The Swordfern Project

Ten acres of undeveloped, densely forested land dedicated to scientific research and cohabitation with wildlife.

Ongoing Projects

Keep up with what we're doing, and celebrate our success stories

Get to know us

Learn about some of Swordfern's primary stewards, and their passions and expertise

Contact us

Get in touch with The Swordfern Project to learn more or get involved

Ongoing Projects

water research

The Swordfern Project tested water from the local Wagley's Creek. This involved meticulous testing of two samples collected on-site for 16 parameters using a comprehensive water testing field kit, inclusive of a DIY well water test kit, pH/temperature meter, TDS Meter, and Refractometer. The test results are then contrasted with the national EPA drinking water standards for accuracy. Our preliminary results have revealed that one stream at the sample location and the in-house built slow sand filter did not meet EPA standards for Coliform Bacteria. Moreover, the filter showed non-compliance with lead standards. These initial findings indicate the water sources as currently non-potable, posing potential health risks if consumed.The full Water Quality Report can be seen here.

Freshwater mussel observation

The Swordfern Project was initially inspired by our observation of freshwater mussels, Margaritifera falcata, making this initiative a cornerstone of our research. We closely monitored the population's size and health, paying particular attention to individual mussel lengths and widths. This targeted research fueled our broader aim of preserving and understanding the complex interdependencies within our forested property.

Experimental no-till gardening

The Swordfern Project is innovatively experimenting with no-till gardening methods. Plants are placed haphazardly rather than in traditional rows, mimicking the natural distribution of flora in a forest ecosystem. We've utilized the remains of a large burned woodpile, spreading the ashes over one-third of the garden, while leaving the rest of the soil untouched. This practice is aimed at adjusting the soil's pH to a more plant-friendly level.We're maintaining it solely through watering and weed control, closely observing how plants respond to this method. Our diverse plantings include spaghetti squash, zucchini, red and curly romaine, broccoli, cabbage, habanero peppers, Thai chili, and four varieties of peppers spaced far apart, alongside tomatoes. It's an exciting exploration of how we can cultivate food in harmony with natural processes.

Community events

The Swordfern Project is working on providing a dedicated events space to the local community. Such a space provides facilitators with the ability to host workshops, classes, and any offering in a natural setting.

Wildlife Camera

The Swordfern Project has installed a wildlife camera on the property. This tool serves a dual purpose: it enhances safety by keeping an eye on the premises, and simultaneously provides a non-invasive means of surveying local fauna. Our team is delighted to witness the comings and goings of our wild neighbors, capturing candid snapshots of life in the forest. We are planning to share these ongoing captures.

Cohabitation With Wildlife

There are currently two full-time residents living in Swordfern Forest. We are experimenting with the challenging prospect of humans living in perpetual harmony and reciprocity with the land.

Native Species Restoration

We are making a strategic effort to reclaim our local ecosystem from invasive species, particularly the well-entrenched Himalayan Blackberries. These fast-growing plants develop extensive root systems that mirror their above-ground growth, often outcompeting and choking out native species.Our method involves careful removal of these blackberries, which will subsequently give more room for native species such as salmonberries to thrive without competition. In parallel, we are planning to introduce other native species suitable for our wetland environment. We are thoughtfully selecting these plants based on their compatibility with our property's characteristics.Our ultimate aim is to establish an ecosystem of native flora that provides food and habitat while enhancing biodiversity. This way, we hope to restore balance, prioritizing the health and diversity of our local ecosystem.

Mosquito Control

In an effort to reduce itchy bite marks on the skin of our residents and visitors, we are experimenting with reducing mosquito interference through simply planting herbs including basil, lavender, and rosemary. Additionally, barrel ponds with goldfish were set up to deter mosquitoes.

Green Energy

The Swordfern Project has effectively become reliant on 100% renewable energy, by utilizing solar power technology. Swordfern plans to expand into both wind powered energy and hydroelectric energy. Swordfern is a habitable off-grid site for both residents and researchers to thrive within.

Get to know us


Genevieve hails from the midwest and has a deep passion for wildlife and a lifelong goal to create a nonprofit focused on scientific research. She attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA where she discovered her love of marine invertebrates and environmental chemistry. Genevieve has conducted ocean acidification research with Pisaster ochraceus, a keystone species of sea star in the pacific northwest, and performed audiogram research to determine the hearing range of loggerhead sea turtles at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL. As an americorps Genevieve ran the East Jefferson County Marine Mammal Stranding Network at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center and developed their harbor seal necropsy program.She gained project management and business operations skills during her time in commercial environmental metals testing. In her free time she enjoys cosplay, LARP, and dancing. Her household consists of a ball python, two flemish giant rabbits and two nature loving children.


Although born and raised locally in Washington state, Fiona has crossed half the globe for her education, from Hawaii to England, where she earned her Masters degree in Ethnobotany. She has recently chosen to move her focus from health and wellness supplementation to sustainable and eco-friendly projects.To this end, she is working with The Swordfern Project to develop an environmentally friendly and ecologically sound research station. Her passions include plants, cooking, making flower crowns, sewing, LARPing, and absinthe, the last of which was the subject of her Master's thesis.


Branden is a glassblower of 26 years with a history of painting, illustration, book binding and gallery photography.He spent the last 5 years of his life trying to prepare his local homeless population to be ready for the next stage in a possible declining civilization.Branden was fortunate enough to come into contact with forward thinking people aware of our current sociological situation.He is steeped in 30 years of a deep psychedelic understanding of our current place in time and have the willingness to apply that to what he considers to be a seriously promising approach to how we structure the future.

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