Friday, October 19, 2012

A visit to Grant Family Farms in Colorado

KariLast week I had the opportunity to get to know the folks at Grant Family Farms! Grant Family Farms lies in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, just south of the Wyoming border. They are deeply committed to growing healthy, delicious food and to being responsible stewards of the land and the people who work on the farm.

In 1953, Lewis started farming with his young son, Andy. They began to grow vegetables in the 1960s, in an area of land that is mostly known for its livestock operations, wheat, corn and soy production. In 1974, Lew and Andy committed to transform the farm to an organic growing method. The farm was the first to be certified organic by the state of Colorado, and Lewis Grant was instrumental with helping the state create the process for organic certification.

Grant Family Farms' vegetable production has since blossomed to over 2,000 acres, and they have become a national leader in the production of high quality certified organic vegetables and grains.

Because Grant Family Farms was the first farm in the area to operate organically, their success showed others that it was a viable option. Many farmers in the area have since received organic certification through the state and federal agricultural departments. For the most part, the neighboring farms are focused on commodity crops and livestock.

Lew found that once the Good Food Movement really started taking off in the early 2000s, they could sell nearly all of their bounty through Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA. This reduced the need to ship their produce internationally and out of state to big chain grocery stores, benefiting their neighbors and all of Colorado by keeping money in the state and great food on everyone's plates.

They supply more than 5,000 CSA customers who pick up their farm shares each week from drop-off locations throughout Colorado.
Grant Family Farms grows more than 150 varieties of vegetables, with the main crops consisting of cabbage, lettuce, spinach, summer greens and herbs, broccoli, onions, cauliflower, tomatoes and peppers. In addition, they raise chickens for eggs and meat — organic and pasture-raised! The farm also periodically hosts dinners in the field, as well as family-friendly events throughout the season that are open to the public.

I was thrilled to spend a day talking to Lew and his fantastic staff members who oversee the CSA operation, the farm managers and marketing team. Their attitudes and banter with each other made it quite evident that they enjoy their work and find a great deal of fulfillment in being a strong link to local food for Coloradans.

Check out the pictures of the farm below! I was lucky to take home some amazing produce from the farm, in addition to the best eggs I've ever had, courtesy of these beautiful girls featured here with their friend Calvin Bailey:


No comments:

Post a Comment