Shii Koeii Community & Farm

Quality Food & Justice for All

WHO WE ARE

Shii Koeii began in 2008, the dream and project of several friends who had met for years prior, envisioning a community of people working together for peace and social justice, while living simply and sustainably on the land.  Rather than self-sufficiency, we sought--and continue to seek--interdependence with the earth and our fellow humans with whom we have ongoing relationships, more than faceless entities.  

Shii Koeii is the Jicarilla Apache name for the Huerfano River, which runs through the land.  We've been told by members of the nation that the name means "our water."  We sought permission from Jicarilla elders to use the name for our community.  Since we are not Jicarilla, however, we translate the name of the river as "the People's water."

We began growing food for production in 2011.   That same year we founded the county's first farmers' market, in the nearby village of Gardner.  The following year we co-founded a farmer's market in La Veta, another town in our county.  With the addition of a market in Walsenburg, our county seat, in 2013, and another market in La Veta beginning in 2016, our county of 6800 people now proudly hosts four farmers' markets each week.  

Interns and volunteers have been an essential part of Shii Koeii Community from the beginning.  They are as integral to, and definining of the community, as the land.  In 2011, we established a formal internship program, and welcomed 25 young people that year for different periods of time, educating them in diversified organic farming, and simple sustainable living.  During the past eight years, we have hosted and mentored more than 140 people. 

Today, we grow approximately ½ acre of vegetables and a ¼ acre of orchards; milk four goats a day from a herd of nine; and care for 70 laying hens.  We do everything by hand.  Our scale is deliberately small so we can have healthy relationships with each other, plants and animals, and the people who purchase and eat our food.  This requires more time, attention to detail, and hard physical labor.
 
To the Jicarilla Apache the water as well as the land is sacred and precious. We are not indigenous, but we also believe this, and aspire to a life which reflects this belief.

Hospitality is, for us, an honor and a joy.  Please contact us if you would like to visit Shii Koeii.