The name “Food for all Farm” came about because Miles donates a quarter of what he grows to local charities, including Manna Soup Kitchen in Durango and Grace’s Soup Kitchen in Cortez. He spent a lot of time traveling around the country in his twenties and saw a lot of suffering and poverty in the United States. He wondered for many years what he could do to help, what his role could be in having a positive impact on his community. After living in Mancos and working under another farmer for two years, he thought that owning a farm and donating food could be just the right fit. “I just saw this (farming to donate) as an opportunity to do some good in this world,” Miles says. “People who are poor also deserve, just like you and I, to eat good quality, organic food. Most of what you see in soup kitchens are the things no one else wants. I want to give them something better. It feels good. The name Food for All seemed like a great extension of my donation-based model.” Miles would one day like to donate more than a quarter, but that is a work in progress!
Miles also likes that he is a farmer because he is passionate about sourcing as much food as we can locally. “Farming is somewhat of a political act,” he says. “there is no reason why our food cannot come from local producers instead of supporting big trucks coming in from California. Good food grown by ourselves and our neighbors helps bring about a sense of trust in one another.”
Although Miles likes all the crops he grows, his favorite crop is Napa Cabbage. “I could eat it every day and never get tired of it!” he says enthusiastically.” I myself have had the opportunity to try his Napa Cabbage Slaw, a delicious spicy addition to many meals. If you have a chance, try making the recipe, listed at the end of the article.
According to Miles, the biggest challenge of being a small farmer is marketing. “There is a ton of demand but finding that demand and being able to get the product there in an efficient manner is difficult. I think most farmers want to sell more crops than they do but it is hard to sell them. Knowing how to run a business is hard. The plants are easy. They want to grow. They grow if you plant them. The business side is just something that comes along with growing food, which is actually what I am passionate about.” The Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative has done well marketing for Miles this year, and he is happy and proud to be a part of it. Miles sells his produce at the Durango Farmers Market and through the Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative.
Miles’ Spicy Napa Cabbage Slaw
1 Napa cabbage, finely chopped and salted
Juice from one lime
salt to taste
3 Tbs Sesame Oil
2-3 Dashes Soy Sauce
Mix wet ingrediatents, and then pour over cabbage and carrots. Add more soy sauce/oil/salt to taste. Enjoy!