Recently while sharing coffee and convo with a friend, I mentioned that I needed to write an intro post about myself, something that I’ve always found to be an awkward challenge and I was having a difficult time getting started. She suggested that I start by writing as though I was meeting someone for the first time – which, in a way, I am.
I’m Amy Olson and I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, but it wasn’t until my husband and I relocated to Fort Collins nearly 20 years ago that I became an adult.
I got my first ‘real’ job here, bought my first house, adopted the first of several greyhounds, my children were born at PVH, and yes, I subscribe to the local flavor of food, news and entertainment. While I’m not a ‘Native’, I’ve experienced enough ‘firsts’ while living here that I’m about as close to it as a transplant can get.
And transplant is an appropriate word. After finishing my studies at Washington State University, I outgrew the life I had in the Palouse and looked forward to new challenges and horizons once Karl finished his program. As with most newly relocated folks, we struggled with our new environment but once roots had set, we thrived.
While I myself have never lived on a farm, my father grew up on a vineyard, my maternal grandfather had a dairy and my maternal grandmother was raised on a dryland wheat farm, until the dustbowl days forced her family off the land and she later earned her degree in botany from the University of Idaho in the 1920’s.
I myself am a horticulturist and landscape architect who is familiar with many of the design and urban farming requirements, regulations, and challenges of growing in this and the surrounding cities and counties in which we live.
By the time the housing market crashed in 2008, I had already ‘retired’ from working at a local planning firm and my days were filled with the role of stay at home mom until the undeniable need to learn and interact with adults became too much.
When I began attending CSU, it was with the intention of changing careers into the medical industry but in the time between submitting applications, I was offered a position that later evolved into what would become an In-Class Transcriber.
For the last four years I’ve been attending classes with D/deaf and hard of hearing students to prepare useable transcripts of orally presented information. I’ve found it to be both rewarding and stimulating work, yet something has been missing.
That something is THIS , writing for this blog. I’ve been gardening/farming and writing as far back as I can remember and when this position became available, I jumped at it. The opportunity to explore and share experiences about agriculture in the Front Range, to share the knowledge that I’ve gained over the last several decades is a gift that isn’t often available.
In her time blogging for Farming Fort Collins, Erica has generated a dedicated following and together with you, she’s filled the incredibly valuable need and yet daunting task of collecting and maintaining an in-depth knowledge of the CSAs and ranches serving a vast array of fresh, farm-to-table options.
The body of work that Erica has created while blogging these last several years is impressive, and it is with honor that I share the helm with her as she transitions away from Farming Fort Collins to pursue what has developed into The Pig and The Plow.
My focus is admittedly different than Erica’s and while I will continue to share information about our local CSAs, farmers markets and the like, I will also be covering topics that are admittedly more urban but draw upon a foundation of farming.
Whether you are new to the Front Range, or if you’ve been here for generations, this blog will have something for you. From techniques and tools, to the materials available and suited for our ecosystem, events and outreaches related to the blog, field trips and exposes, or other cultural, historic, or humorous information related to farming, you can find it here.
One series that I’ll be introducing on Friday is “Grow with me”. Given the fortuitous timing of this transition, Grow with me is a series that you can participate alongside of us at your own home, or if life is too chaotic and full, you can join in the observation and conversation as the kids and I grow a variety of tomatoes, peppers, some pumpkins and a few watermelons among other things from seed to seed this season.
I look forward to growing with you.