I came from Denver and have a bunch of different experiences, from selling advertising, to magazine layout, and artwork and photography, to working manual labor jobs and working on farms. That last one is kind of my passion. I decided I wanted to get my hands dirty, so I quit my job selling advertising and headed to Arizona. I had a couple of caretaking gigs there, on different farms. I learned how to ride a tractor and move piles of horse manure and things like that. I also love to write, I love to read, and I love to paint.
I ended up in Huerfano County because I was looking for inexpensive land. I looked around and discovered there wasn’t much in the way of good local food, so I decided to start farming. Then I took it a step further and said ‘why not grow food for as many people as possible?’ It’s a great economic development tool, if people buy local. If you look at rural economies in the 30s and how many more farms they had compared to their economies and lack of farms now, it really speaks volumes. So it kind of solves two problems, really, the fact that Huerfano County is the second poorest county in Colorado and the least healthy. Offering clean fresh food as a way of creating economic activity seemed like a good idea. I got into recreation as an aside because it’s an important thing for youth and for kids to have something to do.
I help with providing locally sourced food, both at the farm stand that was out at the hospital and at ONE Table. We’re teaching gardening as part of the John Mall High School culinary class, and in Gardner the kids are taking produce out of the garden for their new salad bar. We’re reassembling a greenhouse at John Mall so they can harvest all year round. It’s been proven that kids do better in school if they have better food. We do other cooking classes too, off and on.