We had the good fortune of connecting with MJ & Blaine Pickett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi MJ & Blaine, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We have always been drawn to food. As we worked and travelled throughout our lives, we noticed that food always brought people together, whether through language barriers, age, or culture. When the opportunity to start our own farm presented it’s self, we were excited to share our values of building soil while also feeding our community and didn’t think twice about it.
What should our readers know about your business?
Calder Farm is a family owned, holistically managed, small farm. We grow mixed vegetables and raise pasture raised pork in the high mountains of the Western slope. We focus on regenerative practices and want our customers to get to know us. Our pork and produce are products of many partnerships and thinking sustainably and holistically about our food system. It has not been an easy road to where we are today, but sticking to our values as a family business has helped keep us on track. We have found tremendous value in holistic financial planning to think through business pivots and tweaks as we grow and add new enterprises.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Gunnison is a treasure trove of experiences. We would start out by taking a morning hike, mountain bike ride, or cross country skiing at Hartmann Rocks then make our way to the local Farmers’ Market to pick up some delicious local food. After making it home to the farm, we’d start our food prep. While the food is cooking, we take a quick town float down the Gunnison River before coming home to a delicious meal around the fire. We’d make sure to frequent High Alpine Brewing Co, hit up Tributary Coffee Roasters, and tour a few local farms and ranches and eat at Crested Butte’s Sunflower Cafe. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We have had so many mentors along the way. From our families helping us put together finances to get started, other producers in our region, and long standing knowledge centers, like our good friends at Parker Pastures who help us dive deeper into our knowledge of Holistic Management.