tiny summer house, an art studio, espaliers, grape arbours, composting toilets, hazelnut greywater mulch beds, hidden rainwater catchments, untilled potagers and a creek running through a thicket.

focusing on traditional skills, regenerative living and creative responses to everyday life in an era of ecological emergency, together we are documenting slow, simple approaches to becoming resilient at home and in our island community on ćuán (salt spring island in the salish sea.) appleturnover offers up an immersion in a regenerative pattern for being that brings home how we get our needs met, in collaboration with the intelligent living systems we live thrive within.

if, like our members, you find this work supports you to make the world you want to live in, become a patron of the small work. this is community supported activism.


new audience-supported projects include:

 new films that respond to the question, how shall we live to make more, flourishing life?;

the journal of small work* series which looks at frameworks for approaching the challenge of learning to live regeneratively, drawing on practical, lived experiments to illustrate the possibilities in filmed, written and audio works;

a radio project – the podcast – in both audio and video form that draw on my writings that inform and accompany the films;

short films that respond to patron questions, elaborate on long form films and show the problems and solutions we’re currently experimenting with;

the appleturnover lettersnew writing that explores the possibilities of living in ways that make more life, while adapting to profound uncertainty and imagining positive, regenerative futures;

the journal of small work* book , released to patrons in serial form, page after emerging page. thank you for your encouragement!

to hear about new small works, get the appleturnover postcards, an occasional email newsletter about our latest short films, upcoming member-directed farm tour films, new podcasts and new writing on regenerative living. sign up below.