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Common Ground Farmers crops

Tasty Tidbits: Farmers on Farming

I had the pleasure of dining last week with a half-dozen women who farm Colorado land. Over a delicious meal to which they certainly contributed, I got to find Common Ground with these farmers.

Less than 2% of our population provides food for 100% of our population.

— Ann Cross, CommonGroundCO

Ann is part of an organization that aims to “start conversations between women who grow food, and the women who buy it.” Here are a few morsels of my table’s conversations, primarily with a farmer named Sondra, who is rooted in Boulder County.

It takes 3 years plus one day after the last time you spray a chemically-based herbicide, pesticide, or fungicide applications to take a farm from conventional to organic. We also need to clean any conventionally used equipment fully, and maintain meticulous records for the USDA and other certifying authorities.

Sondra, farmer of alfalfa, sugar beets, pinto beans, barley,
wheat, sunflowers (for oil), and bees

Common Ground Farmers crops
Sondra’s organic alfalfa feeds other farmers’ dairy cows.

Sondra recently got into bee keeping and her eyes light up as she talks about her bees. She visibly droops as she talks about the one hive she lost with this year’s cool weather.

The lost hive was not as big as our other four and it couldn’t keep itself warm. Did you know you can touch a beehive and feel its warmth?

Jan, grower of alfalfa, beef cattle, corn, and wheat in Elbert County, brought this point home:

If you eat, you’re involved in agriculture.

Interested in more about the food you eat, the food other women grow? Like Common Ground CO on Facebook.


This post is part of #MicroblogMondays? Whazzat? A post that’s not too long. Head to Stirrup Queens to join the fun.

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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7 Responses

  1. My family is spoiled by our landlords – they have four or five small gardens scattered about the property, and they’re forever leaving all manner of veggies on our doorstep. One of these days, I hope to start our own plot, so I will definitely peek at CommonGround Colorado.

  2. That is so cool. I really don’t know much about how food is grown or what it takes. I’ve only grown some cherry tomatoes and I’m afraid I barely tend to it. We’re so lucky we have people who work so hard and care so much to provide food.

  3. I always feel like for me there’s so much fantasy with farming… the reality is so much harder than the picturesque post card image I have. This organization sounds amazing. I have pretty much failed at my home “Farming” this year, although my basil and rosemary crop is awesome, but I cheer every time I see a honeybee. I would droop visibly if a colony I was kinda sorta responsible for died, too. Beekeeping is so important, and so interesting!

  4. My tiny bit of “farming” this year was ruined by stinkbugs who infested and ruined many of my tomatoes. 🙁

  5. I’ve been going on and on for years about how we. as a society, are too disconnected from our food and how it is produced. It’s amazing the amount of work it takes, on razor-thin profit margins, to get our fruits, veggies and meat to our stores. Thanks for the reminder!

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