Tag: Durango

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Hard Fought Success in the High Country – Fields to Plate Produce

The drive to the Old Fort Farm in Hesperus, Colorado is deceptively steep. From downtown Durango I rose steadily, almost imperceptibly, and gained a thousand feet within minutes. From afar I had seen snow on this mesa just days before – not anymore. Pulling in, I found a large, aging, post-harvest farm; brushed with deep golden hues of well-watered land in a Colorado autumn.

With a bit of navigating, I located the Fields to Plate farmers. The small crew was harvesting a thousand-pound beet sunset: red, gold, pink, purple. The bounty seemed unlikely for such a dry, high altitude location; so, I set forth to learn how they did it…


READ THE STORY

Read my first article on Artisan Situation!

My good friend Zach Kaiser runs the site with some old chums from my college days with the Idea Fund. The story covers the recent history of Fields to Plate Produce, the farm David and I got our CSA from this summer.

tour de farms.

Once I overcame the annoyance of constantly avoiding other bikers, the Tour de Farms was extremely enjoyable. Saturday morning I rode 25 miles with dozens of other Durango locals to tour small farms in the Animas Valley (David was going to join me but he decided to go get 6th place at the Silverton Alpine 50k instead, without training I should add). The annual event is hosted and coordinated by The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado and the Colorado State University Extension.

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Lined up outside the Smiley Building.

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what I know about the Animas disaster.

For the last month and a half I’ve had the privilege to work for the Animas River Wetlands – a certified wetlands project just outside central Durango. The project is converting old hay fields back to their previous wetland state, filtering water for the Animas River that runs through downtown Durango. The Animas is a hot spot for Durango tourism and is held dearly in the hearts of those who live here.

If you recognize the name of the river that’s probably because you heard it on last night’s news, or the night before that. A week ago today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accidentally released 3 million gallons of mine water from the old 1800s Gold King Mine upstream in Silverton, CO. Thursday night that water reached Durango, turning the town’s beloved river a brilliant gold color and causing chaos.

Animas River

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the “utilities” problem.

I’ve never paid a utilities bill. I’ve paid a lot of tuition, loan, and insurance bills – but never water, electric, gas, etc. Since I started living in apartments in college I’ve always lived where rent “includes utilities.” Sounds awesome, right? In college it makes a lot of sense, landlords want to avoid stupid college kids avoiding utility bills and causing them lots of problems, so they rack up the monthly rate and pay the utilities themselves. This is great… for the landlords.

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Current sublet, isn’t it cute! We have a fence, a yard, and everything.

Currently, David and I are subletting from a guy on vacation (unfortunately it’s more like house sitting but we actually have to pay… oh well). At the moment, we’re searching for a longer term apartment for August 1st. While looking around Durango for an apartment David and I find ourselves debating the “utilities problem” a lot. Rent that includes utilities can make an apartment look more pleasing, but in reality I don’t think it’s helpful. 

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times of transition.

It’s been an inexcusably long time since I last posted. I’ll blame most of it on the fact that south eastern Utah is essentially an internet void, but the rest is my own fault entirely. In my last post we were at Bryce Canyon. Following that stop we hit Capital Reef, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Arches, Moab, Canyonlands, and the Needles District. Each of those adventures deserves a post of it’s own, I intend to do my best.

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Favorite spot :) More where this came from, I’m working on it!

 

At Canyonlands David and I made the decision to head back to Durango. Our wanderlust was fading and the prospect of camping in still-snow-packed Rocky Mountains was less than enticing. So we decided to skip the Colorado leg of the trip.

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do it anytime.

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Right before we left! Gosh that was a while ago.

 

“Do it now, while you still can.”

This spring everyone was astoundingly supportive when they learned of our coming road trip. Our nerves concerning finances, logistics, and the future were dulled by the constant waves of positive encouragement we received from family, friends, and coworkers who knew of our plans. Repeatedly people told us “Do it while you’re young” and “I wish I could go with you.” But most often we heard, “Do it before you have responsibilities – it gets harder to do that kind of thing when you get older.”

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