Calendar features garden-variety nudity | AspenTimes.com

Calendar features garden-variety nudity

John Colson

The Ute City Farm Girls went au naturel for the "Naked Garden" calendar.

A group of organically inspired women in Woody Creek went au naturel last summer in support of a special agricultural enterprise.And now, just in time for Christmas, you can buy a 2007 calendar, named “Naked Garden,” filled with a dozen discreet images of that bucolic episode, as shot by local photographer Alan Becker.The women who make up the Ute City Farm Girls range in age from 20 to 60 (or so), according to Megan VanZandt, 25, and they’ve been learning about farming the hard way – by doin’ it.The founder of the enterprise, Jennifer Craig, has been growing organic greens for about a decade on Woody Creek land her mom, Carol Craig, owns. Woody Creek is near Aspen.

Jennifer, who recently returned from a stint working on an organic farm in Vermont, said her decision to start the farm was based largely on what she has learned in other parts of the country and a desire to “somehow retain farming and agriculture in the upper Roaring Fork Valley.”She has been joined over the years by friends and fellow organic-food lovers, to the point where every summer the fields at the Craig property echo with the sounds of feminine laughter and the sight of hard work by many hands.The enterprise has been selling produce at the Aspen Saturday Market for about 10 years, and at certain local restaurants.”The experience is pretty magical, all the girls on the farm, and we wanted to find a way to capture that,” said VanZandt, who worked on the layout and design of the calendar. Plus, she said, they needed a little money to supplement the income from their labors.

The creative impulse behind the calendar, she said “was kind of a group effort.” It is similar to another, widely known effort, the 2003 movie “Calendar Girls,” which VanZandt said she had not seen but has been hearing about ever since the “Naked Garden” concept arose.She did, however, see a 2005 calendar of semi-clad, artfully concealed naked veterinarians produced in Carbondale, also to raise money.”That was kind of an inspiration,” VanZandt said.VanZandt ended up with the chore of marketing the calendars this month because “everybody else left town,” she said with a smile, explaining that most of her fellow farmers generally take off once the cold weather sets in.

The calendars are available at Carl’s Pharmacy and the Aspen Book Store at The Little Nell in Aspen; at the Geo Coop store in Carbondale, and at the Good Health natural grocery store in Glenwood Springs.The price is $20, and proceeds help the Ute City Farm stay solvent and possibly – in the future – go toward expansion of the farm’s mission into educational and other pursuits aimed at “increasing awareness of organic farming and sustainable agriculture,” VanZandt said.She added that a website is under construction at http://www.utecityfarmgirls.com, where the calendars can be ordered online.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.comThe Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.

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