Grand Community Garden Update | SkyHiNews.com

Grand Community Garden Update

Snow play is by no means over at this time but preparations are fully in the works for 2012 gardening activities in Grand County so the compact growing season can be fully maximized. Life in Grand County is about making the most of the wonderful surroundings all year round and Grand Community Gardens believes GARDENING can be put on the list with skiing, biking, hiking, and fishing. Grand Community Garden (GCG) is committed to helping people grow their own food and participate in the joys, and yes, possibilities of gardening at altitude. All the sites are fenced, irrigated, and populated with experienced gardeners to guide newbies newcomers to a successful experience. GCG will soon be accepting applications for plot rentals in each of their four sites located in Kremmling, Hot Sulphur, Granby, and the Fraser Valley. On Feb. 29 applications will be available to download from the Grand Community website: http://www.grandcommunitygardens.org. Returning gardeners in the established sites are given priority, as are those who purchased sponsorships to fund the new garden in Fraser. There are plots available to rent in all of the gardens. The remaining plots will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are a total 20 plots in Kremmling, 20 in Hot Sulphur Springs, six new plots in Granby, bringing the total count to 34, and 40 plots in Fraser. Acceptance of applications begins on March 5 and full instructions are available on the website. The rental fees per year range from $40 to $80 and is based on the site location and size of the plot. The Fraser site is still under construction but thanks to the generosity of the community is fully funded and will be completed for the 2012 growing season. The remaining scheduled work for early spring, before actual planting needs to occur, includes construction of the last seven of the 40 planned raised beds, installation of a 72′ x 30′ hoop house which will cover 28 of the beds to provide season extension, installation of individual plot frost covers, completion of the drip irrigation system and fencing. Also planned for this year is building a native plant garden and setting up an educational and meeting area. Opportunity to be involved is open to any and all interested in making this new site the valuable community asset envisioned. GCG is grateful to The Grand Foundation, The Sprout Foundation, The Fraser Valley Recreation Foundation, The Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District, Grand County, Cornerstone Foundation, The towns of Fraser and Winter Park, Colorado Parks and Recreation Association Foundation, Wells Fargo, The Fraser Valley Lions Club, Winter Park-Fraser Rotary and many generous businesses and individuals. For questions and information call the CSU Extension Office at 970 724 3436.

Photo: Grand Community Gardens

Community Garden applications being accepted in Grand County

The Grand Community Gardens are gearing up for the 2015 growing season and accepting application for bed rentals in Kremmling, Hot Sulphur Springs, Granby and Fraser. Applications and contact information for the garden site coordinators along with other information about the CSU Extension /Grand Community Gardens Program, is available at http://www.grandcommunitygardens.org . Gardening classes offered through a joint effort between the Grand Community Gardens Organization and CSU Extension of Grand County. On April 18 from 1-3 p.m., a Boot Camp for high altitude gardening basics will be held at the Mountain Parks Electric Building in Granby. The boot camp will introduce participants to the basics of soil management, plant selection and season-extension methods. A question and answer roundtable discussion will take place on April 25 from 1-3 p.m. at same the location for more experienced gardeners. Bring your garden issue and question to ask a panel of experienced gardeners in Grand County. For any other questions about Community Gardens, gardening classes or other garden and landscape question contact the CSU Extension Grand County Office at 970-724-3436.

Grand County libraries: Gardening and community gardening helped at local libraries

