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Fighting for Family Farms

Posted on Friday, August 29th, 2008.

Paula Anderson & Doris Butler

Paula Anderson and Doris Butler have been friends now for over thirty years – both heavily involved in saving family farms and orchards in and around Grand Junction, Colorado.

Traveling through the neighboring towns of Grand Junction, you will notice several small orchards full of peaches and cherries. You might spot neat rows of vineyard in people’s backyards and at the very foot of the Grand Mesa.

Vineyards in Grand Mesa

Palisade Peach Festival

In 1977, Paula rolled into town as the Citizen Participation Coordinator for a new planning initiative to save the farmland. Doris, a housewife and orchard owner, was living in the community at the time and opened her house to host the first organizing meeting, where Paula and Doris were able to plant the seeds of the future Mesa Land Trust.

The two women recalled the extraordinary vision and commitment that the East Orchard community embodied, remembering local meetings that often ran until 2 o’clock in the morning with passionate discourse.

Their conversation exemplified the pride you will find in Grand Junction and Palisade, Colorado – pride in their agriculture. Boasting a unique micro-climate in Western Colorado, the bounty of these communities can be tasted during the annual Palisade Peach Festival or the autumn’s Wine Tours of Grand Mesa.

In a growing American landscape of carbon-copied planning, Grand Junction and the Western Slope is an oasis of original local flavor, thanks to such community-minded neighbors like Paula and Doris.

2 Responses to “Fighting for Family Farms”

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  • I can’t believe I missed the farmers’ market both weeks! Particularly after seeing all those peaches in baskets!!!

    Comment from sara esrick on August 30, 2008 at 11:56 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • Thank for these incredible photographs. The story of small farms trying to survive is a very important one. Thanks sharing it with the rest of us.

    Comment from Chaela on August 29, 2008 at 12:52 pm - Reply to this Comment

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