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For the Smith family, owning a farm was a longtime dream. Rayner and Tanya Smith moved to Bozeman almost nine years ago, by way of Texas.

They had experience helping start two resorts in the Lone Star State, and a brief time living in Costa Rica sealed the deal, said Rayner Smith, owner and general manager Bodhi Farms.

“We kind of fell in love with the eco-tourism industry,” Smith said. “It’s a comfortable way to have an outdoor experience and surround yourself with nature.”

Bodhi Farms, on South Cottonwood Road, is about 12 miles south of downtown Bozeman. The pair bought the 35-acre, overgrazed farm and they’ve since worked to revitalize the land.

It’s been in operation for three years with the couple working toward transforming the property into a private venue and hospitality space, and a place for the Bozeman community to gather.

Smith describes Bodhi Farms as a boutique eco-resort. The farm grows a variety of produce, which it sells during a weekly Thursday farmers market hosted on the farm’s property.

In July, the farm opened nine “glamping” tipis. The tipis, which are also near a yoga shala and a sauna, are the farm’s first foray into hospitality. The large tipis can house a king size bed or two double beds. Since opening the tipis, they’ve been fully booked.

The nine tipis were designed and imported from Norway, the wooden tipi beams are sourced locally, Smith said. They’re replete with electricity — and each tipi is on a wooden deck with a hammock nearby.

The farm is in the process of building a restaurant, called Field Kitchen, on the property, which will serve farm-to-table and wild game food.

Once the restaurant is completed, Smith hopes to have live music.

The farm also offers the “Bodhi Farm Club,” like a community garden, where locals can work the garden and take home fresh produce in return.

With the weekly farmers market, yoga classes and the sauna — which is open to the public — Smith wants Bodhi Farm to become a place for Bozemanites to gather and to enjoy a slower pace of life.

“We knew we wanted a beautiful piece of property that was close enough to Bozeman so that it could be an asset to the community,” he said. “Bozeman needs somethin’ like this in the face of all this change and development.”

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Juliana Sukut can be reached at 582-2630 or jsukut@dailychronicle.com

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