Your Grand County library helps mountain minds grow. But did you know that your Grand County library can also help mountain gardens grow? The Grand County libraries are excellent sources of information for gardeners who are hoping to enjoy the budding local fascination with community gardening both for edible foods and decoration. Granby resident Carol Morales, who works with her husband on their farm in Granby, is spreading the word about the joys and benefits of gardening through a community garden program across the county. Morales and Lynn Cassidy of Kremmling, along with other interested growers, are in the process of establishing a community garden program. Their goal is to plant a seed to inspire future farmers and growers about the joys of farming and growing. Called Grand Community Gardens, the effort provides a chance for everyone and anyone to grow a garden that produces vegetables, herbs and flowers, and in the meantime, share in the unison of community. According to community garden organizers, many varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers can grow in Grand County’s high country. Through Grand Community Gardens participants can learn how to garden and what grows most successfully. People who want to grow in Grand County also have excellent resources in their local libraries. In the Granby Library alone, there are 26 titles on the shelves that discuss growing both for pleasure and nourishment. Other libraries in Grand County have equally impressive resources for aspiring gardeners. Many of the titles zero in on growing in the high country, which creates circumstances that are vastly different from those encountered in lower elevations. One title, “Organic Gardening in Cold Climates,” by Sandra Perrin, reveals that planting and growing in Montana creates some rules that also apply to the high elevations of Colorado. “High Altitude Planting” by Ann Barret offers a wealth of good advice. Barret, who operated a nursery in Park City, Utah for 26 years, offers what she calls “A Practical Guide to Landscaping, Gardening and Planting Above 6,000 Feet.” One glance at her book reveals that there’s more to growing in the mountains than simply placing a seed in the ground. In an effort to convey the joys and challenges of high altitude gardening, her book begins with the following quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” For many newcomers to Grand County, growing a garden at high altitude is indeed an experiment. The books at your library can help take some of the guesswork out of this experimentation. A particularly helpful book is “Rocky Mountain Garden Survival Guide” by Susan J. Tweit. Tweit lives in Salida and she knows what it’s like in the Rockies, too. Her book is full of easy-to-follow charts and tables that simplify issues relating to gardening in the mountains. Here’s what she writes about “Edible Landscaping,” a concept that merges decorative gardening with gardening for sustenance: “Food gardens have traditionally been segregated from ornamental landscaping, but they don’t need to be. Many food plants are decorative and make delicious additions to landscaping. If you’re replanting a lawn, why not replant it with vegetables and fruits? Rhubarb, for instance, makes a striking (and also pest resistant) accent plant in a perennial bed, with its large leaves and red stalks. The foliage of lettuce, chard and spinach makes a beautiful and edible display.” Gardeners with a hankering for herbs might want to consider the book “Culinary Herbs for Short-Season Gardeners.” This book, written by Ernest Small and Grace Pentsch, asks, and answers, this question: “But how do you grow basil, rosemary and sweet cicely in regions with short summers and cold winters?” The answers to this question provide volumes of helpful advice for high-altitude growers of all types. At the Kremmling Library some favorite items related to gardening include “The Future of Food” on DVD, Organic Gardening Magazine and “How to Build Your Own Greenhouse” by Roger Marshall. Other titles in the Granby Library that are particularly helpful for those of us who live high in the mountains include “Rocky Mountain Gardening” by Rob Proctor. While this book was focused mostly on flowers and decorative plants it had lots of practical advice for high-mountain planting that also would apply toward edible species. The author lives and works in Denver, so he’s no stranger to the weather extremes of the Colorado Rockies. Then there is “Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Guide” by John Gretti. Once again, this book isn’t about edibles. However, its practical advice about the issues and concerns of planting and growing in the high country apply to all types of plants. For even more information about gardening at your library go to gcld.org and click to the helpful websites link. Under gardening, several resourceful website are listed that cover information from the National Gardening Association, the Sierra Home site and gardening and planting in general. Whether it be through books or on the web, community gardeners and backyard growers can all benefit from the wealth of information about gardening that’s available at your library.

