TELLURIDE – All too soon the bountiful harvest of summer is over and the regionally produced edibles offered at the Telluride Farmers Market are no longer available. Or are they?
The market ends its summer run on S. Oak Street next Friday, but many of the area’s farms, ranches and dairies will continue to deliver organic goods throughout much of the winter. Producers located at lower elevations yet still within 100 miles of Telluride enjoy the benefits of a milder climate and thus a longer growing season.
Fall and Winter CSAs
One of the best ways to enjoy the bounty of any particular season is through a CSA, or community supported agriculture, which provides a share of the current harvest to its members.
Paonia’s White Buffalo Farm is offering a fall and winter CSA that will provide members with a weekly box of organic goodies delivered directly to their doors. The CSA will operate from the end of the farmers market through the end of the year, depending on the whims of nature.
“It will basically include everything we’re serving up now,” said Wayne Talmage, White Buffalo’s patriarch. Even after the first frost, which Talmage estimated would not occur until the end of October, White Buffalo boasts lots of storage for its selection of organic roughage. Lettuces, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, and onions are the staples of White Buffalo’s winter CSA.
Talmage explained that buying local and organic is even more important today than it was in the past because of the centralized processing of the mainstream food industry. Should a food become contaminated, the consequences of its mass distribution can be dire. At the end of August, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would allow food producers to irradiate spinach and iceberg lettuce to extend shelf life and limit the growth of food-borne pathogens, such as Salmonella and E. coli. But the irradiating process kills most of what makes fresh vegetables healthy. Buying produce from a local source is a healthier solution, Talmage said.
Visit White Buffalo’s stand at the market today or next Friday to sign up for the CSA, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries.
High Desert Foods, based in Dolores, will continue its CSA through December, offering products for the pantry as well as the vegetable drawer from a wide array of regional producers. Growers include Mancos’s Seven Meadows Farm, Palisade’s Rancho Durazno and Rohwer’s Farm in Pleasant View. Cheese, dairy and eggs are offered from Sunny Breeze Farm, Olathe’s Rocking W Dairy and Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy. Meat for the CSA comes from Foxfire Farm in Ignacio, Arriola Sunshine Farm and Sunnyside Meats. High Desert’s own baked goods are also included, such as preserves, nut mixes and more. For more information visit www.highdesertfoods.com.
Meat and Dairy to Your Door
For lifelong Montrose/Ridgway-area resident Jeff Downs, eating locally is about more than supporting your local economy; it’s about having a relationship with the people who supply your food and knowing exactly where and how it was raised.
That’s why Downs encourages customers to “get in touch with where their food comes from” by visiting his Kinikin Heights Ranch located outside of Montrose where he raises 100 percent grass-fed lamb, poultry, beef, and pork. “I feel it’s important to respect the animals’ welfare,” Downs said of his ranching practices.
All cuts of meat will be available throughout the winter at the ranch, or Downs will deliver to Telluride. To learn more visit www.kinikinfoods.com, email email@example.com or call 970/901-9959.
Eating locally is an important step toward becoming more environmentally minded, said Brent Walter of Foxfire Farm near Ignacio. “It helps create a stronger, healthier local economy – and healthier people too,” Walter said. Organic lamb, goat and beef are raised at Foxfire Farm, owned by the Parry family, who has been ranching since the early 1900s.
Customers can order Foxfire products from their website, where regional buyers receive a discount on shipping (and free shipping for orders over $150). Foxfire uses the Durango-area’s local shipping company, Kangaroo Express, to further reduce their carbon footprint. Visit www.foxfirefarms.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Montrose-based Colorado Elk and Game Meats uses sustainable practices in the raising and processing their animals, and customers can order elk cuts, jerky and summer sausage from their website www.colorado-elk.com. Clark’s Market in Telluride also carries some of their products.
Black Canyon Foods offers a service that’s “a real blast from the past” – milk delivered right to your door. In addition to the milk from the Rocking W Dairy in Olathe, produced free of growth hormones and antibiotics, Black Canyon also offers delivery of other regional products such as tortillas from Telluride’s La Tortilla Ria; a large selection of meats including Black Canyon’s own Olathe-raised yak; coffee from Grand Junction roasters Colorado Legacy Coffee; and much more. Visit their website at www.blackcanyonfoods.com.