Living Arts Institute
The Mission of Living Arts Institute is to build, operate, and demonstrate a sustainable, food-producing community resource that utilizes both traditional and contemporary skills and tools and can flourish in any political, economic, or environmental climate.
CSA: This is the bread and butter of the Institute and forms the core operating methodology with community members. The main program consists of the 17 weeks of the gardening season where shareholders come and get their weekly produce box on harvest day. Vegetables are grown with principles of deep organic, Permaculture, and Biodynamics. Produce is washed and packed in the production kitchen and stored until pick-up in the root cellar with each shareholder having their own canvas produce bags and “cubby.” Shareholders pay upfront for the whole season and receive whatever produce is in season. This “membership” forms the core relationship with the Institute and makes them “part owners” of the plants, animals, services, and products that the Institute provides and is accompanied by a shareholding agreement. They are then entitled to purchase individual raw dairy items, eggs, value added items, meat items, and come to the farm to table gourmet dinners. People who do not become full CSA shareholders may also just invest in a share ($10/year) to purchase any of the products or services of the Institute.
Eggs, Chickens, Poultry: Eggs will be available to shareholders in the amount of 1-4 dozenper day, seasonally dependent. Rotated and seasonal open range/garden habitat and garden debris will be augmented by a fresh sprouted barley ration and other locally produced rations (as needed). Chickens will have the climate-controlled barn with southern exposure and plenty of space, night-time lighting on winter nights, and constant frost free water. Broiler and fryer chickens can be raised depending on interest and layers will be harvested every three years. Turkeys will also be raised depending on interest.
Micro-Dairy: The dairy plays a huge part with the daily routine and seasonal, nutrient, and energetic cycle of a working small farm, while producing food from grassfor more months of the year than the gardens. A pair of mini Jersey cows will be bred yearly to produce about 10 months of milking, plus calves for meat, manure for digester feedstock, compost, and Biodynamic preps. A few goats will also be kept and milked, depending on interest. In addition to raw milk and cream, the dairy will offer yogurt, soft cheeses, hard cheeses, and occasional ice creams, etc. The animals will have the comfortably warm barn with rotated grazing paddocks around the Institute, grass hay from local farmers, as well as the fresh barley sprouts.
Kitchen Value Added Products: From the production kitchen, the Institute may offer value added vegetable goods, bread, meat products, etc.
Farm to Table Gourmet Dinners: In collaboration with guest chefs, the Institute will offer summertime five course dinners paired with wines and utilizing as much of the Institute’s food as possible. Reservations will be required and the general public will have to buy a $10/year membership to participate.
Workshops: Shareholders may also receive discounted tuition for Institute workshops in the related fields of our operations as well as Mission Statement.
School Groups: School groups from the local community as well as around the region will find many cutting edge principles of nutrient circulation, intensive small farming, renewable energy, and community food production all at work at LAI.
Equestrian Use: Shareholders can invest in a horse-use option and utilize the horses and tack of the Institute for personal riding or packing. A Liability Release form, introduction clinic, as well as prior horse experience will be required.
Special Events: The south meadow, kitchen, and Chokecherry House may be rented out for special event like conferences, weddings, etc. The staff can also host, cater, and produce the entire event and provide tents, tables & chairs, etc.
THE LAND & FACILITIES:
Land, Soil and Water: Living Arts Institute is standing on 100 years worth of soil development and seven years worth of small farm development. It has about one acre fenced and under irrigation for vegetables with another ½ acre available in the future. There is an old hand dug well and a deeper well approved for irrigation and animal uses, as well as a junior water right off North Crestone Creek that is set up for gravity feed drip irrigation and other forage irrigation.
The remaining thirty-some acres are being developed for desert woodland forage habitat for rotational animal grazing and other uses. Fencing is underway to host rotational desert forestry grazing for the animals.
Chokecherry House: The 100 year old Chokecherry House is the heart of the Institute serving as office space, community space, and leased housing. The production kitchen serves as the produce washing/packing house, value-added production space, special event food space, etc. Associated root cellar stores food for CSA pick ups, serves as CSA info center, and stores wintertime food for year-round residents.
LAI Barn: The LAI barn is a highly-integrated and multiuse “system” that will set a standard in the cold climate, small farming sector. The digester/septic system will treat all wastewater and produce biogas for the kitchen and residence from manures and other organic byproducts. It will also create an indoor micro-climate greenhouse for seed starts, food plants, and micro fish farming.