Help students fall in love with sustainable agriculture!
The Old Fort at Hesperus offers land-based educational programs for Fort Lewis College students and community members, located 16 miles southwest of Durango and just south of Hesperus. With over 6,000 acres of ecologically diverse land, the Old Fort supports many uses, from biology field trips to irrigated fields for beginning farmers.
The Old Fort offers three points of entry for beginning farmers: internship, Farmer-In-Training, and incubator. Interns help out during the growing season for a brief immersion in small-scale farming. Farmers-In-Training are paid to learn, which allows them to afford to live in the region and devote time to the program. Incubator farmers gain land access for up to 5 years in a region where farmable land is virtually unaffordable.
The Old Fort is expanding its farmer training programs, revitalizing a historic apple orchard, bringing fresh vegetables to Fort Lewis students, investing in soil health, and building infrastructure that supports education.
Community members access fresh vegetables through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, the Country Store at the Old Fort, and the Fort Lewis College Farm Stand. Beginning farmers include both students and other community members who seek education, training, and land access.
Your support builds the Old Fort’s capacity to train beginning farmers and practice ecologically sound farming, and to meet needs for infrastructure, staffing, equipment, and more.