imageEcoAction Partners is collaborating with Telluride Grown to help create two aquaponic demonstration units in time for this year’s Mountainfilm in Telluride. The theme of this year’s event is Climate Solutions – and we believe building robust local food systems is one important – and tasty – solution.

Wish we could take credit for such a great idea, but we tip our hat to 23-year Telluride resident Steve Cieciuch, the man with this plan:

 “After years of being inspired by Mountainfilm, I asked myself what role could I play in making a difference,” explained Steve. “I was very concerned about the long distance food has to travel to Telluride and the high carbon impact of the trip to our tables. In 2012, I attended a conference and workshop at Growing Power in Milwaukee. The idea for Telluride Grown ‘grew’ out of that. I contacted Kris Holstrom, local food advocate (among many other hats that she wears) last fall and we have been working on moving the concept to reality. We are incredibly excited to premiere the idea for a local aquaponics greenhouse at Mountainfilm – where so many great ideas are shown – and born.”

At fruition, the project envisions constructing greenhouses to raise fish and organic vegetables for local consumption. The Telluride Grown aquaponics demonstration units will show the activist crowd attending the festival how aquaponics works and how small- and medium-scale efforts can be part of a larger climate solution effort.

The units (and accompanying collateral materials) and one-on-one discussions at the festival will show how EcoAction Partners will create a model of “urban agriculture” in our remote, high-altitude location, highly challenged to grow food using conventional methods. The project includes marketing materials that will allow people to remember the demonstration units as they travel home and contact us for more information. (There are also awesome hats for sale.)

Our goal is for the overall project to be seen as a model that can be copied in other similar towns and adapted to enhance local food production throughout the world. We hope to create these units for the festival at the end of May, but they will also be available for festivals throughout the summer. Once the festival season ends, we anticipate incorporating the units into our local schools so that their impact grows locally as well as the “far and wide,” something we are hopeful about because our festival are so well attended, with guests coming from all over the country.

Your tax-deductible donation, large or small, will be greatly appreciated and help us build these units.

For more information about this project contact Kris at 970-708-0289,

Note: Want to be a part of the 11th annual Telluride Farmers’ Market? The TFM has openings for one paid and many volunteer positions. Please contact Ellie Greene at 970-433-4699 or for more information.

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