Grand County can unite around Community Gardens

To the Editor: When I was in high school, I was having a miserable time. I was an intelligent enough student, but I hated my classes. I asked such questions as: “Why do I need to study Shakespeare and the Pythagorean Theorem? What is the relevance? When will I need to use this stuff?” I petitioned the school board to graduate a year early, since I had all the credits needed and I wanted to leave home, a depressing place, and go on to college where I could choose my own classes (so I thought) and begin my new, independent life. What is the relevance of this discussion now? I still hear the same arguments from today’s kids. “Why do I need to learn chemistry when I want to be a truck driver and earn more money than my teachers?” Relevant education. What is relevant and to whom? To a student who will be going on to become a doctor, all the science, chemistry, research methods, biology, and communication classes apply very well. But what about the student who chooses to be a building contractor or a farmer? Where are the classes that give this student the practical skills to start after high school in these fields? And where are the mentors that can help these young people to explore different careers to see if they will fit? The Grand Community Gardens Inc. is not just about starting community gardens, but it is about building greater connections between the community members, businesses, public and private institutions. It is about bringing relevant education to all its residents. And what could be more relevant than learning to grow your own food? The educational classes we propose to teach are “Back to Basics” in a new way. How can we utilize our environment in the very best way to promote our own survival? How can we give BACK to our environment and not just rape its resources for profit and leave the Earth scarred and maimed? We, residents of Grand County and the nonprofit organization Grand Community Gardens, see a need to become more self-sufficient in our own environment if we are to survive as a community. This will require sharing: sharing of our talents, sharing of our resources, sharing of our time, sharing of our ideas, sharing of our knowledge. Carol and Joe Morales of Morales Farms Inc. have seen this need and have responded by offering resources of time, skill, knowledge and money. The rest of the community has responded favorably but needs to come to the plate with financial support for this project. It is much, much bigger than building some raised beds. It is about spending the time to educate ourselves about what grows successfully at high altitudes. It is about educating ourselves about what grows natively that can be used for food. It is about managing our fish and wildlife in the best manner so that we can survive our long winters. As the cost of fuel and food continues to rise, the stress on our economy, both personally and collectively, will rise with it. This one project, as simple as it may seem, has the seeds to create a future that can help all of us become more self-sufficient. It is in the relevant education of our citizens about: – Healthy food ” growing, cooking, and preserving fresh, locally produced food – Ways to best utilize our environment for mutual survival and enhancement – Ways to cooperate to best utilize our resources – Ways to grow more self-sufficient as a community – Ways to gain the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health necessary to accomplish such a task. This is the larger vision of the Grand Community Gardens Inc. This is relevant. This is worth doing. This project is more vital than many people are aware of yet. But the tidal wave of change is coming. Nothing will stop it, but we can help each other ride the crest. The old self-centered ways of thinking will be replaced by greater compassionate action IF WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO ACT. Lynn Cassidy President, Grand Community Gardens Inc.

Grand Community Gardens a success thanks to help and donations

In the past year, the Grand Community Gardens formed as a small group of area gardeners who wanted to create a community growing experience. In that year, we were able to find land through the help of the Kremmling, Hot Sulphur Springs and Granby town governments. We were able to build raised bed gardens on sites in each of those towns and landscape the surrounding area, thanks to very generous donations of time, money and materials. We hosted regular gardening classes across the county thank to donations of space, materials and the time of volunteers. The gardens are now in place for years to come as a gathering place – a place to grow food and community.For all we’ve been able to accomplish in 2008, we want to thank the Middle Park Fair Board; the Grand County Board of County Commissioners and County Manager for land use, fence, top soil and lotto funds; the Granby/Grand County Road and Bridge for trucks and operators who delivered top soil and sawdust; Town of Granby for land use and fence; Town of Hot Sulphur for land use, use of Bobcat and operator; Town of Kremmling for land use if needed; Grand Foundation for grant funds; Morales Farms Inc. for labor, materials, and equipment; Granby Sawmill for truck loads of sawdust; Fraser Valley Ace Hardware for roto-tiller, classroom and discounts on materials; Noriyuki & Parker, P.C. for legal advice; Hot Sulphur Community Church for use of building for board of directors meetings; Sky-Hi Daily News; Cold Springs Greenhouse for classroom, plants and discounts on materials; Mountain Parks Electric for flower donation; Grand Mountain Bank for waving account fee; US Bank for paper; Alpine Lumber for materials for teaching demonstration garden; CSU Extension Office for teaching materials and discounts on materials; Community Service for time of community service workers; City Market for food donation; Mountain Food Market for food donation; Kremmling Mercantile for food donation; Neils Lunceford Nursery for plants and dirt; Ranch Creek Limited for sawdust; Grand Beginnings for office supplies; Country Ace hardware for classroom; Tri-River Building Supply for classroom and wish list participation; Highland Lumber for discount on building materials; Fraser Valley Lumber for discount on building materials and Northwest Supply for discount on building materials.This is a season to be thankful to all the many individuals and entities for their support and participation in Grand Community Gardens. We could not have done it without you.Grand Community Gardens board of directorsCarol Morales, Lynn Cassidy, Autumn Phillips, Brent Christian, Bonnie Koblitz

