Adele Carlson: Colorado Farm To Table Pioneer

IMG_9730This week’s profile in “Why We Work at The Home Ranch” is our master gardener Adele Carson. A cattle rancher and pillar of the local Clark community for over 30 years, Adele has lived, worked, and raised her family in the Elk River Valley. She and her husband Doug also operate one of the cornerstones of the Home Ranch farm to table operation: our sister company, the Sand Mountain Cattle Company.

Although Adele has been associated with the Stranahan family and the Home Ranch for many years, she was hired in 2011 as our Master Gardener. Right away, she started to layout the logistics for the development of Clyde’s farm. Under Adele’s leadership and green thumb, the ranch has added our new greenhouse, expanded the kitchen garden, and helped develop the Ranch’s 5-year plan for the farm which envisions an entire 2.5 acres growing either flowers or vegetables.

When I asked Adele, “why work at The Home Ranch?”, she said, “I believe strongly in the Colorado farm to table movement. I would like to see as many places as possible move toward a local food model. It’s great for people to know where their food is from.”

To share this vision with a group of Home Ranch guests, Adele leads a farm tour every week. As we were talking, one of her interns came to ask her a question about lavender. It was then that I saw why we are so lucky – and grateful – to have Adele as part of the team: she’s a natural teacher. She said that this summer, working and teaching interns from around the country, has been “inspirational for her. I see they are so excited about everything I can teach, and they are so passionate about learning how to grow food. This summer, 95% of the salads we serve are grown in our gardens. Last summer our greenhouse did very well and this Harvest season we are aiming for even better, with even more producing beds.”

Although she loves everything green and growing, Adele’s favorite vegetable to grow is cucumber and her favorite flowers are coneflowers and daisies. Like all gardeners she hates weeds.

The next time you visit The Home Ranch, start off your Monday morning with one of Adele’s garden tours. Experience Clyde’s Farm with one of its creators, and find out about our future plans for lambs, turkeys, blueberries, and so much more!

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