Some girls grow up playing with plastic dolls on the living room floor. Others prefer playtime in the dirt with squirmy, wormy creatures. Alexis Robbins, now grown, dubs herself a “worm girl,” in addition to a lover and keeper of livestock. Her predilections for all things biotic have transpired into fun and educational missions at her independent Sarasota farm, Beaucoop, which has even caught the attention of the Discovery Channel recently. Her devotion to living an organic lifestyle, dependent on herself and not big-box grocery store chains, has dovetailed into a full-time career teaching friends, families and the community how to utilize natural resources. If you take a drive just past I-75, expect to learn all about the importance of vermiculture, vermicomposting and utilizing natural and organic fertilizers in a world that is grossly reliant on chemically-derived, synthetic pesticides in most gardens and farms. “It’s so important to learn how to be self-sufficient because of where our food industry has gone and where it’s going,” Robbins says. Well before the pandemic, Robbins was a strong advocate for creating backyard gardens and sustainable sources for harvesting food and composting waste. 

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan


So workshops like Vermicomposting and Worm Tea & Castings run every third Sunday of the month at Beaucoop Farm. Attendees can learn how to “naturally supercharge their garden to make it look GMO, without the GMOs,” Robbins says. Other DIY workshops include Build a Rain Barrel, Build a Chicken Coop, Build a Mealworm Farm, Lacto-Fermentation, Hay Bale Gardening, Paint a Nesting Box and Show and Tell with Endangered Poultry.  In addition to attending the down-and-dirty workshops, you can now book appointments to Beaucoop’s newly-opened Petting Park to feed, pet and hang out with a Noah’s Ark-like fleet of mini donkeys, ponies, mini horses, rescued rabbits, Nigerian dwarf goats, Kunekune pigs, an old African spurred tortoise named Rocky, Khaki Campbell ducks, guineafowl, baby gators, a Narragansett turkey, two different species of endangered sheep, and lots and lots of chickens. Robbins shares she is also adding two primitive camping spots on the grounds for campers to spend the night out on the farm among Beaucoop’s outdoor residents. If young visitors happen to fall in love with the feathered, clucking habitants, the farm offers a four-week Hatching Program to teach children (and adults) about the miracle of life and endangered poultry breeds. Beaucoop provides all the learning materials and hatching tools to get you started so you can watch as the chicks develop inside the egg, and out after 21 days. Already hatched and hand-raised chicks are also available for adoption. “The only way to know you have truly organic produce and food is to grow your own,” Robbins says. “And the only way to learn is to start from the ground up.”   SRQ

Beaucoop Farm, 941-479-2328,,, @beaucoop farm