About

Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?  – Mary Oliver

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My interest in farming initially grew out of my early career path in animal welfare and a deep concern for agriculture’s devastating environmental impacts.  Once I started reading, working my way from Michel Pollen, through Frances Moore Lappé, on to Mollison, Fukuoka, and Savory, there was no turning back.  I started visiting and volunteering and interning, and I quickly found that there was no way to live but with my hands in the soil and my heart a steward for the lives of animals and land.  After spending the most inspiring week of my life so far at Midwest Permaculture in Chicago, I left my job at Boulder Humane Society to start work on a newly established organic vegetable farm. Hoping to find permaculture in action there, I instead found 40 hour weeks of futile weeding, and quickly realized I wanted to have a bigger impact on the Earth than leaving it with a little less bindweed and a few more tomatoes.

I studied sustainable ranching at Colorado State, getting a Masters degree in Integrated Resource Management with a concentration on ecologically sound land management through grazing. I got lucky enough to find an opportunity doing just that in Colorado’s gorgeous Roaring Fork Valley, and have started growing my roots here as a perennial pasture farmer. I have a special fondness for heritage hogs and turkeys, as well as a love of dairying that I hope to pursue with a small sheep dairy in future years.

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I’m currently developing the Roaring Fork Grange, a community for local farmers, ranchers, gardeners, and foodies to provide support, connection, and education.  Through the Grange, I hope to build a framework to symbiotically share resources, talents, an ideas.  I also plan to open my tiny farm project to the community, giving other aspiring growers the opportunity to join me on this fabulous adventure.  With the combined strength of many unique contributions, we can improve local food production while overcoming it’s many obstacles.  If you feel inspired to get involved, please join our gatherings starting in April or contact me for more information.

I’m so excited to be starting up on a four acre, riverside property in Carbondale, Colorado, on loan from a generous supporter in return for soil building and ecosystem restoration.  We’ll be raising hogs, goats, rabbits, and poultry, using mobile pens to rotate the animals for optimal land health and constant access to fresh pasture. We’re also working to raise as much as possible of the animals’ feed onsite in the form of pasture, forage crops, sprouts, and even worms for the chickens!  I’m now taking pre-orders for meat available in the summer and fall.  My supplies will be quite limited, so I encourage you to order as soon as possible.

Thank you for your interest and support!

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MISSION STATEMENT

I am deeply committed to improving feed systems, husbandry practices, and production efficiency to give ethical sustainability a competitive edge and growing presence in agricultural and our community.

My management system is designed to offer my livestock the best possible lives, reducing stress and disease while providing daily enrichment and the chance to run, forage, root, wallow, scratch, roost, and socialize.  I take personal responsibility for all livestock slaughter, compassionately killing hogs and goats onsite to eliminate fear and stress, and humanely harvesting poultry and rabbits by hand at a nearby, open-air facility.  I’ve carefully selected heritage and heritage hybrid breeds that thrive on a pastured lifestyle and produce meat exceptional in quality, flavor, and nutritional value.   (Find out more about slaughter practices here)

My twice weekly paddock rotations also build soil, improve plant diversity, and increase biomass production.  My goal is to fully eliminate the fossil-fuel intensive, environmentally toxic, and nutrient-deficient annual grains (corn, soy, wheat, etc) that have overthrown our farming system and to instead transform recycled, local feeds such as intensively-rotated pasture, brewers grains, and restaurant waste into exceptional meat.   (Find out more about feed here).

Transparency and accountability to my community is central to my farming ethics, and I encourage you to ask questions, drive by, or come for a tour to reconnect with the lives that feed your family.  Sadly, healthy and ethical food has become a privilege of the wealthy.  Though my prices will never compete with the factory-farmed alternative, I will strive to reduce production costs every year through efficiency and innovation to bring my products to market for the most accessible price possible.  Through my future KickStarter campaign, I hope to donate a portion of my meat to local families in need.

My production system is time-consuming, intellectually challenging, and management intensive, but it is kind, it is clean, and it is a hell of a lot of fun to be a part of!  Your support makes this dream possible for me and for the happy animals I raise – Thank You!

Please contact me at  joyfulpumpkins@gmail.com or 303-250-6027

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