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Read a past WOOFR's story of his experience on the farm:
"A few years ago I had a strong desire to travel and have new experiences. Living in Pittsburgh, I saved up some money and planned my first trip around a recent urge to learn more about food. Grant Family Farms would be my first destination. Passionate about food, and arguably more passionate about all the unique personalities within it, the farm would be host to my first real food education, first glimpse at the beauty of homesteading, and too many fun-loving memories to count.
The intern supervisor picked me up in Fort Collins and drove me to Andy’s farm, which would be my new home for the next 4 months. We picked up raw milk on the way out. My house had a CSA share waiting inside for me; a box full of produce and eggs. As an intern, I was lucky to have my first whole foods diet. We could take as much as we wanted from the farm. That was how it was even in Andy’s own home. His house was a part of the farm--a place where people were encouraged to be themselves, unafraid of judgment. Guests made themselves comfortable throughout the property, helping themselves to whatever. I’d been there when valued things would be missing after a party. It always hurt Andy and his partners when people would still steal even after being given so much.
Every day we’d wake up to new duties supervised by the eccentric personalities of the farm. The learning curve was so steep that it never felt like a day of work. I learned to make meals from fresh produce with other interns that would become close friends. We harvested chicken eggs, pulled vegetables, picked fruit, packed CSA boxes, and accompanied delivery drivers on their mountain routes. We fed the chickens kitchen scraps and fed the pigs loads of peaches and cucumbers. I had the best pork chops of my life. I asked questions every day that helped me understand what was around me.
Andy would have us over and teach us how to make jam, sending us back with plenty of our own. He had us over for dinner every weekend. We’d help cook unbelievable meals from fresh food that was sprawled across his kitchen island. We would hang out and play hearts afterward sometimes. It was nice to see everyone relax from the obvious pressure of operating a business. On Sunday, Andy would drive us into Fort Collins to do shopping for whatever we needed while showing us around the town he spent most of his life in.
We all began to look forward to spending the weekend together. Andy, Mike, and Nick got to have fun with the energetic new faces on the farm, and we got the best introduction to Colorado a kid could ask for. If we didn’t go out in Fort Collins, we might have a fire in the teepee and play drums. We were given a farm truck to take into the canyon or into the mountains any time we asked. Adventure wasn’t just encouraged, it was fully enabled! In October, I was worried I hadn’t gotten the mountain experience I had wanted and it was beginning to get cold. Andy lent me a truck, a map with a destination, all the camping equipment I needed, and one of his dogs to take on my first summit. Two days later, I was sitting at the Twin Crater Lakes in the Rawah Wilderness, contemplating everything this Earth had to offer. I continued this contemplation when Andy directed me to Shambhala Mountain Center, where I spent two of the healthiest days of my life. I don’t know how to express my gratitude for these life changing experiences that I got in exchange for sending an email to the right person and pulling some carrots out of the ground.
The farm was full of people that Andy believed in. People of all backgrounds, all passions and convictions found themselves with an opportunity on the farm once Andy saw their fire. He helped many people who didn’t have much become leaders within the operation. It seemed there was a dual mission: to grow organic produce for as many people as possible, and to help people let go of their pain and fears.
I remember the scrutiny the farm was under very well, and experienced some of it myself. People were always questioning the integrity of a farm so large. People see a for-profit business and imagine the worst. I saw acres and acres of fields dedicated to growing food the way it should be. There were thousands of people eating it, choosing it with their dollar. I saw Andy’s full support for wonderful organizations that criticized him behind his back. People questioned what went on at the parties, when all that was happening was love. I was made fun of for my friendship with Andy, Nick, and Mike, which was only love. I saw a fraction of the critique that I imagine Andy and people like him have been combating for their whole lives. Meanwhile, all he asked was that people “live and let live”.
When I think of Grant Family Farms, I feel like I was given so much when I gave so little. When I think of Andy and his family, I remember a heart-throbbing, loving dynamic. I remember my friends who wanted to share what they had with me. I love them all very much, and wish them all the strength and positive energy they need to become a healthy operation. See you soon!"
-Shane Eazor, 2011 WOOFR
Proud to announce that our Pastured Owl Canyon Eggs are now Certified Organic by the State of Colorado Department of Agriculture!