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Local farm makes Earth Day statement with art and fashion

Farm 49, west of Longmont, makes statement about being suffocated by plastics.

On Farm 49, just west of Longmont, Earth Day is a special holiday. This year in addition to celebrating the Earth, the farm is making a statement through art and fashion. 

Farm 49 hosted a unique Earth Day celebration on April 25, combining the farm’s annual spring planting festivities with a fashion show that addresses the use of plastics in our daily lives.

The Earth Day festivities are put on by Nadia Artman, owner of Farm 49, through her company Artman Productions. Artman, originally from Moscow, started the farm five years prior and has used the space for small scale sustainable farming as well as hosting events like the Earth Day festivities and jazz concerts.

“On Earth Day we always have a special celebration,” Artman explained. “Everyone gets in a circle and I lead a meditation. Then we have a blessing ceremony with roots in Native American culture, where we honor the plants that give us food later and we hope they grow up big and strong.”

After the ceremonies, attendees split into groups for planting. Among the crops this year were sunflowers, as well as eighteen sea buckthorn bushes. In a call before the event, Artman was excited about the uses of sea buckthorn, with its applications ranging from nutritional to cosmetics.

“I enjoy involving the community in these events, it helps people feel that they have done something to grow this food. Later on we invite people to help with the harvest in the fall and everything is shared,” Artman explained.

The main event was a fashion show celebrating the launch of Artman’s new line of eco-friendly, sustainable clothing line called ODIN.

“In Russian, odin means one. I like this idea that it represents unity and oneness with each other and the planet,” Artman said.

The clothing is made of bamboo, hemp, recycled plastics and organic cotton sourced as sustainably as possible. Environmental sustainability and confronting the use of plastics are a throughline for Artman and ODIN.

“We, as a group, are very opposed to plastic use,” Artman said.

To make the statement on being suffocated by plastics in daily life, models of all ages wore plastic bags over their heads. In addition, Artman collaborated with artist Sharon DeMattia to borrow an art installation called The River to surround the catwalk. The art piece is made from upcycled plastic webbing, bags and bottles, with LED lights coursing through it to provide commentary on the effect of plastic use on waterways.

“I feel so strongly that if not us, our children are going to feel like they're living in a plastic bag. I wanted to make this as a statement, and make it shocking and provocative. I really want people to feel uncomfortable, and really think about it every time they use plastics,” Artman said.