Community Agriculture Alliance columns

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Community Agriculture Alliance: Sustainable agriculture products on the Routt National Forest

Events such as the recent Garden-to-Table dinner in Steamboat Springs highlight sustainable agriculture and show the local communities’ commitment toward supporting efforts taking place at the gardens of Yampatika’s Legacy Ranch and Colorado Mountain College’s sustainable studies and culinary management programs.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Local food the highlight at 2014 Soup Bowl Supper

During the past several years, there has been a growing international trend in the demand for local foods. The Yampa Valley has a long history of agriculture, and the local food trend has noticeably spiked here, as well.

Community Agriculture Alliance: High altitude harvest

In most places in the U.S., fall is a time where pumpkins grow fat, and farmers and gardeners watch as their fall crops take shape. The evenings start to get a little chilly and relief from the hot days is welcomed. But not here in the Yampa Valley.

Community Agriculture Alliance: A face-to-face with legislators in DC

Each September Rocky Mountain Farmers Union members are in Washington, D.C., to meet with lawmakers and USDA officials. That’s right, farmers and ranchers sit down in offices with senators and representatives to discuss farm policy and rural issues. These trips are known as “fly-ins.” We just got back from one.

Community Ag Alliance: First Plate and Pint farm-to-table dinner a success

Sixty lucky people found out just how delicious it can be to eat local Saturday night at the first Plate and Pint farm-to-table dinner.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Fall is the best time to order seedling trees

The first hints of color are starting to show in the forests around Steamboat, and summer is coming to a close. But for private landowners, fall is a good time to think about the trees they may want to plant on their properties next spring.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Estate planning

Two things are sure in life: death and taxes. For family agriculture, one of these also has meant the other, and the idea of having to sell the farm or ranch to pay inheritance taxes is an unpalatable consequence of death.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Soil health

Soil health — you may have heard this latest descriptor and wondered what it is. Hopefully, by now you are aware that soil is not just dirt. It’s a complicated ecosystem that takes place beneath our feet to support the environment that we see above ground.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Sustainable agriculture is a year-round endeavor

This summer, I embarked on an adventure in sustainable agriculture. Colorado Mountain College’s Sustainability Studies program offered the course for the first time and, while it wasn’t a required course, I am so passionate about the topic that I jumped at the opportunity. Sustainable agriculture is crucial to the success of food sustainability and I was eager to get my hands dirty.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Water — where does it go from here?

The Yampa-White-Green Rivers Basin Roundtable gave preliminary approval to the first draft of their Basin Implementation Plan on July 23. The plan now will be submitted to the Colorado Water Conservation Board that will consolidate plans from the nine Colorado water basins and develop a State Water Plan to be delivered to the governor by December 2015.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Local farm to table dinner

While it still is summertime and only early August, we all know it will be over all too soon. Think ahead just a few weeks, and fall will be coming. Along with it comes a bounty of agriculture products in the Yampa Valley that will be at their peak in early September.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Hometown pride is county-wide at the 100th Routt County Fair

We’ve come a long way since 1914, and the Routt County Fair is an event where “hometown pride is county-wide!” With continued county support and literally tens of thousands of hours from dedicated volunteers, today’s Routt County Fair is held on the same tract of land as it was 100 years ago.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Wilderness opportunities abound in Routt National Forest

Wilderness: What does the word mean to you? Special emphasis is being directed to the term this year, as 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing into law the Wilderness Act.

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Community Agriculture Alliance: Make hay while the sun shines

There are thousands of acres of freshly cut hay fields and it seems like millions of bales covering them. I look forward to it every year.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Importance of a modern-day roundtable

Mention the name roundtable and most people think of King Arthur’s famed roundtable where he and his knights congregated in medieval times. But ever since 2005 with the legislative passing of the Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act, Northwest Colorado has had its own roundtable.