14741 Canyon Road Paonia, Colorado 81428 Google Map 970-379-9280

Growing Practices

Austin Family Farm Grows Beyond Organic

At its best, food production contributes to personal and environmental health.  At its worst, it can be toxic to our bodies and our lands.

Before chemical pesticides, herbicides, defoliants, and petroleum based fertilizers were introduced after WWII, all food was grown organically, naturally and in tune with nature.  Responsible farmers nurtured their soils by applying organic matter, tilling residual plant matter back into soil, rotating crops, controlling erosion, allowing their land to lie fallow and raising animals in open fields.  Land was respected and cultivated with a long range view toward the future.  But chemicals changed all that.

Austin Family Farm is committed to building healthier, more nutrient dense soil by employing naturally grown, sustainable methods.  Austin Family Farm is operated as a "non-certified organic" farm, which means you can be assured that everything used in the growing process is on the approved list for organics, but there are many materials on that certified, approved list that the Austin's will not use because they consider them too harsh to be included in the production of food. Hence, the term "beyond organic".

Austin Family Farm is the primary partner of Mountain Freshies.  We strive to have them supply 100% of the orchard fruits we deliver to our wholesalers and Farm-to-Family Members, but they are not able to grow all of the vegetables we need to fulfill orders.  Thus, the Austins collaborate with other growers in the North Fork Valley and beyond, who share and honor their standards and values.


The Best Farming Requires a Farmer, Preferably One with Generations of Experience

Why Experience Matters...

Over the past decades, farming has been relegated to simple science:   A+B=C.  Seed + fertilizer + water = food.   But, it's just not that simple, mechanical or rote.  Growing great quality produce is an art.  To be sure science is involved, but truly understanding soil, seed, minerals, nutrients and water is vastly different than simply possessing knowledge about those resources.

The delicate art of farming is about resources, timing, nature, and luck.   It is about planting certain varieties of trees, on a certain parts of the farm, to take advantage of a certain types of soil or water flow, in order to give the trees the best chance of producing good fruit with the best yields.  The varieties, quantities, offset harvests, watering schedules, natural soil additives, and planting schedules that are used on Austin Family Farm have been fine tuned by generations of experience to produce the most flavorful, nutrient dense produce you have likely encountered.

The patriarch of Austin Family Farm, Glenn Austin, has a degree in agriculture and has watched the industry move through the evolution of chemicals and back. While many commercial farms continue to apply more and more chemicals to their soils and crops, many farmers are seeking better ways.  Glenn's experience in soils, sustainable agriculture and responsible land management, attracts farmers from across the country to learn from his methods.  His willingness to share information, helps others appreciate a new vision for responsible care of the land.


Greetings from Mountain Freshies! August 26th, 2019

We are mid-way through our Farm-to-Family Harvest Box season, so we thought it was a good time to touch base and provide a few updates!  The cool, wet weather this spring delayed harvests an

Contact UsJuly 5th, 2019

For  questions about our Farm-to-Family Harvest Program (outside the Roaring Fork Valley) please contact: Christina Hannon-Smith, Mountain Freshies 970-471-4416 info@mountainfreshies.co

Photo(s) added: June 15th, 2019

New photo added:

Have a Question?

Contact Us Online or Call 970-379-9280

We look forward to sharing our harvest with you!

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