Help Needed to Keep Area Organic Icon Up and Running
by Art Goodtimes
Nov 29, 2010 | 1145 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WHITE BUFFALO FARM … What hippie hasn’t heard of the famous counter-culture Tennessee farm of Steve Gaskin and friends? But in the North Fork, our organic pioneers have been Wayne Talmage and friends at White Buffalo. They’ve managed to weather regional energy boom/busts for their farm and ecovillage from its establishment back in 1974 – just as the real Sixties were ending, and all the hippies had decided to flee the cities and get back to the land … I can remember when the old Winterstash Food Co-op/Columbine Grocery in Telluride would make a run out to White Buffalo for organic fruits and veggies and sell them in the old Reid Warehouse building that’s been lovingly refurbished as Ah Haa’s Bookbinding Studio. White Buffalo has remained a major advocate for organic food and sustainable farm systems on the Western Slope. And their organic model in farming and orcharding has spread slowly but steadily in the North Fork Valley and beyond … As Wayne explains it, “We represent a new paradigm in farming and living that will replace non-sustainable industrial food systems in the future. We are part of the decentralization of industrial models that began in the post-industrial era. This trend is necessary and inevitable” … The farm has 24 acres of fruits and vegetables and has been supplying them to local and regional markets – wholesale, retail, and directly through farmers’ markets – for 36 years. Farm villagers attend over 50 farmers' markets and have a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operation that distributes weekly to 50 households January through December. Vegetables are grown year-round in high tunnels as well as on the grounds of the ranch … But food production is a very competitive business, and White Buffalo needs to grow its size to keep in the game. However, money is tight. Wayne is on the scout for environmentally motivated investors … “We currently have plans to increase the number of our high tunnels for growing vegetables and tree fruits,” says Talmage, “as well as building a certified mobile kitchen to develop a value-added line of organic products. We anticipate doubling our revenue streams by 50 percent in the next five years” … Ambitious, but they’ve survived this far on determination and grit. As Wayne explains it, “White Buffalo farm is in need of further capitalization to support this expansion of revenue streams and remain a viable organic food producer … We are looking for expansion loans for up to five years at a 7 percent interest return to the lender,” explains Wayne. Contact him at White Buffalo Farm, 16877 Grange Rd., Paonia, CO 81428, 970-275-2076. Tax-deductible donations can also be sent by check to fiscal agent: The Generosity Exchange. Attention Michael Toms, 10 West Main Street, Cortez, Colorado 81321.

MIDWEST ROCKFALL … Kudos for a job well done. Even a couple days early. And the nicest traffic controllers I’ve ever seen … Not that all rockfall hazard is over on Norwood Hill. Far from it. A couple bus-size boulders still loom overhead in treacherous spots, and the spot where the most loose rock falls didn’t get curtained in chain-link … But thank you, CDOT, for doing what you did.

CYPRUS AMAX MINERALS … Newmire’s finally cleaned up, recontoured instead of recklessly left as wreckage of a vanadium millsite, and nicely landscaped … Gratitude to the largest mining company in the world. Here in San Miguel County, they have done a very responsible job of cleaning up a radioactive headache left over from the days when the hills from Placerville to Uravan were classified as Atomic Energy Commission reserves.

SPEAKING OF MINING … Would that we as a nation would reclaim all the lands trashed by past mining before we would even consider embarking on another big bucks uranium boom.

FUNGUS-FOR-THOUGHT … Mycoremediation researcher and Shroomfest faculty Paul Stamets is suggesting, from recent research into selenium and mercury ion binding in certain mushroom species, that there’s a high likelihood that Turkey Tail mycelium in burlaps sacks (or in woodchip beds) could be placed below mine tailings to mitigate downstream pollution from mercury … That sounds like a project that local school science kids ought to be able to test in Telluride.


Canyon Run
- After Aaron

As young as you were, you never
made the mistake of assuming
you were alone
in this world.

You were born knowing
the air itself grants freedoms;
every event was an opportunity
to do your best, to rise
in your abilities like a great tree
stretching its limbs
into the universe of possibilities.

And now, your possibilities
are the air itself.

The challenge you tossed
to us all, to run into the canyon
at dusk, dawn, midnight,
rolling, jumping, hollering,
sensing your way with your heart
like a Jedi Knight in the blind darkness
as if this moment

was the only life you had,
and each moment belonged to itself.

In those moments,
in your confident example, you challenged us
to be open to everyone and everything;
to toss judgment away like a pair
of uncomfortable shoes
and walk through this world

a gleeful, barefoot traveler
knowing all along that you were watched over,
giving away everything in your heart and hands,
accompanied by all those you carried
on your sky-broad shoulders
and whose love
will now carry you<
in the eternity of each moment.

We will each do our absolute best
to carry the torch of clear truth and joy
in your name
into the midnight canyons of this world;
this world that needs your desire<
to be the change we want to see,
a light held aloft
by every one of us.

This is
the only moment
We have.

- Ellen Metrick
In memory of Aaron “Moon” Cruttenden
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