Food for the Love of the Land

Lee-Ann Hill Laughing Wolf Farm

Laughing Wolf Farm, of Mancos, Colorado, has been cultivating Mesa Verde Country’s indigenous foods for four years now, under the stewardship of conservationist-turned-farmer Ms. Lee-Ann Hill. Lee-Ann explains that her career and study of sustainable landscapes and water conservation was a natural entree into ecological, highly localized agriculture. But to hear her describe what she does now, and why, is more like art than science. In short, it’s a bit of both.

Fresh Four Corners Cuisine Inspired by French Classics


Derek Fontenot, Executive Chef

Chef Derek Fontenot comes by his French cooking expertise honestly: he was trained at the Culinary Art Institute of Louisiana where he mastered French Creole and Cajun cooking. Now, he brings that technique and puts a solid Colorado spin on it at the Metate Room at Farview Lodge, Mesa Verde National Park’s fine dining restaurant.

What’s green and blue and good through and through?

It’s the green chili stew and blue corn muffins at The Farm Bistro in Cortez, Colorado. 

In a word: Yum. In two words? Organically grown. 

Rusty and Laurie Hall, restaurateurs, established this popular Mesa Verde Country restaurant seven years ago; it was born of a love of raising food on their nearby 70-acre farm. 

“The Farm Bistro started as an outgrowth of us actively growing vegetables and selling them at farmers markets and to restaurants,” says Laurie. “Now our daughter and son-in-law grow stuff for the restaurant.” The family farm, local independent growers, the Southwest Farm Fresh Coop and several others supply the eatery with salad greens, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, corn, onions, potatoes—and even edible flowers. The goal is to make the best use of whatever is seasonally fresh and available.

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