CENTER — Rockey Farms welcomes the community on Tuesday, July 18 to participate in its first field day event.
Brendon and Sheldon Rockey will kick off the field day with a tour of Rockey Farms at its peak. The tour includes stops in multi-species potato and green manure crops, the potato tissue culture lab and the seed potato greenhouse. Experience first hand the farms’ flowering strips, livestock grazing and soil health.
After the tour, Locavores, Alamosa’s premier farm-to-table restaurant, will cater a lunch complete with San Luis Valley and Colorado ingredients.
Following the meal, New Mexico NRCS Soil Health Specialist Rudy Garcia will break down field soil health assessments and how San Luis Valley producers can integrate the information into their land management plans. He will address aggregate stability, earthworms, CO2 respiration, infiltration, gas exchange, soil and air temperature, SOM fractions and more.
MillerCoors will sponsor a happy hour at the farm before anyone — field day attendee or not — can enjoy the Compost Technologies sponsored film, Sustainable, at the Vali 3 Theater in Monte Vista.
The Rockey Farms Field Day registration deadline is July 1. Register online at www.rockeyfarms.com.
Rockey Farms Field Day passes range from $25 to $40. Youth are free. All passes include the tour, lunch, soil health talk, happy hour and film.
The field day begins at 9 a.m. on Tues., July 18 at Rockey Farms, 48444 County Road C, Center 81125.
Anyone is welcome to attend the film, Sustainable, at the Vali 3 Theater in Monte Vista for a $5 donation at the door, which opens at 6 p.m.
Brendon and Sheldon Rockey are the third generation to manage Rockey Farms. They raise specialty potatoes and quinoa among fields of green manure, all cultivated in a biotic environment. Companion crops, animals, cover crops and flowers replace synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. The farming system sustains yields, has greater water efficiency and it supports a flourishing ecosystem encouraging beneficial insects, soil microbes and carbon cycling.
Rockey Farms also produces year-round certified seed under Brendon’s biotic management in a greenhouse from onsite tissue culture.
Off the farm, Brendon, a National Association of Conservation District Soil Health Champion and Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association board member, devotes his time to many local, national and international soil health focused organizations through speaking events and workshops.
Sheldon co-manages White Rock Specialties, a organic potato packaging warehouse in Mosca, in addition to serving on the Rio Grande Water Conservation Subdistrict #1 Board of Managers and the Potato USA Board.
In 2014, Rockey Farms was awarded the National Potato Council Environmental Stewardship Award for its practices. This honor came after being recognized in 2011 as the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts Farming Division Conservationist of the Year.
For more details, visit www.rockeyfarms.com.
Caption: Brendon, left, and Sheldon, right, are the third generation to manage Rockey Farms in Center. Their planter is designed to plant companion crops like peas, chick peas, vetch and buckwheat alongside potato seed. Courtesy photo