Meeting farmers is one of my favorite things to do, I don’t mind traveling a bit to get to them. I also love when they are new farmers! Very recently, I visited Diana Ford and Ken Ulin of Li’l Bit Farms in Calhan (officially in Ellicott, but for GPS purposes it’s Calhan).
Diana and Ken moved to Colorado from Florida and bought their farm and land about 9 months ago. Diana used to be a dolphin trainer and Ken is an Air Force veteran and has worked in the phone and cable fields. What struck me most about them is that they are in their 30s and the reason they chose farming was in part because of the economy, and also because they watched Food, Inc. That documentary really opened their eyes and they decided that it was important for them (and the community) to become farmers. They really wanted to know exactly where their food was coming from.
this is Li’l Bit, the farm is named after her.
Diana admitted that they are city people and even though they both work so hard and long at their farm, they both agreed that they wouldn’t trade it for anything. They currently have 45 laying hens (that also includes a couple of roosters) and they are about to receive about 60 chicks to raise. Most of the chickens were rescued off of Craigslist and a lot of them were in bad condition. Lucky for the chickens now, though, they are extremely spoiled and well taken care of. Their coops (or rather palaces) are very clean and they are all free to roam as they please.
Diana and Ken are learning just about everything online and via YouTube videos and they also like recycling free or almost free either on Craigslist or agricultural auctions. They have worked very hard to clean up their farm and to build fantastic shelter for their chickens.
Diana and Ken eventually plan to have goats, meat birds, perhaps some cows, and an edible garden. Another goal that they have is to build a few hoop houses and also offer different types of classes to the community.
future garden site.
Diana’s first hoop house.
They invited me into their home for some lemonade and fresh chocolate chip cookies and they showed me around. I was impressed with how comfortable and pretty their home is and I was also impressed that they renovated it all themselves. We chatted a bit more about how quiet and serene it is out there in the plains, and we agreed that it is important that more people starting farming again. I was touched that they sent me home with a dozen of their beautiful eggs.
Diana and Ken are truly inspiring and friendly people and I look forward to checking their progress on the farm!