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About the Darlands

Steve and Jane Darland founded and operate a group of tiny organic farms in the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains in the historic New Mexico village of Monticello, where the population is fewer than 25 people. It is stunningly quiet. The air is clean and clear.  Cell phones don't work there.

When they began, the land was fallow, and they make every effort to respect and nourish the land they cultivate, just like other small surrounding organic farms and grass-fed beef and bison ranches nearby. Their water supply is strictly from their own wells. They never use herbicides, pesticides or other harmful sprays, amendments or practices. At Old Monticello Farm, hand tending the plants and gardens nearly always trumps mechanization.

About the grapes

Italian grapes, those classically used for making traditional balsamic vinegar, are among their many certified organic crops. When they joined Slow Food in Turin, Italy in 1998 during their second Salone del Gusto, the Darlands resolved to practice the Slow Food thesis:

"patience in preserving and locally-producing classic, healthy, tasty things"
Traditional balsamic gave the Darlands a very old, natural expression of this principle, and an opportunity to add value to what they grow. They add this value, not by producing high volume (to feature a low price) or by slick marketing, but by patiently joining the natural elements of time, grapes, weather and wood. Grapes provide balsamic, but many steps and labors, plus skill and patience, separate the beginning from the end of this value-adding process. The Darlands believe this logic represents an operating philosophy that they embrace even more firmly as they continue to discover the new world dawning for all of us.


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