Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Visit to Colorado

Last week, I went to visit Norwood, a little town in Colorado, located 30 miles west of Telluride.  A friend of mine owns land in that area and set me up with one of his friends there to show me around the community.

For two days, I visited with farmers, permaculture educators, a county commissioner, young activists/urban homesteaders and a hemp farmer.  I spent an entire morning with Kris Holstrom who runs a high altitude permaculture education center called Tomten Farm.

I was touched by everyone’s kindness, openness and creativity.

The town of 1,200 residents sits in the middle of traditional farmland, now mostly used for hay production and ranching.  The area used to grow barley crop for Coors Beer as well as potato.  The irrigation ditch system relies on several large holding reservoirs fed by snow melt.

The town boasts a sweet café offering very decent fares, a hardware store, a grocery store, a community garden, a clinic, a library, a school and a food hub where small organic farmers bring their produce.

As much as Norwood is a very small town, I felt a sense of community there.

The visit was very insightful as it made me realize that what I haven’t found in my search for property in New Mexico is a sense of vibrant community.

Lone Cone, near Norwood
I have visited beautiful places in NM but all the towns around are depressed and terribly run-down.  I can’t conceive parachuting myself in one of these communities without feeling utterly isolated and uninspired.

What I witnessed during my visit to Colorado is dialogue, collaboration and camaraderie.

Land prices were comparable to New Mexico.  However, agricultural land in the Norwood area cannot be subdivided in less than 40 acre parcels.  Some parts of the San Miguel County (where Norwood is located) apparently have more relaxed zoning codes. 

I went to Colorado to get a different perspective.  I have looked at many properties around Northern New Mexico and haven't yet found anything suited for our needs, and at a price we can afford.

Expanding the radius of our search......
Mil Abrazos Community Land Trust is a non-profit project fiscally-sponsored by the 
New Mexico Community Foundation, a 501(c)3
Donations are tax-deductible