About the Farm
High Pine Produce started in 2016 on a 1/4 acre of land rented from the Old Fort Market Garden Incubator Program in Hesperus, CO. This small piece of land produced enough food to supply a 25-member CSA program held in collaboration with Fields to Plate Produce while also providing various wholesale accounts with leafy greens and other veggies. Truly a community-started farm, High Pine began without any debt or personal investment thanks to the CSA program as well as a small crowd-funding campaign before the first growing season. Owner Max Kirks utilizes low-tech hand tools and market gardening practices that aim to preserve soil structure and eliminate weeds all while producing an abundance on a small acreage of land. In 2019 we are excited to begin expanding our roots on a 90-acre ranch in the beautiful Mancos Valley while we transition out of the Incubator Program- more on this to come!
Years of continual tillage and poor soil management have rendered much of our suitable production land in this country greatly damaged and nutrient-deficient soils grow nutrient-deficient foods. Aiming to preserve the structure of our soil by tilling only when necessary and using shallow cultivation practices we promote a living soil that intrinsically contains all of the nutrients needed for healthy plants. These practices paired with keeping the soil covered and utilizing cover cropping are how we grow nutrient-dense food without the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
Like many of you, we choose to live in Southwest Colorado because of the expansive natural landscape that surrounds us and the recreational activities that present themselves. However growing food at 7,600ft at the base of the mighty San Juans presents several challenges, namely our short growing season. In order to grow the many different vegetable varieties that we all know and love we have to take extra steps to ensure that the mature in time before the cold of winter sets in. This is why we incorporate transplanting, row covers, and high tunnels in our production strategy and look forward to experimenting more with this in the future.