Updated: Jul 1
I had the pleasure to speak with Alice of The Golden Hoof Farm (goldenhooffarm.com) on two separate occasions. This recording shows most of our second discussion.
During our first talk, I came to understand the ways Alice has learned and continues to learn about regenerative farming. I asked Alice which resources were more helpful to her and The Golden Hoof as they embarked on the journey of regenerative and food sovereignty focused farming. Although she said that much of the journey has been experimental, one huge resource that has been helpful is the Citizens Soil Health project lead by Elizabeth Black. In this project, 75 farms around Boulder County (Colorado) are able to get subsidized soil tests (from Haney Labs and Industrial Ag Labs), which are usually taken yearly. Soil tests help farmers understand the current state of their soil. It helps farmers to have comprehensive soil tests, which can be rare. For The Golden Hoof, their soil score has improved from <19 to 30, which is the highest of the average values for Colorado soils (the highest soil score overall in Colorado is a 50).
With this tool, Golden Hoof is able to focus on making their soil healthy. The goal is to not only regenerate the soil and implement practices that they can be sure will continue to regenerate the soil over time, but also to ensure that they grow the most nutritious products to eat and privately sell to customers. Alice and her family have suffered in the past from food-related health issues, So clean and nutritionally dense food is a priority for The Golden Hoof.
Other benefits of the Citizens Soil Health community has been having many different farms in the community to learn from. All of the farms have the same goal: soil health. However, the farms may have different ways of achieving that goal. Successes from one farm can lead to learning within the whole community.
Overall, the Golden Hoof really tries to work WITH community rather than in an individualistic mindset. When I asked Alice how things changed for them during Covid, she said that their business tripled, likely due to the fact that people in the community were worried about scarcity. Another farm in the area, Starling Farm, had vegetables that they provided for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), while Golden Hoof provided the meat.
Alice is currently trying to work to provide laws that reinforce food freedom in Colorado, so that she will be able to sell more of the Golden Hoof products at the farm. By law, Golden Hoof is currently not allowed to sell any processed products from their farm to the public. They can only sell privatized CSA’s. In order to change these laws and provide more people with access to foods that will enhance their health as well as environmental health, she is working on the Food Freedom Law. In this endeavor, she is getting help from the Boulder Community Foundation, a local nonprofit. In the future, she hopes to accomplish this for the people as well as get the small, regenerative-focused farms in the area to become a bit more specialized to provide the highest quality products of their specialty to the people in the area.