Friday, June 14

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Agriculture

White Mountain Farm

Sustaining the legacy of an ancient crop By Anya Kaats. Paul New’s family has been farming in the San Luis Valley (SLV) for more than 100 years, going back to around 1917. Originally the News grew organic wheat, alfalfa, and raised sheep, but in 1984, New’s father Ernie, alongside their friend John McCamant, started experimenting with quinoa. In 1987, White Mountain Farm was incorporated and became the first large-scale quinoa operation in North America, located in Mosca, CO.  Known as “The Mother Grain” of the Incas, quinoa has been cultivated for over 5,000 years, originating from the Andean region of South America, particularly...

Valley Roots Food Hub: Multi-farm brings fresh to the table

By Maria Karahalios. Valley Roots Food Hub Mosca, Colorado—Valley Roots Food Hub (VRFH) launches the Summer 2024 Fresh Box multi-farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program on June 20 through September 11. The program runs alongside the fresh harvest season to bring shareholders fresh and local produce from growers across the Colorado bio-region.  Every Thursday, shareholders will receive a box of specially curated produce that aims to supplement a family of two to three people. In addition to the produce, shareholders will receive a weekly newsletter filled with valley happenings, producer bios, creative recipes, warehouse highlights, and how to store produce. For June,...

Empowering the heirs to the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant

An interview with Move Mountains Project Executive Director, Shirley Romero Otero By Anna Lee Vargas. Since its official inception in 2014, Move Mountains Project (Move Mountains) has served as an art and entrepreneurship community education program that builds sustainable platforms for the youth leaders of San Luis, Colorado. Move Mountains’ mission is to encourage youth, as heirs to the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant, to develop deeper understandings of art, resource preservation and entrepreneurship in order to empower active community citizens through a focus on local and global social justice issues.  Since lack of employment is a major obstacle for youth of...

Cooperative gardening: Atalanta Cooperative Garden looks forward to a bountiful season

By Joanna Dokson. The Atalanta Cooperative Garden has openings for both working and non-working members for the 2024 season. Located on the north bank of Willow Creek, the garden is in its 23rd year of production on the Atalanta project land. The garden produces food for members and the Food Bank each summer with the help of working members and volunteers. All produce is grown with organic methods and products, and our water comes from our solar-powered well. Each year a wide variety of veggies are grown: asparagus, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, peas, beans, peppers, radishes, kale, chard, carrots, beets, garlic, rutabagas,...

The Acequia Institute

Protecting Indigenous foodways, feeding community, and empowering youth By Anya Kaats The Acequia Institute, located in San Luis, CO, has emerged as a beacon of community empowerment in the realm of agriculture and environmental justice. Among the Institute’s many endeavors is a 35-year-old seed sanctuary. The Acequia Institute’s founder, Devon Peña, has collected seeds over the years for the sanctuary — mainly corn, beans, and squash. These three foods are main agricultural crops for various Indigenous peoples in Central and North America and are often referred to by the Haudenosaunee (The Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy) as “The Three Sisters”.  The three crops...

Cactus Hill Farm: Upholding a six-generation sheep farming legacy

By Anya Kaats. Elena Miller-ter Kuile was studying International Agricultural Development (IAD) at Cornell when she had a life-altering realization: “I thought working in IAD was going to help save the world, but then I realized, wait a second, the United States isn’t great when it comes to agriculture. Why would I go to other countries to tell them how to live when my own country also needs help figuring out how to do things better?” After her realization, Kuile returned home, determined to continue her family’s legacy of sheep farming, which stretches back six generations. Kuile’s ancestors were some of...

Nourishing the Valley: The SLV’s food system

By Ameille Warner. For over 10,000 years, the people of the San Luis Valley (SLV) have been sustained by the bounties of this land — hunting, foraging, and cultivating all they needed thanks to the fertile soil and abundant water. Agriculture in the Valley continues to play a vital role in Colorado’s economy, ranging from the mighty SLV potato to diverse crops and livestock, contributing nearly $490 million and standing as the region’s largest private employer. Despite this rich agricultural heritage, modern times have created complex obstacles within the SLV food system. Barriers to local producers include the growing export model,...

Culture, community, and sustainable agriculture  

By Kim Black. Photo: Matt Lit. Nestled along the Rio Grande in Alamosa, CO, is a special opportunity to meet the farmers who grow your food, participate in the local food movement, and build community. The event is the Mercadillo en el Rio Farmer’s Market, hosted by the Rio Grande Farm Park (RGFP). The Mercadillo brings people together from a variety of backgrounds and is an inclusive venue for celebrating the rich diversity and heritage of the Valley.   Visitors to the Mercadillo can enjoy storytelling and crafts from local vendors and access to the river and a playground. Food...

Valley Roots Food Hub: Multi-farm brings fresh to the table

By Maria Karahalios. Valley Roots Food Hub Mosca, Colorado—Valley Roots Food Hub (VRFH) launches the Summer...

Empowering the heirs to the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant

An interview with Move Mountains Project Executive Director, Shirley Romero Otero By Anna Lee Vargas. Since...

Cooperative gardening: Atalanta Cooperative Garden looks forward to a bountiful season

By Joanna Dokson. The Atalanta Cooperative Garden has openings for both working and non-working members...

The Acequia Institute

Protecting Indigenous foodways, feeding community, and empowering youth By Anya Kaats The Acequia Institute, located in...

Cactus Hill Farm: Upholding a six-generation sheep farming legacy

By Anya Kaats. Elena Miller-ter Kuile was studying International Agricultural Development (IAD) at Cornell when...

Nourishing the Valley: The SLV’s food system

By Ameille Warner. For over 10,000 years, the people of the San Luis Valley (SLV)...

Culture, community, and sustainable agriculture  

By Kim Black. Photo: Matt Lit. Nestled along the Rio Grande in Alamosa, CO,...

History, food, and renewable energy: Mosca’s Dune Valley Distillery 

By Daniel Hart. Not far from the Great Sand Dunes National Park, a small group...

Jones Farms Organics: Sustainability leads at Hooper’s fourth-generation potato farm

By Anya Kaats Photo by Matt Lit Michael Jones, his wife Sarah, and their daughters...

Blue Range Ranch: Chop wood, carry water & raise cattle

By Anya Kaats As I sat down to interview George Whitten, founder of Blue Range...

San Luis Valley Seed Exchange becomes a non-profit

Since 2010, the annual San Luis Valley Seed Exchange (SLVSE) has been organized and...

Ginny Ducale’s  PermaFest talk on ‘The Living Soil’

My talk is about many things, mainly green manures or cover crops and building...

Creating a sustainable local food supply

Once upon a time families and communities grew their own food. They ate with...
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