At Home in Nature

  (Agate, Colorado)
TwoInTents Blog
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Drivers licenses for 14 year old farmers

Farmers who employ their children (or children self-employed in agriculture) may now obtain drivers licenses from the State of Colorado for transportation between the farm and their residence on the most direct route.  The same rules that apply to all underage drivers applies to these young farmers, including passenger limits.

HB 11-1024, sponsored by Representative Vigil and Senator Brophy, does not make allowance for urban farmers, granting this right to only children residing on land zoned Agricultural.  Even still, this will ease the burden on labor-strapped farms, which rely on family (sometimes 14 year olds) to operate, freeing older and more experienced labor (such as parents or older siblings) to do more complex work.

Senator Brophy, a farmer and mountain biker, has sponsored other bills include limiting liability for bikers and eliminating taxes on most agricultural products and clearly this fits right in with his other work towards empowering people to be personally responsible.  Representative Vigil also has a strong focus on agricultural matters, and an emphasis on personal responsibilities. 

Whether 14 year old drivers will live, and live up to the high expectations for personal responsibility of these two men will be seen.

Horses are deer proof vehicles

The deer are beginning to enjoy the first flushes of green out on the Palmer Divide.  Even in Elizabeth.  It is now against the law to feed the deer in Elizabeth, but luckily there’s plenty for them to eat anyway.  It’s also against the law to have a horse on less than 2 acres in this “horse friendly” community without special permission from the government. 

It used to be that horses were essential forms of transportation, and with gas prices climbing, who knows?  Maybe they will be again.  In any case, it is hard to understand why a horse couldn’t be kept on much less than 2 acres, as they have in the past through good stabling methods.  Not every car is kept in a garage equipped with a mechanic’s shop, nor is every dog allowed miles of range because its natural range would extend miles (I know of dogs that are kept inside all day every day, in fact). 

The deer and the horses in Elizabeth are different: the horses require people to feed them (even on 2 acres), and the deer don’t.  Elizabeth says that deer are traffic hazards and that feeding and watering them is a danger to the public.  But they are not so quick to explain the mysterious limitation on livestock.

In days when even the City of Denver is allowing chickens, goats and other critters, why would Elizabeth restrict these necessary animals?

I could imagine the solution to the traffic hazards of the deer might be encouraging horses as a form of transportation again.  Why not make some streets non-automobile?  Horses have a built-in speed limit.  And they have a knack for not running into deer.  Even if you’re riding while drunk.

But planners are too busy making automobiles necessary to consider practical solutions like mine.  They first make all activities fall into particular zones, then separate residential zones from commercial and industrial zones so people can’t live and work in the same place and need a car to get from home to work and back again.  Sometimes they offer a bus, but not all the time.  Planners are paid enough to not need to ride the bus.  Thank goodness.

Microshares in CSAs: farms on the ropes

Many people like to read farm blogs, and want to support farmers but - for too many reasons - the expense and commitment of actually subscribing to a farm is too much to undertake.  As farmers, we at Two In Tents would encourage you to consider microshares. 

We offer microshares to folks who want to enjoy some produce and support farms but may only have $20 or sometimes less to invest in a farm.  Sometimes, they are paired with workshare so that a full share of produce can be enjoyed, but we are also quite happy to simply provide some delicious treats to those who can’t afford the entire season’s worth.  

Wherever you are, if you have been holding off subscribing because of the significant financial commitment required, consider asking your local farmer for a microshare.  Tell them what you can afford, and ask what you could get for it.  You might be surprised at the warm welcome you receive: thanks to Walmart and government intervention into the free market, many farmers are now hungry and scared too.

It is a fact that small farms are going out of business, and while getting involved politically is a good step to securing our nation’s long term interests in small farms and local food supplies, the first step actually begins with helping those farmers who are still in business.  With a microshare, you can do a lot with a little: just like one signature on a petition can change the law, one customer, however small, might make or break a farmer.

 
 
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