Growing Healthy Food in Boulder County
It began with a hobby garden, but now Mark Guttridge and his wife Kena run a small farm outside of Longmont, supplying Boulder County farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) customers and their own farm stand. The folks at Ollin Farms produce nutrient-rich produce without using chemicals and focus on efficient water use.
Mark’s background in water resource and environmental engineering influences his choices as a farmer. He’s been so successful with efficient drip irrigation that much of his water comes from the municipal supplier—a testament to how little water they use on the farm. This uncommon approach sprang from Mark’s desire to “grow the most amount of food possible using the minimal amount of water,” he says. “There was a need in the community to have real food back in our diets.” To learn more about Ollin Farms’ sustainable agriculture practices:
Ollin Farms hosts periodic Farm Dinners that have become a hit over the past three years. Sample fresh farm produce and other locally sourced foods, prepared by local chefs. Most dinners are held on the farm, under the stars. Or, attend the farm’s Tomato Festival in August or Fall Festival in October for an opportunity to glimpse Ollin Farms’ methods up close.
As urbanization separates kids from nature and rural areas, Ollin Farms provides an opportunity for children to re-connect. The farm’s annual summer camps teach kids ages 6 to 11 (or 3- to 6-year-olds in half-day sessions) about planting, animals and harvest. Camps wrap up with a Farm Party and meal prepared by a local chef. Visit www. ollinfarms.com to sign up for programs or learn more.
Transition Colorado, a group working to engage communities in becoming more resilient and self-reliant, held its first annual Slow Food Bicycle Tour de Farms in 2011, where cyclists traversed 15 miles of Boulder County countryside, learning about local farming and enjoying the bounty at a local farm lunch along the way. Visit www.transitioncolorado.org to see what events are scheduled for Eat Local! Week 2012.
Find a local farm or CSA near you at www.localharvest.org/ csa. Plan a visit to learn more about local farming, or join a CSA to start eating local, healthier foods.