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The Golden Hoof

Boulder, CO, United States

The Golden Hoof is a 200-acre slow food farm that follows regenerative growing practices, working harmoniously with nature. Operated by Karel Starek and Alice Martiz-Starek, the couple strives to produce high-quality, nutrient-dense meat, eggs, and dairy products while raising happy animals and creating healthy soil. Karel and Alice began farming after being diagnosed with celiac disease, making it impossible for them to digest gluten proteins in grains. After dramatically changing their diets and exercise habits, their health improved, and they decided to help others reap the same benefits. Their farm is a response to the disconnect between people, food, health, and nature. They purchased the property in 2010 and began researching growing methods, instantly knowing that they did not want to follow conventional practices that use harmful chemicals and heavy machinery. They raise cattle for beef and dairy, pigs, poultry, and sheep. Rotational grazing keeps the sheep and dairy heard healthy and reduces the stress on the land. The animals forage in the fields, living off fruit and nut trees, grasses, forbs, legumes, barley, and sunflower sprouts. The livestock naturally adds compost to the earth, and Karel and Alice also add woodchips, soil probiotics, and occasionally volcanic ash to their land to help their soil thrive. All of the amendments are incorporated naturally by the animals! In addition to the livestock, a 3,000 square-foot tropical greenhouse produces veggies year-round. An overstory of tropical perennials like bananas, citrus, mangoes, avocados, and cherimoya seems out of place in Colorado but does well all the same. Over 100kws of off-grid and grief-tied solar PV panels help power the farm; the couple also grows heat while making compost. They integrate in-floor heat with a compost pile instead of a boiler or solar thermal panel. If this sounds like a lot, it’s because it is, but Karel and Alice wouldn’t have it any other way. They invite us all to take part in the slow food movement by supporting our local farmers.  

 

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Author

Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.