A 2023 Work Experience Field Trip
Jacob Spring Farms is on Arapahoe, Cheyenne and Ute territory, colonially known as Boulder, Colorado. The day was cool, cloudy with gentle sprinkles of rain, and although many have told me this is “unusual” for standard Colorado weather, we all communally acknowledge what a blessing the water is. We started the day with taking a tour around the farm, during which Andre showed his operations and how the land, and the life on it, came to be stewarded by their hands. A story filled with adversity and triumph, it made me realize how humbling work like this can be.
As the climate has drastically shifted and the need for ecological remediation has become ever more dire, patience becomes a lasting lesson in the work land tenders do. Throughout the day we spoke of so many logistical manners, from horse and cattle ranching to crop planning and farm management strategies, all this information and so much more that Andres tied together with one crucial and incredibly beautiful idea, relationships. As André explained all this, he emphasized how the land operates in relationship with everything on and around it, and posed the question “What relationship do we aspire to build with the land, the life on it, and each other? What teaching and knowledge systems can we as a community tap into to actively learn and build said relationships?
Our conversation instilled a sense of clarity in the paths ahead of me, one where regenerative agriculture is not only possible, but can be a tool to build intimacy and respect with everything and everyone around us, it felt heavy, the questions and thoughts it raised for me, but was also grounding, making me realize the weight of the responsibility we have to this earth, and each other. Ultimately, a deep seed of hope was planted within me during my time there, giving me hope to aspire towards intentional, circular communities centered in love, justice and resiliency.
Story written by Búho Navarrete (they/their), WE Farmer 2023 who identifies as Brown, femme, indigenous, and Mexican-American.