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World Environment Day

My History as an Environmentalist

In 1979 Lillian and I were invited to the “One World Gathering” at Findhorn, Scotland. We were invited because we were Tree Planters and Organic Farmers. There we heard Prince Charles speak about the environment and Sir Richard St. Barb Baker wax eloquent about the important role trees and forests play in keeping the earth habitable, and about his worldwide tree planting projects. We were so inspired that we continued planting trees commercially for the next six years. We also planted 400 Ponderosa at the Baca Headquarters as part of the World Garden Project (1986), and 3000 trees on our new farm in Saguache. (1987). We also planted Spruce, Lodgepole and Douglas Fir on our land at San Isabel. We established the second Organic Farm in Saguache County.

In 2004 the Denver chapter of Slow Food, chose to send us to the first ever Terra Madre event in Turin, Italy. Indigenous people, regenerative farmers, artisan food producers and environmentalists from over 100 countries gathered to share ideas and experiences during a week of meetings and events. There we heard Vandana Shiva speak about sustainable agriculture before that was a common term. She also spoke movingly about the trials of Indian farmers who were losing their land after embracing Monsanto’s GMO seeds and an export farm economy. Many were committing suicide at the time.

We have been at the forefront of the Local Food movement by creating food distribution channels, participating in many farmers markets across the state, and creating alternative CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) models. I currently operate our 100% Solar, Archiac Orchard and Permaculture Garden north of Crestone where we have planted over 70 fruit trees, medicinal perennials, and berry bushes.

We support or have supported Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Utah Wilderness Coalition, Seed Savers Exchange, American Herbalist Guild, Colorado Organic Producers, Colorado Cattleman’s Land Trust, Local Foods Coalition, Slow Foods, United Plant Savers, American Botanical Council, and other organizations that align with our goals of protecting and enhancing our environment.

I wish to continue this important work as your County Commissioner!

Thomas D. McCracken

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