Meet the Modern Farmer: Gregory Alan Isakov

Photograph by Matt Nager

Gregory Alan Isakov

Starling Farm
Boulder, Colorado

What do you do when fame comes knocking at the barnyard door? Indie rock singer Gregory Alan Isakov decided to dig even deeper into his roots.

“I studied horticulture in college and have worked on farms my whole life,” says the 37-year-old. As his music career has taken off over the past decade—spawning six albums, with songs featured in movies, TV commercials, even an episode of Girls—Isakov has relied on farming to keep him grounded. Otherwise, he explains, “It’s too easy for your hands to get soft, for you to lose touch.”

So, after playing sold-out shows around the globe, the troubadour returns to the four Colorado acres where he raises more than 60 varieties of organic vegetables, flowers, and herbs, plus chickens, sheep, and honeybees. The place functions as a modern-day commune, maintained by Isakov and a handful of other artists who live on the grounds. They consume everything produced, with one exception: a new line of heirloom seeds, sold via a friend’s website (lineageseeds.com). Isakov also has a seventh album brewing, but that’s not what excites him most: “This seed-saving thing is a trip that I never thought I’d get into. It makes me feel like a kid again.”

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Meet the Modern Farmer: Gregory Alan Isakov