The Culinary Arts Entrepreneurship is a new program launched in 2023 in order to serve professionals, farmers, and other stakeholders to support values-based local wholesale and retail products (value-added) for regional and local distribution. While the activities were pilot-based, current program participants provide active support for forward contracts, retail markets, and a general wholesale distribution through several state-funded projects and community groups.

While Early Morning Orchard works with local higher-education groups to recruit students during semesters, several staff members run operations year-round and our partners are constantly offering workshops or opportunities to share new knowledge. A new production kitchen was set up early in 2023 in addition to a formalized partnership with another commercial kitchen in Mesa County for products such as dried peaches, etc. Staff and interns also participate in Farm to Table Dinners, as needed.

The program may be new but the farm is already scaling production and the food aggregation business increased volume and sourcing capacity in order to fulfill growing value-added production demands.

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The Seed-to-Seed Internship is a program run by Julia Coffey of Seeds Trust. The program was formed with the intention of cultivating a more resilient food system in the face of climate change and invites participants from all over Mesa County for a summer opportunity offering credit and/or work service hours.

Seeds Trust and Early Morning Orchard designed the pilot program to incorporate seed saving into the seasonal operations of the farm and transform by-product from the seed saving process into value-added food products available for sale. With the knowledge that sustainable local agriculture relies on regionally-adapted and appropriate seed, this pilot program aims to incorporate the practice of seed saving and seed production into a viable farming business model.

The data and experience from this program will aid in the further development of food security programs while creating a more climate-conscious approach to our food system. The partnership also helps develop land for Early Morning Orchard in addition to an in-house stock of regionally adapted seed. While the program is run by Seeds Trust, the partnership also supports the Farm Crew in general with general tasks.

Please use the Contact Us form for any questions related to our education programs! Both programs and their leadership are dedicated to providing business expertise for the region and welcome questions from all audiences.