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Community Agriculture Alliance: Inspiring resiliency in uncertain times


Mikinzie Taylor
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In 2007, I was a sophomore in high school reading Henry David Thoreau’s famous book, “Walden.” Nearly every sentence of the book tugged at something inside me, and when I got to Thoreau’s powerful message about following dreams, living simply and not wasting our precious time on this Earth, I knew that I had to uphold the truths written on the page:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” — Thoreau 

When I found myself living in beautiful Routt County years later, I knew I had found an opportunity to make those dreams a reality. For my husband and I, it took only a few months after moving here to start building our own farmstead, and for the past three years, we have been growing and raising as much of our own food as possible.

For us, farming and growing food has become a lifestyle choice. At times, this choice makes travel more difficult and days longer, but it also fulfills us in so many ways beyond just feeding our bodies. Farming nourishes our souls. 

I think many of us who live in Routt County share this deep, soulful connection to the land in one way or another. Whether that connection is felt through recreation, hunting, fishing or through agriculture, the feelings and connectedness we experience through the land are what make us feel complete.

When COVID-19 began to spread, I felt blessed to live in a county where the history of agriculture is still so rich and in knowing that our local food system was capable of lightening the burden of larger food shortages we could experience. I was encouraged as people began growing gardens for the first time or started shopping at places like the Community Agriculture Alliance online market and the local farmers markets in Steamboat and Hayden.

In such difficult and uncertain times, I am encouraged both by our community’s resilience and the recreationists, farmers and ranchers who, even in crisis, continue to find meaning, beauty and opportunity in the great outdoors.

With the future uncertain, I feel we are living life in limbo right now, trying to grasp at some sense of normalcy while being constantly reminded of the bigger problems that our world is facing. However, I do know that our community is coming together to adapt to our constantly changing circumstances, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

My greatest hope is that we continue to live deliberately, that we continue to support our local food system and that we come out of this stronger, not only as individuals, but also as a community. 

Mikinzie Taylor is the owner of Mystic Hills Farmstead and a member of the Community Agriculture Alliance board of directors.


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