"Where does our water come from? Too few of us in the United States ask this question as we turn on our faucets and partake in a seemingly limitless supply of clean drinking water." - Casey Holland
"Our water comes from the mountain it starts from there it starts flowing into the Machos River, then flows into the San Juan River, from there it goes into the Colorado river and finally flows to the driest parts of the United States" - Tyler Hoyt
Fountains in the city of Denver.
" This land had hand-dug ditches that delivered water across the orchard. I used stones, shovels, and dirt to get the water to flow where I wanted it. It could take hours to get the right amount of water where I needed it to go." - Harrison Topp
"The second year of farming, I lost my entire crop to a spring freeze. I was constantly reminded of the loss every time I switched the gates of our irrigation pipe." - Harrison Topp
"When I lost my entire crop the urban landscape of Denver was a good distraction. I could use Tinder to go on dates. Thank you Tinder, because after about six months of swiping right, I met the rancher of my dreams, Stacia Cannon." - Harrison Topp
Stacia's horses in the morning light
Stacia feeds the sheep on the ranch in the morning
Harrison tacking a break from loading hay onto the truck
Tyler cleaning beets for the farmers market
Cleaning the workstation at sunrise before harvesting
"If we fail to recruit enough new farmers, we risk furthering the consolidation of our food system, increasing permanent losses of agricultural lands, and losing a generation of water stewards. " - National Young Farmers Coalition
Water conservation is a key tool to build resilience. Practices as crop rotation, no-till, rotational grazing as well as experimenting with drought-tolerant crops or keeping livestock are used.
Tyler turns on the irrigation system to water his crops.
Drip tape is a resource to conserve water while irrigating. These small plastic pipes are laid at the base of plants, and deliver drips of water directly to the roots.
Tyler shows us parts of his land that are dry and have damaged soil
Farmers in the arid west have to save seed from successful crops. When successful seeds are collected year after year, the farmer’s crops are able to continuously evolve with changing conditions.
Ancient varieties of corn growing on Tyler's farm
"I’ve only been farming for 5 years. In the last three I’ve noticed the effects of climate change so much more. The heat has been getting hotter, longer and more sustained, the rain just isn’t there like it used to be or when it is, it’s too much." - Casey Holland
Farmers are getting old; the average age of farmers in the US is over 60. A lot of land is going to change hands in the coming years and unless something changes it is going to become increasingly hard for young farmers to buy that land.