Farmer at Ancient Future Farm and Artist at Farm & Folk in La Plata County, CO
I’m excited to invite you to my conversation with Sara Buscaglia, the textile artist and quilt-maker behind Farm & Folk in La Plata County, Colorado. Sara and her partner both grew up in the suburbs - Sara in Detroit and her husband in Chicago. They met in Durango, Colorado when she was twenty years old. Sara had just dropped out of college and was trying to figure out what path in life felt right for her. Sara's family was not supportive of her decision to leave school, but living far away family and their expectations allowed her to tune into her intuition and build a life for herself that felt fulfilling.
Before meeting and falling in love in Durango, neither Sara or her partner had any farming experience. They cut their farming teeth on land lended to them by a friend. For seven years they built their local customer base and saved money for their own land. Growing food in the arid and weather extremes of the high-desert wasn't easy but they learned through trial and error. After seven years of growing on borrowed land, the owner told them it was time to move on.
With the spring planting season just a short time away, they rushed to find a home and land they could afford. They bought three acres with a dilapidated house. They closed in April and the moment they got the keys they started tilling the land to plant potatoes. With three children under the age of five, the early days of building their farm was incredibly difficult and stressful. Looking back, she would never want to relive that time, but she feels so grateful for the life they have managed to build through hard work and determination over the last two decades.
Sara and her partner did the farmers market circuit for many years and recently moved to a farm stand model where they sell produce direct to their customers. This shift has given them more time to get up to the mountains to hike and recharge their batteries - although they constantly need to remind themselves, during the busy season, to take those necessary breaks and get off-farm. Sara and her partner have renovated their home bit by bit over the years and have created a minimal, functional and beautiful oasis for their family.
When not farming and homeschooling her four children, Sara is a textile artist - making plant dyed clothing and exquisite handmade quilts. Sara only started quilting in 2014, having taught herself to sew as a young mom in 2000. For Sara, quilting has become an incredible form of artistic expression. While she still sews and makes clothing, constructing and creating a quilt is multi-faceted - making something that holds meaning and sentiment, is environmentally conscious and will be passed down through generations.
By listening to her intuition and learning by doing, Sara has built a fulfilling life and career on her own terms. It is not an easy life but it is a happy one. She has raised four hardworking, self-sufficient kids, a sustainable farm business and an artist practice that allows her to both be creative and also supplement their income.
Sara's story reminds us that it is never too late to learn a craft or hone your artistic practice. If art calls to you and brings you joy, make time for it. Creativity is a muscle and it only gets stronger with constant exercise. Explore new techniques and don’t be afraid to fail. Failing is just a way of getting better. Follow your instincts and don’t get stuck or discouraged by comparing yourself to others. Everyone has something unique to offer and you can only tap into your own distinct voice by working at it.
I encourage you to check out her Sara's website where she offers lots of instructions and tips on sewing, quilting and natural dyeing.
Thank you Sara for sharing your story with us!
You can follow Sara's farming and quilting journey on Instagram.