‹‹ Colorado Postcards


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Abigail Beckman/KRCC News
Workers pick chiles in a field owned by Hanagan Farms in Swink, Colorado. The farm brings 15 workers from Mexico to help harvest crops each April. The crew stays through October.

"Swink" is an archaic word. Find it in literature from the Middle Ages, like The Vision of Piers Plowman: “In sweat and swink thou shalt earn thy meat.” Or find it in southeastern Colorado, in the Arkansas Valley, the little town of Swink.

They first called it Fairmont, but in 1900 when word came from Washington that there were already too many Fairmonts around, a meeting was called. And then George W. Swink walked in. Late.

He had dug the Rocky Ford Ditch to bring river water onto the prairie, then planted and promoted cash crops of melons and sugar beets. He’d invented the cantaloupe crate, served in the state senate, fathered 11 children. But did G.W. Swink read old English literature? We’ll never know, but he knew what it took to work the land that brought up the town they named for him. "To toil, labor, or exert oneself, especially in difficult or tiring circumstances”: to swink.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.