August Farmer Updates from Rock Bottom Ranch

ACES Staff

August 26, 2022

August Farmer Updates from Rock Bottom Ranch

August 3, 2022


Well, as summers go- it’s already August. While it may feel like summer is winding down with school around the corner, we are still feeling the heat here at RBR. Our greenhouses are rolling into peak production and vines are dripping with cucumbers. Caprese salads are a ritual at this point, and if my food isn’t cold and juicy, I don’t want it. 


Speaking of food… we generally fill the newsletter with farm happenings, but I’d like to take some time to talk about the essence of it all. We can’t talk about farming, healing the land, and sustainable practices without talking about food access. When we’re talking about environmental responsibility, we can’t forget that that inherently involves people at this crossroads of culture and land. While we farm here at Rock Bottom, we consider our context and continually work on acknowledging those that tended to this land before us and who were forcibly removed. What is our responsibility to this work in the face of continued colonialism within the food system? 


While I’m at work under the sun, these questions and thoughts run through my mind. They are my reality as an agricultural worker. I don’t have answers, but it’s important to be present and feel my context here on the land, both locally and globally. So I’ll leave you all with some questions to ponder with me: whose consumer power shapes local food movements and what voices are actually heard? Are local, small food systems inherently ethical and just? What does food distribution look like in the Roaring Fork Valley? How can it be more equitable? 


May your mind and skin melt with mine in this August sun…


Masha Brumer
— Jess Burroughs, Vegetable Apprentice 


Tomatoes from Rock Bottom Ranch

Harvest day at Rock Bottom Ranch. Photo by Chris Cohen.


July 16, 2022


Abundance. A word I keep coming back to that fully encompases this point in the season. Abundance is showing up in the field, from zucchinis growing overnight, sunflowers opening their smiling faces in rapid succession, to cucumbers dripping from vines. Abundance is showing up in our work days too, waking early to harvest for the market and staying late while the full moon rises over the mountains to shuttle delicious farm fresh foods to farm to table diners. Though August is often a time when farmers begin feeling burnout from the season, I feel that our crew is thriving. Everyday is magical with new blooms, new fruits, new sightings of our wild friends including the resident bear and families of turkeys. August has been a breath of fresh air, as the fruits of our labor are truly showing. Long anticipated, here we are. I hope you too can revel in the abundance of this month, from experimenting with new ways to cook your many vegetables, to admiring the joy only a sunflower can bestow. 


Ariel Rittenhouse, Vegetable Production Crew Lead
— Ariel Rittenhouse, Vegetable Lead


Farm Tour at our recent Farm to Table Dinner

Cindy, our livestock guardian llama, at our recent Farm to Table Dinner at the ranch. Photo by Greta Brown.


The Outdoor Production Garden at Rock Bottom Ranch. Photo by Greta Brown.

Assorted garden tools and supplies at Rock Bottom Ranch. Photo by Greta Brown.

August 24, 2022


There has been a shift in seasons in the last couple weeks. The morning air blows cold through my window as I crawl out of bed, now before sunrise. 

The pasture feels it, growing corser and sending up seeds faster. So do the weeds in the vegetable field, hoping to get seeds in the ground before frost comes. The bees know it is their time to stockpile for the winter while the bounty is still here. Lambs are starting to put on their winter wool coats. 


August on a farm is a liminal space. No other month feels like a crossroads between time quite as much. There are glimmers of both past and future veiled behind every task.


We are harvesting tomatoes that we seeded last February, and seeding carrots that will be harvested next March. Garlic hanging to dry now went into the ground last October, and some will be seed for next year’s crop. We took lambs to the processor on Monday, animals who mark the fruition of building a flock and genetics over past years, but also meat that will stock freezers for the next few months. 


The workload of the days forces us to stay present, the summer bounty and demands of the farm grounds me in the here and now. But in the quiet moments, the cyclical nature of farming blends it all together. 


This CSA share is made up of March and May and August. All of the work of this season also adds to a foundation for farm seasons to come. Thanks for being a part of it.


Mariah Foley, Agricultural Manager
— Mariah Foley, Agricultural Manager

Cattle graze near the pond at Rock Bottom Ranch. Photo by Greta Brown.
Cattle graze near the pond at Rock Bottom Ranch. Photo by Greta Brown.


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