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11.29.20 ~ autumn sunset ~ avondale, colorado

by | Nov 29, 2012 | autumn, Colorado, cottonwoods, evening, landscape painting, oil painting, pueblo, sunset

autumn sunset ~ avondale, colorado ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil and mixed media on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

In this season of American Thanks Giving and gratitude — especially for bounty and good food — it seems appropriate to post an image of a farm. But not just any farm, mind you, but a classic American farm. Small. Organic. Family-owned.

Numb from garlic. That’s how my hands (thumbs especially) were a couple of weeks ago, and I blame the Hobbs Family Farm up in Avondale, Colorado. Farmer Dan invited my Man and dog and me up for a modern day ‘barn-raising’ of sorts. Only, rather than his community of friends coming together on a Saturday afternoon to build a barn, we joined together in a ring of porch chairs under the cottonwoods to bust open garlic heads.

Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of garlic heads! Why? So in the coming week the cloves could be planted for next year’s crop. For the Hobbs Family Farm specializes is beautiful, succulent culinary organic garlic as well as seeds and fresh produce.

We jumped at the chance to participate — not only because we thought volunteering on an organic family farm was just downright cool, but because it was a darn good excuse for a road trip to an area we really weren’t that familiar with. Twenty years of driving along 1-25 from New Mexico to Denver and I’m not sure I’ve ever pulled off in Pueblo except to pee and hit the Starbucks at Exit 101.

This time we turned at exit 100 (okay, only after hitting Starbucks first..) and drove east about 15 miles, winding our way around fences and ditches and rows and rows of corn before pulling into the long driveway that leads to Farmer Dan’s place.

By the time we got there, the garlic circle was well established, with neighbors and friends swapping tales and good humor as they sifted through bucketfuls of garlic. We slid right in while Wilson kept chase of the barn cat community.

After a few hours the grill came out. (The coolers had been well-stocked and tapped frequently throughout the day). One thing you can count on when you bring together friends and family of a small organic farm is that the food will be fresh, delicious, healthy and superb. This meal did not disappoint.

Not long after the plates had cleared and Wilson mopped up the crumbs, the clouds that had been churning all day broke up, just in time for sunset.

Below, some painting details:

autumn sunset ~ avondale, colorado ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil and mixed media on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012