I Plant A Seed With You

In Magazine by Jason WhiteLeave a Comment

Carbondale c. 1900; an agrarian dream~

I Plant a Seed With You

I am a grateful and active member of the Carbondale community. Our community is our unique and shared culture. We all have an identity, we all have a role and we all take pride and ownership in what we are creating.

Jason White; don’t ask (?!)

I am a frugal foodie and a guerilla gardener. I pamper indoor seedlings and burp fermented follies. I love local food, whether I cultivate it, purchase it or cook it. It just tastes better and it has a story. Will you remember an apple? Or will you remember that one bluebird September day in the apple orchard when you and your friends were dressed in ragged flannels and muddy boots turning the handle of a rickety wooden press, sipping fresh cider from the pitcher and then watching the pigs scramble after the compost mash?

So I have a vision. A possibility. A seed to plant. I choose these words because it is likely that you will receive this with more curiosity and less discernment.

Imagine a green and hungry golf course in the arid West. How does it make you feel? Now imagine a tired and shuttered golf course that has been reverted to a park, ecologically healed and creatively planted with heritage veggies, fruit and grains to connect agricultural history with innovation. Potatoes for distilling, cabbage for fermenting, strawberries for jam and grains for the bread oven.

Imagine a conscious homeowners’ association (HOA) that uses its golf member fees to instead compensate local growers and creatives to live in affordable/attainable/smart dwellings on the property, tend the commons for the market store and build real-time curriculum for a seasonal farm school for local kids.

Imagine if the harvest bounty is transported across town to a repurposed grocery store space that is being used as a centralized food hub to organize, preserve, process and distribute this food for entrepreneurs, non-profit causes and for-profit revenue. The ideal recipe would be ecological, educational and financial sustainability.

All of this and more is possible in Carbondale.

So there it is. Here we are. I have no permits, plans or promises. I do have purpose, passion and patience. I will need your help to cultivate these seeds. Not unlike when you might ask me to water your carrot seedlings when you are on a river trip, or when I might ask you to cover my tomatoes when I am on a desert trip. Together, we will watch the fruit ripen and then we will drink wine, and more wine, under the harvest moon.

A salty potato farmer once said, “the truth lies in the soil and it will be dug up when the time is right.”


And, to leave on a high note: “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends….mmm, gonna try to get by with a little help from my friends.”

Jason was born in urban Kansas City, and grew up exploring the lush and humid Missouri Ozarks, never too far from a lazy river. His fortuitous winding path and friendly stepping stones led him to the Roaring Fork Valley. Jason moved to Carbondale in the winter of 2005 to live in an Airstream at ACES Rock Bottom Ranch and teach kids about food, flora and fauna. He made the leap to work as a transit/bike planner for RFTA, and still works collaboratively to better connect the region with transit and trails. He met his lovely wife, Emily, volunteering with the Carbondale Food Co-op and Mountain Fair Green Team. Jason and Emily rescued a sweet pooch named Ollie Appletree and they are grateful to own a Carbondale in-town farmlet with ample space to create. Jason and Emily work hard and play hard in every season that this amazing place has to offer.