PIONEERS OF MODERN FARMING
These are the faces of food and the future of farming. Each woman has a small farm with a purpose. They are the mothers of Mother Nature and are cultivating a culture and passing their knowledge about the ancient field of farming.
Farm Founder & Manager
Cure Organic Farm
7450 Valmont Rd., Boulder
Open to the public May – December
Wednesday – Friday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Cure Organic Farm is a small commercial family farm just six miles east of Boulder. Chances are you’ve come across Cure’s produce whether you’ve dined at Blackbelly, Cured, Jax’s or Frasca’s Food + Wine (to name a few), or shopped at Alfalfa’s and Whole Foods. These healthy, organic food options are thanks to modern farmer Anne Cure.
Anne is the conductor of over 100 varieties of organic vegetables, herbs and flowers on 15 acres, and has been for the past 13 years. The farm is also home to several honeybee hives, a flock of hens and ducks, and a pack of heritage breed hogs. Managing Mother Nature is no easy task.
“Growing up in Upstate New York on a cattle farm and the youngest of six, I have always been around a farm lifestyle and a farm work ethic,” says Anne.
As the farm manager, Anne’s day starts early at 5 a.m. in high season and doesn’t end until the planting, weeding and harvesting are fulfilled for 15 restaurants and two farmer’s markets. She takes care of valuable crops year-round, makes the crop plans and is also a full-time mother.
“I am a mother first, and the rest can wait until I have taken care of those needs,” says Anne.
Organic food is surprisingly not the main goal of Cure Organic Farms, growing interest in the field of farming is. It’s a passion that Anne and her husband Paul strive toward with each season and hope to inspire growth in small-scale farms.
“In order for farms and food to become vital and stay vital, you need to normalize it and make it a part of everyday life and make it accessible to everyone. Our Thursdays are dedicated to that with a 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. open door to join us in the fields.”
As a pioneer and cultivator of farming culture, Anne trains budding agriculturalist who may run their own farm someday. She also holds classes, farm tours, kids camps and internships throughout the year.
Anne says, “Our workforce consists of six interns or future farmers. They are the ones who need to learn the trade in a fun environment.”
“I am proud to say that for 13 years I have grown food for an amazing community that I care deeply for and who has shown my family and me such incredible generosity,” says Anne. “My hope for the future is to stay true to the project that Paul and I started which is to help others succeed in the wonderful field of farming.”
“Organics are never an easier path, but the wisest one.”
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Education Coordinator & Heard Manager
Mountain Flower Goat Dairy
3240 Broadway, Boulder
Open to the public every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Not everyone has a goat guru, but when you do, you start Mountain Flower Goat Dairy. Taber Ward, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit Mountain Flower, first learned the ropes of farming at Hart’s Leap Farm in 2005.
“This is where I met Doodle. Doodle was a Nubian goat who stole my heart and changed the trajectory of my life forever,” says Taber. “Doodle spent her days lounging in alfalfa piles, getting milked and eating grain, grazing in the pasture and jumping around pens.”
For Taber, it sounded like the good life.
“My path over the next ten years would lead to apprenticeships at other farms, a job at a land trust in California, a cook in a restaurant, teaching yoga, waiting tables, law school, and finally, back to goats.”
Taber says, “Mountain Flower was born with the assistance, goodwill and support of Long’s Garden and their mission to conserve this unique 100-year old property and keep agriculture alive and well in downtown Boulder.”
Especially in today’s world of concrete jungles, having a farm minutes from downtown is how Taber and Madelynn, Mountain Flower Dairy’s intern turned employee-of-four-years, turned the dairy into a successful education tool that has a positive impact on the people who visit.
The three primary goals for their vision are community engagement and education (check), sustainable agriculture and human husbandry (again, check) and finally, land conservation (check).
“We have a goal of a healthy biodiverse and working landscape so that the public can participate in and learn about farming,” says Madelynn. “We want to pass down an ethic of agriculture, so farming doesn’t become a way of the past, or an industrial machine.”
Even with this success story of an urban farm, there are still challenges.
“Income. There is a tremendous amount of support, goodwill and love – but, honestly, it’s hard to keep this farm going year-after-year because we are small and we don’t make very much money,” says Taber. “Luckily, we have a great board of directors who are working on fundraising and finding innovative ways to supplement our program related income.”
“This is truly a labor of love. We do it for the animals.”
“Call it weird, call it naïve, call it je ne sais quoi. It was goats for me and me for goats.”
Cindy Jones, Ph.D.
Founder, Biochemist & Herb Farmer
Sagescript Institute & Colorado Aromatics
13651 N. 115th St., Longmont
Scientist and sower Cindy Jones also has a small-scale farm but focuses entirely on herbs and botanicals. Imagine rows of sweet-smelling lavender, rose, fennel, mint and more (over 30 different herbs to be exact). Cindy not only founded Sagescript Institute, which is a farm-based Cosmetic Science Company offering education and produce for small cosmetic companies, she also owns Colorado Aromatics, a farm-to-skin brand.
“I grew up with an appreciation for plants, but not necessarily farming. My love of the natural world led me to study science in college,” says Cindy.
After following the ‘expected’ path of a scientist; graduate school, post-doc position in a lab studying biochemical pathways, Cindy found herself wanting to trade latex gloves for gardening gloves.
“I wanted a lifestyle that was more outdoors. I had never considered skincare as a direction, but my love of herbs grew, and as I played with making herbal products I realized that my knowledge of chemistry allowed me to make a more sophisticated and functional skin care product.”
For ten years Cindy has combined her many skills and interests to create something sustainable and educational. Cindy strives to spread the seed of interest in farming and herbs through her blog, writing for print publications and educating volunteers who help out with her farm.
“I hope that there are more small farms that bring back biodiversity rather than monocropping done by large, industrial farms,” says Cindy.
“Bigger is not better when it comes to farming.”