Families and farmers danced all night under sparkling lights at the Montezuma School to Farm Spring Hoe Down Saturday.
Square-dancing third-graders were followed by gypsy music for entertainment as colorful and energetic as the crowd at the Mancos Opera House.
The event drew about 200 people, topping last year, and exceeded the project's goal of raising $8,000 said Sarah Syverson, the School to Farm project director.
"It shows that people are interested and super supportive," she said. "It's positive change, we're lifting up all the boats around local food."
This year, the dance was a collaborative effort between Mancos Valley Resources and the Mt. Lookout Grange, which partner to promote local agriculture.
The School to Farm project, which has gardens in all three county school districts, has experienced a quite a few successes recently.
The group received a $40,000 grant to do drought education and a $53,000 to plant a half-acre of production space at the Cortez Middle School campus.The project was recently chosen from school garden project to be an example in a national training tool.
The project aims to help students learn about healthy nutrition, applied science and to supply the school cafeterias with produce grown by students. The project plans to expand to incorporate a student run farmers market stand in Mancos to help students learn about math and business concepts.
Syverson attributed the success of the project in part to the energy and enthusiasm around the project in the community.
That energy was evident at the dance that was put together with the help of more than 50 volunteers and donations from local producers.