Cloud 9 Farm Visit

We had a great visit to the Cloud 9 Farm in Penrose today. Thanks to Kelly, Abi, Kyle, and Daisy for taking us around to visit the hair sheep and lambs, chickens, cow, llama, and kune kune pigs (and soon turkeys). We will be including them in our May visit to Penrose along with the Wheeler Farm as they are well aligned with our goals for local agriculture. Hair sheep, kune kune pigs… some very interesting work going on here.

If you would be interested in receiving information from them on products as they become available, there is a mailing list at their website that will allow you to receive info in the future.

Here are some photos to whet your appetite. First some happy hair sheep and lambs!

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Next are the chickens.

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And some kune kune pigs (I have not seen these before).

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Globalization, Technology, and Questions on Laser Identification

New technology promises to allow consumers to evaluate products (even in plastic wrap or glass). This article shows the promises and the perils associated with new technology. If the technology demands expensive testing over extended periods of time with commodity products, then we have every right to be concerned that diversity will be the victim. So yes, it would be good to be able to detect traces of pesticides on organic products or fraudulent fish, but we will also risk losing yet more biodiversity because the producers of specialty or low volume products cannot afford the profiling required to allow their products to be evaluated. That is definitely not a good thing.

Fun planning trip to Wheeler Farm

We are looking forward to the farm tour and potluck dinner at Wheeler Farm later this spring, so we had a fun trip to Penrose to talk about the event with Jerome Wheeler and see all the great progress they are making. We got to see the chickens, goats, turkeys, pigs/piglets, greenhouse, and the dogs!

First, in the greenhouse that has been providing the great greens we have been getting at the Winter Market at CFAM.

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Piglets getting some rest.

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Momma getting a break   🙂

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Chickens on the prowl!

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Challenges for new farms and farmers entering as organic producers

There was an article in the 3/23/2016 Gazette on the challenges faced by new organic farmers in Boulder county. Boulder county has lands that it is attempting to preserve as agricultural land, and provides incentives to farmers who are entering the business. Turns out that making a go of agriculture, even in a friendly climate, is a real challenge,

One of the ongoing challenges to growing our producer base is the difficulty of providing a fair income for a farm family in Colorado. We have become accustomed to cheap food available at any time and the harm to our agricultural community is immense.

We at Slow Food Colorado Springs are proud supporters of the agricultural community in our Arkansas Valley watershed that continues to grow and deliver great food, and we support a fair return for their hard work and dedication.

 

Colorado Springs Backyard Farms class. Graft your own Pawpaw tree — $40 Advanced Registration Required

Pawpaws are one of the Ark of Taste foods.  If you are interested, details are below:

Advanced registration through Buckley’s is required for this class.  

In the class you will learn all about pawpaws, and graft your own tree. Pawpaws are this country’s largest native fruit found wild from Nebraska and Kansas all the way to the east coast. Pawpaws can do well here given a little extra water, and partial shade when young. The mango size fruit is sweet with a tropical taste and aroma. Pawpaws grow into small bushy trees that can fit in even a small yard.

In this class we will start with a short presentation on pawpaws, then we will learn how to graft our tree. We start with large 3 year trees, and graft a superior fruiting variety onto it. Expert instruction, all materials, and a grafted tree are all included in this class. Because pawpaws cannot be reproduced from cuttings, all root stock must be grown from seed. This takes several years and is much more expensive. Grafted pawpaws from good mail order nurseries cost $30-$40 each, and are much smaller than the ones we will be grafting making this class a good deal. Seating is limited to about 10 participants.