News from the West

The end of summer brought both bounty and hardship to Western farmers and ranchers. From hurricanes to fire, flood to drought, many have struggled with serious impacts to both their operations and their communities. But as farmers do, you are rebuilding, pitching in, and standing together. Times like these remind us how important it is to strengthen our communities and build a common voice for resilient agriculture. NYFC’s Western team has been... Read More

Farming is an art of adaptation

Tyler and Kendra on a warm day last summer. Photo by Eva Verbeeck By Tyler Hoyt, Green Table Farm On the whole, I would consider this past year a success. We expanded our market reach tremendously, turned a little bit of a profit overall, made it through our on-farm wedding, and had fun pretty much the entire time. We are looking forward to another productive and fruitful season in 2017. Currently we are having one of the best winters on record as... Read More

Farm disasters wait for no man … or wedding

By Tyler Hoyt, Green Table Farm As I sit down to finally write this blog entry, I must confess that it is at least a couple weeks late, but for good reason! Late last month, Kendra and I tied the knot in front of about 200 people who gathered on our farm from all over the country. We fed them food we raised ourselves and entertained them in our new barn, complete with a bar and stage. A word to aspiring or current farmers (who likely already know... Read More

Finding land (with water) isn’t easy

By Tyler Hoyt, Green Table Farm No matter where they live, one of the biggest barriers that young farmers face is access to good quality land. In the West, good land for agriculture is usually tied to good water rights, which is a big factor in the price of land. When we started our search for a piece of land that we could call our own, we stuck to one of the emerging organic produce economic models: we needed to be close enough to a well-to-do city... Read More

I can see my watershed, I can ski my watershed

By Tyler Hoyt, Green Table Farm When I began thinking about this blog post, it made me want to check inat the source of our water. Three miles of highway and another 15 of variable dirt roads, and my brother and I were within striking distance of patches of snow clinging to windloaded north faces. A little ski boots-on-talus action and we were making some legit ski turns. The grins on our faces at the bottom of this thin patch of snow (it was mid-June... Read More

Playing caveman hydro-engineer

By Harrison Topp, Topp Fruit Our day started this morning at 4:30, when we met the crew to move sheep. The sheep are born in the bottomlands near Montrose, a brushy landscape that’s the gateway to the Utah desert. Around mid-May we moved them up to the irrigated fields on a nearby mesa. Today we moved them further up to a leased parcel in a scrubby, mid-elevation forest. We’ll do one final move in July, to an even higher elevation forest service... Read More

Meet Tyler: “We want to spend our lives devoted to a piece of land”

Welcome to the arid West! For the next six months, four young farmers/ranchers from Colorado and New Mexico will be blogging about their experiences with water access and explaining everything from what it feels like to clean a 400-year-old acequia to how they’ve learned to make the most of the water they have through conservation and crop selection. To help you understand the terminology around water access, we’ve put together a short glossary... Read More

Upcoming Young Farmer Mixer in Salida, CO

Calling folks from the Upper Arkansas and San Luis Valleys – upcoming young farmer mixer in Salida, CO in a week and a half! Come on out to hear more about NYFC, get to know other farmers in the region and have a good time!  Email robin.c.lewis@icloud.com for more info and to RSVP.  (Not nearby? Email us at organize@youngfarmers.org for help in putting together a mixer in your area!)        Read More

Farm Hack West Slope CO: Farmers build social and online tools to improve farm resilience in the arid West

Harrison Topp, farmer from Mancos, CO, and Daphne Yannakakis, farmer at Zyphros farm, talk irrigation hardware at Farm Hack West Slope Colorado. On the small-scale farm, the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees. This fact makes resiliency—the ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune or change—an essential trait, especially for small, young and beginning farmers. As we in the west face extended drought and increasing demand for... Read More

Western Farmers Kicking into Gear with two Upcoming Farmer Events

  Two amazing events are coming up for young farmers!  Want to organize something in your area?  Get in touch with us (organize@youngfarmers.org) – we’d love to work with you on it. DURANGO, CO: This Thursday, Durango, CO will host a local foods potluck and gathering to discuss the Southwest Growers Alliance that’s been brewing up a lot of excitement in area farmers.  Those who come will talk about the local food distribution... Read More

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