MAY 27, 2014 BY
Third in the Sustainability is... series of interviews by Board President Paul Potyen
Patrick and Tammie Delaney have a vision that is inspired by a love for community and a commitment to historic preservation. That vision began to take shape twenty years ago when they bought a ranch in Hayden that dates back to 1919 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Then in 2008 they purchased the Hayden Granary, which is listed on both Colorado State and Routt County Register of Historic Places. “The Granary was built when agriculture was still regional,” explains Tammie. “The previous owner ran the facility as a feedstore for 18 years, and we wanted to ensure this community icon was sustained into the future.”
Part of her motivation for their decision to buy the Granary also came from the Vision 2030 plan, which showed that the local community wanted a place to connect, as well as a strong interest in local food. With the fortuitous arrival of JR Lott in 2013, things began moving more quickly. “Because of his highly diverse skill sets, intensity and focus, JR has been able to get things done that we’ve been wanting to do for twenty years,” says Tammie. JR, a fit and insightful Marine who moved onto the ranch last fall, shares the Delaney’s vision for connecting community through local food. He is largely responsible for jumping through the complex legal hoops to reestablish a legal water system on the ranch, as well as physically making the water flow. Currently he’s using permaculture principles combined with a swale system (a ditch on the contour of a hill that holds water and allows it to gradually infiltrate the soil down-slope), building a greenhouse, and planting potatoes and other produce in one of the gardens.
The feedstore has been phased out in favor of the Wild Goose Coffeehouse, which now provides a comfortable space for people to gather and engage in an informal way. And the east warehouse has been adapted to serve as a venue for summer barn dances, local concerts, and private events. Plans call for the Granary to also be a Friday food collection point for local farmers (who have an excess of food). It will then be delivered on Saturday to the Steamboat Farmer’s Market.
“Hayden has these smaller-scale agricultural assets and food wisdom that has disappeared in most other communities,” she says. “We want to use these assets, and employ some more modern, sustainable practices to create a cohesive and vibrant, modern community. We see the Granary as a big part of that.”