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That’s when the idea of growing food, truly connecting with nature in a very intimate way, materialized. Sustainable, locally grown food is a powerful way for all of us to buck the system, to lessen our dependence on the chemical-spewing giants of the food industry. Small-scale organic farming strengthens local communities and enhances the environment. Barclay grew up on an organic farm and we had already been growing our own food on a modest scale, including a little flock of chickens, for many years. It was time to take it up several notches. We also wanted to minimize our own impact on the earth: We built a small straw-bale house, started capturing rainwater for domestic use, and went solar to warm our home and power the farm. Indian Ridge Farm and Bakery is now in its tenth year of production, and we are committed to providing regional residents with fresh, healthy foods grown in an environmentally friendly way. Our aim is to connect the food that is grown or raised here with people who realize the importance of supporting local food sources. We do this through our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, farmers markets and direct sales on the farm, and the Internet. With so much agriculture in our region, there is no reason food has to travel the national average of 1,600 miles from its source to your dinner table. Local food is the best form of homeland security.

town. Johansson would especially like to see the resort broaden its sustainability efforts by committing to the use of locally grown foods in all its restaurants. “High-quality food grown for tourists: It’s a great selling point for the ski area, which is already moving in that direction with its efforts to go green. There are so many different avenues for the economy to grow around food production.” Perhaps the most important element missing in the regional food picture is a distribution system that would supply locally grown food to schools, restaurants and individuals. Enter Ken Haynes of the newly launched Colorado Provisions, based in Norwood. With funding from the same Paradox Trust, Haynes is conducting a feasibility study to see what a regional food hub might look like, and he’s depending heavily on information being collected by TNCC’s food assessment. Take beef, for example, says Haynes. Norwood has been a cattle ranching community for more than a century and beef is the main food produced there, but the majority of the animals are trucked off to feed lots where they are finished, processed and distributed elsewhere. How much beef is eaten in our region? Beef travels an average of 3,500 miles before reaching our stores and restaurants. Hayne’s statistical analysis will help him determine whether or not the area could support a local USDA meat processing facility. Eggs are another promising local product, says Haynes. There’s no reason to purchase non-local eggs when so many people here are raising layer hens. It’s a matter of linking people together—those who have eggs to sell and those who want eggs, whether for their restaurant, school or household. People could connect through a website or even a warehouse, where food could be sold directly to a business or consumer. “My ultimate goal is to determine the model that would work best for our region and then try to determine the best way to fund the system.” To fill out TNCC’s Community Food Assessment survey or to find out more about Colorado Provisions, go to www.colopro.org.

tony and barclay daranyi in front of their straw-bale home courtesy photo

Farming is a challenging pursuit. My passion for it comes from its physical demands, its intellectual tests and its requirement for constant problem-solving. By the time I finish in the evening, I’m satisfied to know that I’ve put in a physically hard day of working the land. Similar to my winter job as an avalanche technician with the Telluride Ski Patrol, I get to be outside every day and connect intimately with nature. All the elements are here: wind, snow, rain, clouds, sun and wildlife. Observing the snowpack in wintertime is a constant reminder of what gives us our summer irrigation water. Farming also takes an understanding of business principles to know what aspects of the operation are sustainable in the long run. Environmental sustainability and economic sustainability go hand in hand: You can’t strip the soil of all of its nutrients and expect to have a functioning farm in the coming seasons. I’m repeatedly humbled by the knowledge that growing food is part of a very complex system of variables that all come together as one. After all, we’re animals, too, and—despite conventional thinking—we’re not here to change nature, but to work with nature. summer/fall 2011

www.TellurideMagazine.com

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Profile for Telluride Magazine

Summer-Fall 2011 Telluride Magazine  

Telluride Magazine: San Juan, Bridal Veil Power Station, Roadtripping the Skyway, Telluride Regional Food Network

Summer-Fall 2011 Telluride Magazine  

Telluride Magazine: San Juan, Bridal Veil Power Station, Roadtripping the Skyway, Telluride Regional Food Network

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