Saturday, August 26, 2006

Pueblo, Colorado - Country Roots Farm

Ryan Morris is very relaxed. He and his wife Betsy were formerly occupational therapists and had been hopping around the country for several years, living most recently in New Mexico. In 1993 they started Country Roots Farm on about 13 acres of homesteaded property with a farm house and a few buildings. The decision was a homecoming and a step towards Ryan's dream ever since he was a kid who loved going to farmer's markets.

After a few weeks in Kansas, I feel almost strange to be in the presence of a farmer who is relaxed, smiles easily, and as he surveys his fields filled with pig weed and vine weed, doesn't seem that bothered by it all.

Ryan is making a good living off of this land. There are a few little things, in addition to his overall demeanor, that make this apparent. They doubled the size of the original farmhouse by building on a strawbale extension where Ryan's mother Virginia now lives. Ryan's wife Betsy works part-time as an occupational therapist primarily to retain some health benefits for the family but spends most of her time working part-time for the farm. They recently bought a new Volkswagon Beetle. They have a guest cottage, called the "casita" (little house), where they house summer interns, and occassional farm visiting, cross-country cycling, don quixote wanna-being visitors.

The bread and butter of the farm is their 70 person CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where individuals and families buy an advance share in that years produce and receives fresh harvest each week of the season. A full share is _____, an individual share is _____, and a workshare is $0. I was astounded that workshares were completely free and inquired further. Workshare participants put in 3 hours of work per week. "It ends up working out really well. It's a lot of help." The opportunity should sound appealling to able bodied individuals with an appreciation for high quality food. Having volunteered on farms for years, I can attest to the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of putting your hands in honest earth.

There is a difference between honest earth and dead earth. Just a few days ago I had this conversation with Alan Decker, the founder and lead shareholder in Heartland Mills..... I'll get back to this topic in the future. Gotta go!


This entry was posted on 8/26/2006 4:56 PM

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