September 12, 2010

Harvestival: Organic Fun at Grant Family Farms


In Wellington, Colorado  (north of Fort Collins,)  so close to the Wyoming border that I saw this big herd of antelope, there’s a place called Grant Family Farms. Yesterday I visited Grant Farms for their 3rd annual HARVESTIVAL, a celebration of land and community, and it was really fun!  

Last year’s festival was spoiled by frost and snow but this weekend’s weather, 78 degrees with cobalt blue skies, is a prime example of why so many people want to live in Colorado.

The word that comes to mind for this festival is “Funky.”  Immediately upon arrival I was greeted by the rocking sounds of Zivanai Masango & Pachedua a great band from Zimbabwe. The fair itself consists of booths selling locally made food, beer, wine and crafts but the thing that makes this event so special and distinct is the sense of gritty authenticity. The entire event is within the context of the largest organic farm in Northern Colorado. This is a place where the community can touch the very soil in which their food is grown (if they’re CSA members) and that is a rare and powerful experience in these days of factory farming.       

The Grant Family Farms have been in operation since 1974. Their Crop production manager, Max Henry, told me that they grow a wide range of crops with just under 2000 acres in production. They employ 30 people year-round and over 400 seasonal workers. Whole Foods is one of their largest distributors and they are about to open a processing plant for their own free-range, organic poultry.

The only problem that I could see was that there weren’t enough people there. Hopefully today with a musical line-up that includes Judy Collins they will get a larger crowd. Follow this link for more information about Harvestival and Grant Family Farms.  http://www.harvestival.com/index.htm

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