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Grange Road Growers (Non-Certified Organic)
Contact: Chris & Laura Pfenning
Address: 10763 3100 Rd Hotchkiss, CO, 81419
Phone: 970-697-4754
About Us
Although the Pfennings have 20 years of combined growing experience, this is only their third year farming together in Hotchkiss. Laura became interested in farming in high school by working at a CSA farm in Fort Collins, CO. She studied Organic Agriculture at CSU and then worked on several farms after college in Maine, upstate New York, and Colorado to learn different styles of farming. In between farming, she taught elementary school for three years, but she now prefers to teach motivated learners how to farm, and applies her organizational skills to the planning of plantings.

Chris found farming through natural building work in SE Ohio, close to where he grew up. He worked for someone who used draft horses to log timbers for framing straw bale houses, and they would sometimes use the draft horses in the builder's large home garden. Chris became inspired by this family's self-sufficient lifestyle, as he had always cared about quality work and found it lacking in the modern world. Chris transitioned from logging and building to farming by interning on two small farms in Paonia before taking on the responsibility of running his own farm in Utah, and then Colorado. Chris brings to the farm a high standard of quality, attention to detail, a sense of humor, strength, and a passion for finding the right tool for every task.
Grange Road Growers offers a wide variety of annual vegetables, specializing more-so in the cool season crops. They consider themselves a non-certified organic farm, which means they follow all the protocols and use only products approved for certified organic growing, but they do not go through the process for certification.

The Pfennings use a human-scale style of farming and no-till practices as much as possible to build structure and life in the soil, and to keep weed seeds from surfacing. They grow on 30-inch wide beds, which are comfortable to work with hand tools, as it allows them to reach the center of the bed or straddle the bed. To prepare the soil, they broadfork in the spring, spread organic amendments and peat moss, and power harrow only the top inch to create a light and even bed for seeding. The Pfennings are transitioning towards cover cropping and rotating animals to build soil fertility, rather than purchasing inputs. They use several pest management strategies to avoid spraying chemicals. They use shade cloth, insect net, row covers, hoop houses, and variety trialing to produce the best tasting vegetables possible in all kinds of harsh weather conditions. Grange Road Growers irrigate with either drip tape or wobbler sprinklers, and use flood irrigation on the pastures.