Name: Ryan Muglia
Representing everywhere, Ryan Muglia is next up in our Native series. We caught up with the traveler & farmer and found out a little more about his journey so far and what he is next on the horizon. Find out a little more about Ryan in the Q & A below.
Ryan wears the Foxhill Jacket
1. What do you do and why do you do it?
for the past few years I’ve been living and working on a small farm in Colorado, growing vegetables and flowers, raising chickens, goats, llama and alpaca. in the winters - when the farm here is in hibernation mode - I travel. I have lived on the big island in Hawaii, working on a vegetable farm, and selling coconuts at the farmers market, I’ve lived in Italy, raising pigs on an 1100-acre farm outside of Siena in Tuscany, and this winter I’m headed to Chile to work on a sheep farm in Patagonia.
I enjoy living a relatively independent lifestyle, and the ability to grow my own vegetables, raise and harvest my own meat, eggs and dairy, and feel a strong connection to the land I’m living on is important to me. Farming lets you know your limits, but also shows you what you're capable of.
I also like the seasonality of the job, and that it allows fora fair amount of travel in the off-season.
2. How did this become your lifestyle?
I had travelled for a while after graduating from university, and when I tried to settle down, I realized that wasn't for me, so after a short stint as a food photographer, I realized I’d rather be the one outside growing the food, than the one inside editing photos of it. This lead me to work on the farm in Colorado that I come back to each year. I now work on a few farms out here, trying to diversify my experiences and expand my knowledge of farming and land management and conservation
3. What’s a typical day like for you?
My typical day changes depending on which farm I’m at, but typically consists of animal chores in the morning (feeding, giving water to, and moving animals to fresh areas of pasture). This included checking fences for any escapees, harvesting, washing and packing veggies if we have a farm dinner that night, and keeping the rest of the farm well-watered, while being distracted by any number of things that can occur throughout the day.
4. Alpacas, pigs or chickens; which do you prefer to tend to?
Even though they are by far the most destructive of the bunch, I’d say I like tending to pigs best. They have a very inquisitive demeanour and a lot of personality. Alpaca are kind of like big cats, a little moody, and prone to spitting. The chickens I love, but don't think the feeling is much reciprocal...
5. What have been some of your favourite experiences?
I loved living in Tuscany, raising pigs and cows by day, while eating large amounts of pasta and drinking far too much wine by night. Travelled to hot springs, to historic little hilltop towns, hiked Cinque Terre, and met so many incredible people very much into food and farming along the way; including my new travel partner, whom I am very excited about.
7. Who is the most interesting person you have met so far?
One of the most interesting people I have met was my mentor in Italy, Marcelino, a Tuscan pig farmer, hunter, and outdoor enthusiast. A real kind and gentle soul, but also capable of a whole lot of dirty work - usually with a cigarette dangling out of the side of his mouth, or a shot of espresso pressed up to his lips and dressed in mismatched camouflage from head-to-toe.
8. Finally, what’s next for you?
Next for me is finishing up the season here in Colorado, and then heading to Chile in November with my partner. It's my first time to south America, so I’m dusting off my Spanish skills and preparing myself for three months of chasing sheep through the mountains.
Ryan wears the Cadley Shacket
Keep up with Ryan on Instagram here