Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Here's to Springtime! 2015

Our Spring and Autumn Visitors - Photo by Mike Quanintance

Here’s to Springtime!
The Colonel collaborating on a pasture plan  with the Georges,
 our partners in soil health
KW Farms 
San Luis Valley, Colorado 
March, 2015
Shy Mom - long time resident of KW Farms

     Spring, that brings our old friends, the cranes, and new friends, Mike and Cheryl Quaintance, who live in the mountain town of Bailey and come regularly to the San Luis Valley to check on the wild life and fill their larder with the valley’s goodness. They spent this weekend here, taking photographs of springtime happenings around the valley and at our farm. They went home this morning, with mushrooms, potatoes, quinoa, pork, lamb, and beef – and LOTS of great photographs.
     Even though this winter was mild, now that Spring has sprung, we are like bears coming out of hibernation, everybody wanting to visit, standing out in the sunshine, feeling the warmth (and no wind - ssshh!), talking about this and that...

     On Saturday John delivered meat down to New Mexico and I did Alamosa and Monte Vista. John had a lot longer trip than I, but he almost beat me home because I was still visiting with everyone in town.  
Thanks to Mike Quaintance for capturing this red tail hawk \

     Delivery days are long – getting packed up, leaving early, coming home late.  But, John is possessive of these days, and gets upset if I try to take them on as my own.  He loves seeing everyone and always comes home with gifts of food our customers make for us.  
     This week he came home with delicious chocolate brioche from Kerry in Ranchos (he saved some for me!) and viili, a Nordic yogurt from Rachael in Albuquerque.  I look forward to using it as a starter with our friend Nitschka's goat milk.

     Life is good.

Springtime in the Sangres down by the rio (Mike Quaintance)

     It is a fine network of knowledge and caring that is being built around food among our customers.  It is reminiscent of the old Chile Express that took place in the 1800's until WWI, when caravans of covered wagons traversed from the area around Chimayo to the San Luis Valley, laden with orchard fruits and ristras of bright chiles to exchange for potatoes, wheat, and beans.
     And while irises are poking up, new kids and calves are beginning to appear, and the children have forgotten where their mittens are, we have a way to go before summer, when one day in May - BAM - all of the sudden you look up and see whole fields have turned emerald green.  That's summer.  It can still freeze.  We have spent July the 4th watching fireworks bundled up in blankets.  But, that's summer.  And we are so grateful for this brief, and beautiful time.

Renee and her grassfed brood:
Seanna, Keenan, and Eliott
     We are also so very grateful for Renee Mackey, who has been helping us with our meat business, and who took care of things so we could attend a conference at Paicines Ranch in California recently called Restoring Health to Agricultural Ecosystems.

     The featured speaker was Christine Jones, a soil ecologist from Australia, who is teaching people all over the world about the importance of carefully managed animal impact, decreased plowing, and minimizing the use of chemicals in agriculture, as well as the link between soil health and nutritional value of food.
     Dr. Jones' research not only has the potential of diminishing greenhouse gases, her approach to production could help address a myriad of food-related illnesses and syndromes in human health.  For more information, go to:
     When we got back home, we learned that Renee's oldest child, Seanna, had earned several awards for her project at the San Luis Valley Science Fair.  Seanna is a fifth grader at Sangre de Cristo School.  Hers was a botanical project, having to do with the effect of various growing conditions on beans.  We are so proud of this budding scientist - for her interest, her intelligence, and her creativity.  She helps us feel THERE IS HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.

Much love,