Note 9/15/10: The September issue is always one of my favorites at Delicious Living because it's an issue we devote to organic and sustainable foods—even more so than usual. Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to visit one of the top organic/sustainable food-producing areas in Colorado, in Delta County. I brought back some truly delicious recipes, tips—and tons of inspiration. Here's what I wrote in this month's editor's note.-RM
It’s 4:45 a.m., and the rooster is already deep into his daily series of gravely crows here at the Fresh and Wyld Farmhouse Inn in Paonia, Colorado. In a few hours chef Dava Parr will open her doors to another enthusiastic crowd hankering for a Sunday brunch of fresh, organic, local foods. (On today’s menu: French toast topped with locally grown cherries and homemade yogurt. Click here for a sample of Dava's recipes.) I have spent the last few days visiting with Dava and a number of farmers, fruit growers, wine makers, and producers here in Delta County, a little-known hotbed for organic and sustainable food.
To say the least, I’m truly inspired. Yesterday, I scraped sheep poop off my shoes with Lynn Gillespie, co-owner of The Living Farm, a small 4th-generation operation with a big message (check out their film Locavore). Lynn runs a 3-year program to train farmers in sustainable practices. “Many people have the ability to grow [crops], but they don’t have the business skills,” she said. Last year they built a passive solar greenhouse capable of conveying warm air via tubes from the top part of the greenhouse down into raised planting beds. For just $165 from October through March, the farm can produce about $3,000 worth of food in this single greenhouse. Impressive.
Down the road, Jeff Schwartz, owner of Delicious Orchards and Big B’s fresh juice line, gave us a tour of his operation, which now distributes certified USDA organic juices to the greater southwest U.S. “We don’t have a lot of money for marketing, but people want something authentic—and they’re catching on.” It’s people like Jeff, Lynn, and Dava, and the innovators in this month’s feature story, “Organic Voices,” as well as chefs like Deborah Madison (“Vegetable Inspiration”) who continually sound the wake-up call, who supply the energy necessary to propel the organic and sustainable movement forward. So read on for inspiration, and seek out the organic farmers and producers in your area. And, as always, don’t forget to “vote with your fork.”