Meet Alex Trahan of The Urban Greenhouse. Alex and I got to know each other as “Farmer’s Market Neighbors” at the South Pearl Street Farmer’s Market. He has a super friendly soul and as a fringe benefit grows the lushest and most nutrient dense microgreens. And, he does it all in the urban basement of a 100(plus) year old building on South Broadway. Alex grows microgreens for us using burlap as a support structure for the organic seeds. An organic-based nutrient solution (that smells remarkably like cacao - yum!) is added to the water and seeds in the burlap-lined trays. Adding in the right mix of humidity, temperature, and light, magically, over the course of a couple of weeks, these seeds germinate and grow into incredibly flavorful microgreens. I personally love microgreens as a very easy way to add extra veg into almost everything I eat. No prep work necessary, just grab a handful and throw on top of omelets, salads, sandwiches, soups/stews/chili.
Cloe is a 16-year-old young lady who raises grass-fed lamb in the pristine mountain fields of Colorado. She’s on a mission to regenerate landscapes, create a more peaceful world, provide healthy meat for you, and be an example of abundance. Cloe also happens to be an incredibly professional young lady who is an absolute joy and pleasure to do business with. I'm thrilled to be able to support this young woman's entrepreneurial/ranching spirit. She runs the entire lamb operation on her own, including selling to us, and to several restaurants outside of Gunnison. Can you imagine a more ideal life than working this lush piece of land in the mountains? Cloe raises her lamb 100% on pasture and they eat a diet that solely consists of the native grasses growing here, plus a little hay in the winter months when the ground is covered in snow. The sheep are pastured in "flerds" (combined flocks and herds) along with Cloe's parent's cattle, which helps cut down on natural predation. They are also watched over by an overly protective guard llama. Cloe's lamb is lean, tender, mild and incredibly delicious - you must try it!
We're so blessed to have Don mentoring us through our first years with bees. Its one of my greatest pleasures, spending time with Don as he checks on the hives and teaches me about the mysterious and complex society inside the hives. And, I'm convinced you haven't lived until you've tasted honey, warm from the sun and bees' body heat, dripping from a frame of comb. The taste is deep and rich, floral, green and citrusy. Its how I imagine Rattatoui felt when he paired the strawberry with the cheese and had fireworks shooting off inside his mind. Don is super particular and protective of his bees. He raises Certified Naturally Grown honey, meaning any property he puts bees on must sign a contract that they will not spray any fertilizers or pesticides on their property. Additionally, CNG Honey can only treat hives with 3 possible natural ingredients, one of which is thymol, a component of thyme essential oil, used to help fend off the dreaded varroa mites that often wipe out entire hives. Don's honey is as close to straight out of the hive as it comes. It's raw, meaning it has not been heated or treated so all enzymes can live and thrive inside the honey and you and your health can benefit from all of that live active goodness.
Jacob’s interest in mushrooms was originally sparked at the age of 19 by a short chapter on mycology in an old college botany textbook. A year later he moved to the Front Range to begin cultivating mushrooms at a commercial facility in Denver. Utilizing his experience in Colorado, Jacob returned to his mid-western roots to operate a mushroom farm in Wisconsin. After years of traditional mushroom production, Jacob is excited to bring his cultivation skills to the front range area. The mushrooms Jacob grows are nothing short of artwork. They are impressive and beautiful looking (seriously, could and should be cast in bronze and used as a centerpiece), and as if that wasn't enough, they are rich and deep with incredibly varied flavor profiles.
Lisa and Lance and their family (three young adult sons, a daughter-in-law and three grandsons) started out with the desire to live as sustainably as possible by growing their own grass-fed meat and eggs while enjoying the lifestyle that came along with it. It turned out that some of their neighbors were curious and interested in what they were doing as well, which is when they took a leap and started to make their dream of a family-owned meat and egg company come true. They now have a total of 640 acres in Simla, Colorado that houses not only their ranch but also their home and family. Lance and Lisa's entire family, including their children, are all involved in one way or another. This is the true definition of a local family farm! We're thrilled to be getting non-GMO, corn-free and soy-free chicken eggs from the Wheeler family. I truly look forward to my weekly egg pickup from Lisa which might just include a stop at a local coffee shop and a few lingering minutes of chit chat:)
I was so happy to finally meet Katie and Scott of 3T Ranch, just on the border of Franktown and Castle Rock. They don't come from a long line of ranchers, but rather Scott learned from a family friend. Along with their young family, Scott and Katie are proud members of the American Grassfed Association and raise certified 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef on a collective 2,000 acres... right here in our own backyard. On top of that, they're just super sweet people. There's nothing I love more than doing business with good people!
As Colorado's first certified organic, fourth-generation fruit orchard, Ela Family Farms focuses on doing one thing right....growing delicious fruit! All of the fruit they grow for us is tree-ripened on their gorgeous 100-acre farm (meaning it's picked and delivered to you at its peak flavor and nutrient-density). Growing delicious and nutritious fruit is The Ela family's passion and life's work. Yet that is second only to their mission to treat people right and grow using sustainable agricultural practices.