In August of 2010, we, Peter and Linley Dixon moved to Durango with their daughter Raina to start an organic farm with the mission of providing year-round, pesticide free fruits and vegetables. With help from friends and family, we built a four-season greenhouse, installed fencing, irrigation, and two hoop houses while experimenting with crops and varieties that would grow well in the region. We sold produce at the Durango Farmers Market, wholesale, and offered a 13-member CSA. Throughout the 2011-2012 winter we grew greens in the greenhouse and tunnels and sold produce to 3 restaurants (Poppies, Linda’s Local Food Café, and Fired Up), Durango Natural Food Co-op, and to families who scheduled weekly orders.
In the 2012 season, Adobe House Farm expanded its acreage and partnered with Werner Heiber with the mission to provide a longer season, high quality, diverse CSA to 33 families. We also greatly increased our composting operation and began collecting coffee grounds, leaves, organic manure, and vegetable scraps around town. Our compost piles are kept wet and aerated and reach temperatures of at least 120 degrees to promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms that help decomposition. We sold our crowd favorite strawberries, rosemary limeade, greens, basil, and other produce at the Durango Farmers Market and to restaurants and grocery stores.
We expanded again in the 2013 season providing produce to a 60 member CSA, farmers market, wholesale, and farm-to-school. Late in the season, hail damaged Adobe House Farm’s crops. More than 75 people came to help us glean tomatoes and take them to cold storage at Zia. Over the next few days, several more people arrived at Linda’s Local Food Cafe to cut and freeze the tomatoes so that Linda could turn them into roasted tomato products throughout the winter. We had the chance to meet so many people and even smile as many hands made the work less overwhelming. As a result we are changing our farm plan to include the community throughout the 2014 season.
In 2014, we doubled our size by including a new plot off N 32nd St. in Durango. We added another full time farmer and offered a CSA to 75 Durango families. We also expanded our volunteer and work-share program which allowed us to work more closely with Durango residents as well as share our farming experience with more people. More land allowed for a vast expansion in the quantity, variety, and consistency of crops, including a much-expanded strawberry patch, pumpkin patch, and outdoor tomatoes. With so much extra land, we were able to offer U-pick options on several of our crops throughout the year.
2015 marked another year of expansion for Adobe House Farm. We hired two more employees, bringing the number up to 5, as well as partnered with John from Animas Valley Farm. We were able to offer a CSA to 110 families in Durango as well as greatly expanding our offerings at the Durango Farmers’ Market and to local restaurants. We also expanded our partnership with the new Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative to help expand local food distribution.
In 2016 we reduced the size of our operation and concentrated on selling our produce to restaurants almost exclusively through the Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative, as well as operating our CSA through the Coop.
2017 is poised to be our most exciting year yet as we have finally purchased land around our home to farm. It’s a 7-acre plot located just 8 miles north of Durango, Co. off of highway 550. With our own land, we will be able to employ larger-scale sustainable farm practices and establish more perennial food systems over time.