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Divide Creek Farm- Silt, CO- November 2010

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Divide Creek Farm- Silt, CO

Divide Creek Farm was started several years ago with a vision of sustainability and a goal to be a leader in the small farm community of Silt, Colorado which is 180 miles west of Denver. Owners Robbie George and Clara Coleman’s vision for Divide Creek Farm is evident through how they approach every facet of sustainability. Their farm is powered with solar panels; they have livestock with free-range grazing; they have a root cellar for food storage; and greenhouses and gardens exist for four season, intensive food growing.

Divide Creek Farm now has three 22 x 48 Rolling Thunder moveable greenhouses and one 22 x 48 propagation greenhouse. The moveable greenhouses have been a work in process trying new things to improve efficiency and productivity since the first two were constructed two years ago. The greenhouses all contain heaters, roof vents, irrigation and horizontal air-flow (HAF) fans. One greenhouse even has small exhaust fans. These are items not usually associated with “tunnel” food production. However, these extra amenities are sometimes required because of the climate, location, and overall growing environment encountered during different times of the year with many different types of crops being grown. All of these extras that are used to help shape the environment are easily incorporated into the greenhouse with the use of quick “disconnects” with the equipment. Although some of these extras may not be used very often, they come in handy at times when Mother Nature throws a “curve ball” into the growing environment.

However, before the first greenhouse was even constructed, the key ingredient for growing success was transforming the soil. Due to the high clay content of their soil, Divide Creek Farm imported a great deal of compost and organic matter, and worked it into the growing areas. This was a key factor a few years ago, and amending the soil on a constant basis continues to be a vital facet to their overall success. The compost used on the farm is a combination of imported material and self-made materials. Nothing is wasted on the farm including food scraps, left-over plant material and manures from the livestock.

Being a leader as a small farmer is something that both Robbie and Clara take very seriously. Recently they held a two day workshop titled “Farming and Feeding of the Minds”. Their workshop attracted several hundred farmers, some from as far away as North Carolina and British Columbia. On the first of the two days, Joel Salatin and Eliot Coleman did presentations on farming and growing. On the second day of the workshop, Chef Ryan Hardy prepared a delicious dinner using all fresh, locally grown ingredients from Divide Creek Farm and some of the other local farmers.

For some short video clips of the inside and outside of the Rolling Thunder greenhouses, at Divide Creek Farm, go to. This will give you a quick tour of what is being grown and insight into how Robbie and Clara have become leaders in sustainable, intensive four-season growing.

For more information on Divide Creek Farm, go to www.dividecreekfarm.com