In December 2013, NPR explained how suburban farms are popping up instead of golf courses in new developments. Several dear friends made sure I heard this show.
It changed my life.
It made me believe that there was something out there for me to weave my life around…farming in the city. Audrey can live with Glen. Or, city living while farming. Glen can live with Aud.
Suburban farms are ways for living creatures to enjoy the outdoors, and the fellowship of healthy living in community. #1 way to do this, grow the food for your table….and your neighbor’s and his neighbor and … #2 sit down together and eat those great foods you’ve grown. Great idea, don’t you think? This is one of my interpretations of what a suburban farm could be.
The NPR show told how many suburban farms (~200 then) get started and thrive. It also showed each farm as slightly different. Many are truly woven into the fabric of the community. I saw two of those this past week: Bucking Horse/Jessup Farm and Lyons Farmette. I started at Bucking Horse/Jessup Farm.
I researched this development in interest as it was near my old stomping grounds of Colorado. Plus the description was interesting. So, off to Fort Collins I go! Plans were made to meet Anne at a coffee shop before a tour. The coffee shop had good coffee and engaging with Anne easy and interesting. Anne is an amazing woman doing great things for kids…families…and real food. She is my new hero and she has a GREAT TRUCK!
Anne explained starting the Fort Collins’ “Sprouting Up", not-for-profit. It teaches kids how to grow, cook and market vegetables. This provides for a free farmers’ market in the neighborhood and adjoining areas. In Ann’s case, she started with mobile home parks. She employs kids who live in/near these parks to apprentice in the garden. In addition to eating and cooking together, the kids prepare meals and invite families in as well.
She’s a gem.
Anne is also the farmer of Jessup Farm, the farm inside of the Bucking Horse development.
Later on, Dino Campana is the Founder and President of Bellisimo, the development organization creating Bucking Horse stopped by and we spoke for quite a bit. Dino was interesting…an entrepreneur since the age of 15. He establishes and coordinates design-development teams, this time one to sustain healthy lifestyles. Dino asked if Anne and I were aware that Bucking Horse/Jessup Farm was featured in an article in the latest Modern Farmer magazine. I had it in my bag and handed it over.
Dino is interested in developing Healthy Lifestyle settings that are sustainable and replicable. Simple as that. He and his brothers are building this one in Fort Collins, Colorado in hopes to replicate it at some point.
Dino is a great storyteller, his story began with his teenaged boys not knowing how to work, so he bought a farm. Jessup Farm, gave the boys ample time in the dirt. Then he decided to develop a community around the farm so others could learn how to grow, how to work together, how to eat and live well. He developed a community with all types of housing options: rentals to patio homes to estates.
Then he asked me what I wanted to do. I explained connecting ex-offenders with options to learn how to grow and cook food to eat and share. Dino looked me squarely and said, don’t believe anyone who tells you no. If you are making your vision come to life, don’t tell anyone what you are planning until you’ve got it going. And more importantly, you don’t have to know what you’re doing to get it going.
After listening to Dino’s story and then answering his questions, I felt like Modern Farmer magazine portrayed Bucking Horse differently than what I saw on my tour.
Dino is a determined visionary. He encouraged me to dream and go.
Next stop, Lyons Farmette!