After living in New York City and Hong Kong, we knew we were destined for a change. We didn’t grow up with farming backgrounds, but Nick’s love of nature and peace combined with Christine’s heart for growing and nurturing brought our family to Heritage Pines – our little mountain farm. We’re new to this life, but passionate, eager to learn, and determined.
Heritage Pines Farm sits at 7200 ft on the Palmer Divide and is mostly treed with forests of Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Firs. The terrain is hilly, with the top meadow looking out toward Pikes Peak and Front Range vistas, and the Eastern back ridge overlooking the Bijou Basin and high eastern Colorado plains.
Read below to see how we got started on this path.
Nick’s parents have been keeping a happy little flock of free-range backyard chickens for years now. When Christine first visited them back in 2009 and met the chickens and collected her first egg, she immediately fell in love. Growing up in a suburb of New York City, she had always dreamed of raising farm animals, but never thought it could be a reality. She saw how simple chicken-keeping was, and how rewarding it can be to eat nutrient-dense eggs from happy hens.
Rewind that tape, Christine distinctly remembers devouring the entire box set of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books at 8 years old. To this day, they are among her favorite books and she is currently re-reading them with her boys. The thrill of exploration and adventure, the rhythm of farm and frontier life, the idea of being a self-sufficient family yet importance of neighborly camaraderie, were concepts that stuck deep in her heart. She often dreamed of living that life, but didn’t even know where to start.
Nick grew up road tripping with his family to Colorado. They would camp and fish and make good memories. These early experiences cultivated in him a love for the mountains, for the great outdoors, for the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. But it wasn’t until many years later, after he and Christine were married and lived 5 years in Hong Kong, that he realized the mountains were calling him back.
Nick & Christine moved back to Nick’s hometown in the Midwest in 2016, and promptly took a trip out to Colorado. It was Christine’s first time, and she had no idea what to expect. The Rocky Mountain ranges were unlike anything she had ever seen. On a hike in the San Juan mountains, they sat overlooking the vast valley. Christine was sold. This was something that she wanted everyone to have a chance to experience. A dream was seeded in that moment.
It was by the Grace of God that they stumbled into the ideas of regenerative agriculture. Christine knew that she wanted to have animals, to be more self-sufficient, to host people and feed them great, healthy food. But she had no idea what that even looked like.
One fateful night she decided to check out the movie, The Biggest Little Farm. She cried. This was it. This was what she wanted to do, in a smaller scale. She followed the rabbit trail and read Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown, then more books by Joel Salatin. She watched Allan Savory and Justin Rhodes. She joined Homesteading groups and followed local farms.
While they waited for the right time and place, they googled and researched and worked on their friends’ farms. They tried a little bit of this and a little bit of that, whatever was allowed in their subdivision HOA. Until finally now, they’ve been blessed with their own little corner of Colorado to launch Heritage Pines Farm.