New documentary explores agricultural life and challenges through the lens of a Pueblo farming community

Courtesy of Palmer Land Conservancy
Farm equipment on agricultural lands in an area known as “The Mesa” east of the city of Pueblo.

A Pueblo County farming community is at the heart of a new documentary about agricultural life and the threat of water scarcity.

The film – Mirasol: Looking at the Sun – explores how challenges brought by growth and climate change are affecting Italian and Hispanic family farms east of the city of Pueblo, in an area known locally as “The Mesa.” 

Considering the word "agriculture," History Colorado executive director Dawn DiPrince said in the film that the heritage, way of life and livelihood of the region are intertwined.

“The word culture is just sitting there,” she said, “big and proud in the middle of the word, so you really can't separate the practices of agriculture from our culture itself.”

Family members from Musso Farms, Martellaro Family Farms and Williams Farm & Seed Store speak about their lives and how they’ve been affected by changes in the environment, society and more.

Retired CSU Vegetable Crops Scientist Mike Bartolo was born and raised there.

“We've got to make some choices, ” Bartolo said in the film, “and we think we can have everything and we can't. We can grow crops or we can grow houses.”

The 36-minute film produced by Palmer Land Conservancy will premiere in Pueblo on April 25. It's also slated to screen during several film festivals as well as in cities around Colorado.

Courtesy of Ben Knight/Palmer Land Conservancy
Retired CSU Vegetable Crops Scientist Mike Bartolo works with chile peppers at a farm east of Pueblo in an area known as "The Mesa."

History Colorado is a sponsor of KRCC. Financial supporters have no editorial influence.