Arwen Ek, Gilpin County. The Holistic Homestead’s Memorial Day Sale benefits New Grocery Store in Gilpin. It all started in 2012 when Arwen Ek moved into a tiny cabin on South Beaver with a handful of herbs and a dream: to make natural health and wellness accessible to our rural mountain community. She started selling her herbal cough syrup to friends and family, and before long she was in full-time production. “My genuine desire is to help people live healthy lives, to not be dependent on pharmaceutical drugs, and to discover lasting resiliency in body, mind and spirit.”
Now, in 2017, this dream has become The Holistic Homestead: a 501c3 with a new office at the top of Golden Gate Canyon, a dedicated board of directors and a mission: “to increase health literacy, build healthy communities, and advocate for the medically underserved.” The Homestead has been expanding the impact of their mission in the Peak to Peak region with health literacy for kids, wild weed walks, a used medical equipment program and the annual Holistic Health Fair.
“We saw the biggest impact of our work in Gilpin County – where there are no clinics and no grocery stores. We asked residents what they felt they needed most, and the resounding answer was to have a grocery store.” Access to whole, natural and locally sourced foods is the foundation of health, and the Holistic Homestead is up to the challenge of building a grocery store in Gilpin County. “We believe a nonprofit, co-operative model is a sustainable approach to long-term success in Gilpin County. We will stock our shelves with community input, and offer our space for local events that promote health and wellness. By partnering with local businesses, government and utility organizations, we hope to give Gilpin residents an incentive to keep our money local rather than having to go down the hill. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Learn more about Gilpin County’s newest nonprofit and become a member today at http://theholistichomestead.org.
(Originally published in the May 25, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)