In the spring of 2008, having just moved to Paonia the year prior, a local farmer contacted me with an idea for a film. A little ball of energy and enthusiasm, she wanted to paint a picture and illustrate via moving pictures and sound the forgotten art and craft of eating locally. There was a new word for it at the time, Locavore, and over the next year we embarked on one of the most fulfilling film projects I have ever been involved with. That woman, Lynn Gillespie along with her husband Tom, own and operate The Living Farm on Stewart Mesa outside Paonia. The farm remains a shining example of what can be done with just a small parcel of land, hard work, and good water rights! Today much of the food produced on the farm is funneled to Paonia’s Living Farm Cafe, operated by Lynn’s son Mike Gillespie. The farm can also be toured throughout the summer with advanced notice.
“Locavore: Local Diet, Healthy Planet” is feature length and is filled with revelations on the benefits of locally sourced food, many of which long forgotten with the rise of global industrial agriculture. Local North Fork Valley stalwarts of the Locavore movement featured in the film include: Zephyros Farm on Bone Mesa, Desert Weyr farm on Garvin Mesa, Rivendell Farm in Austin, Bernedette Stech’s wonderful little family farm on Pitkin Mesa, as well as neo pioneer Brook LeVan’s sustainable settings in Carbondale. Its also features some super snappy, original music by ex-Paonian Bill Powers!
The film is still available on DVD for purchase but several years ago Lynn decided to make it free to the public. Recently I reposted the film to Youtube and its available for you all to view! “Locavore: Local Diet, Healthy Planet” is every bit as relevant as it was 10 years ago and even more so. Not only is it a love letter to organic small scale farming on Colorado’s western slope its also a passionate and inspiring and will no doubt get you excited about next year’s garden! Enjoy!