Christina Smith and her husband Mike operate the Taste and See Farm located in beautiful Paonia, Colorado, nestled in the North Fork Valley on the state's western slope. When they transitioned from home gardening to market farming three years ago, they felt strongly impressed to use their farm for ministry. In the summer of 2021, their prayer was answered when Joy Kauffman, who leads FARM STEW, moved into the property next door. Looking back, Mike and Christina realize that God has been preparing them for this work for many years. A rural setting in her early years provided many opportunities for Christina to develop an appreciation for nature. Her interest in gardening began at a young age under her dad's instruction. As an adult, she worked in various fields of employment, resulting in developing a skill set that would prove helpful for starting her own farm, including retail/marketing, finance, and administrative positions. Before becoming a farmer, she worked as a CSA manager for four years, growing from 100 to 350 members. Christina has grown Taste and See Farm’s production to include a year round growth in 5-9 hoop houses and a microgreens business. After Mike completed two years of engineering at Columbia Union College, he decided to go into trade work and began pursuing a career in plumbing. Following an apprenticeship in Frederick, Maryland in 1998, he thrived in varied capacities, including serving as a teacher and director of maintenance at La Vita Mission, an Adventist mission school to the Navajo in New Mexico. Eventually, he started his own plumbing business as a master plumber in Moab, Utah.
Since moving to Colorado, Mike has worked as a subcontractor continuing to use his skills and plumbing in construction. The skills have proved invaluable in the farm setting. Mike looks forward to dedicating the majority of his time to the Taste and See Farm endeavor and ultimately to God's plan for ministry.
Together, Mike and Christina have decided to partner in ministry with FARM STEW to bring the message of abundant life to people in need here in the USA and beyond! The Taste and See Farm has the infrastructure and customer base, including several restaurants and wholesale buyers, to support a growing agricultural enterprise.