Grand County Real Estate Transactions

Scanloch Subdivision Lot 1, Block 2 – Gerald and Jo Ann Shumaker to Dylan and Gabrielle Taylor, $79,000 Winter Park Ranch 3rd Filing, Lot 62, Block 1 – Luanne Kay to Adam Gould and Veronica Callinan, $250,000 Winter Park Highlands Greenridge Lot 16 – Paul and Karen True Trust to Justin and Deborah Bridge, $207,000 Rio Rancho Small Tracts Sub Exempt Lot 1 – Larry and Judith Ware to Hadley and Joan Bradbury, $898,000 Columbine Lake Block 3, Lots 14,15 – Gerald and Kathryne Vanner to Benny and Susan Law, $285,000 Aspen Meadows Condominiums Unit 207, Block C – Aspen Meadows Condominiums LLC to Gordon McGlinchey and Brenda Kraft, $116,900 Winter Park Lodge II Bldg F, Unit 201 – Raymond and Judith Hall to Kenneth Richardson and Kelly Fraser, $137,500 Grand Country Estates TRT 77 – Richard Timothy Parry Living Trust to Cozens Pointe LLC, $65,000 Cozens Pointe at Grand Park Unit 201, Bldg B, Garage Unit B – Cozens Pointe LLC to Richard Parry and Abby Bleistein, $324,000 Villa Harbor Subdivision Lot 18 – Bell Crest Enterprises LLLP to William Henry Peltier III, $365,000 River Run Condominiums Unit 203, Bldg B – PennyMac Loan Services LLC to John and Barbara Rankin, $89,120 Copper Creek Lot 46 – John and Nancy Rice to Bruce Campbell, $299,999 Meadow Ridge Lodges Court 27, Unit 8 – Smith Family Trust to James Reasor and Margaret Copeland, $160,600 Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 111, Timeshare No 111504 – Tom and Louise Massoni to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 99, Timeshare No 099649 – Leo and Ann Lussier to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Mountainside at SilverCreek C U 91, Timeshare No. 091535 – Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association to Michael B Ensley Revocable Trust, $500 E.J. Vulgamotts 1st Block 5, Lots 1,2, Tabernash – Steven and Charlene Hayward to Chuck and Marie Huston, $52,000 Yacht Club Estates Lot 5 – FDIC, Firstier Bank to Gary and Linda Knippa, $1,250,000 Lakota Flg 3, Tract C, Lot 33 – SNAD II LP to M6 Capital LLC, $975,000 Longview Addn/Hot Sulphur Springs Block 15, Lots 10,11,12 – John and Taura Perdue to Roger and Michelle Gable, $213,000 Exhibit “A” Not Attached for Legal Description – Liberty Savings Bank FSB to Allen Schrieber and Suzette Kynor, $13,000 Lakeview Subdivision Unit 2, Lot 1, Bldg B – Fannie Mae Federal National Mortgage Association to Kenneth and Paulette Nolan, $106,000 Hamilton Hills Subdivision Exempt TRT 2 – Patricia Jacques to John and Florice Lietzke, $285,471 Mountainside at SilverCreek B U 064, Timeshare No. 064128 – David and Sharon Anderson to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Mountainside at SilverCreek B U 035, Timeshare No. 035126 – Thomas Farrel and Joann Debruin-Farrell to Mountainside SilverCreek Timeshare Owners Association, $500 Cozens Meadow at Grand Park Lot 3 – Grand Park Homes LLC to Robert and Debra Gnuse, $523,000 Pines at Meadow Ridge Court B U 6, Week 38 – Stephen and Susan Clemens to Naomi Yahn, $1,500 Slopeside Village Unit 113A, Bldg E – Stephen and Cary Paul to James Byerrum, $382,500 Fraser Crossing-Founders Pointe Condominium Unit 3611 – Smith Living Trust to Hyo and Jina Kim, $360,000

Granby " Shirley Ann Warden’s (Wetzel) life bloomed with passions

With an unflagging determination, Shirley Ann Warden (Wetzel) bloomed amongst many challenges that faced her through life. On March 20 at the age of 84, the longtime Granby resident known for her inspirational flower gardens left behind a better and more beautiful Grand County community. Her life began Aug. 14, 1924, when she joined the family of Jennie Ann (Johnson) and Elmer George Wetzel in Manilla, Iowa. Life was not easy for the family (which eventually included eight children, with Shirley in the middle). After a move to western Kansas they ran a farm on what was then wild grassland. Country life for the Wardens consisted of milking cows, herding cattle, tending to the horses, chickens and wheat fields, and attending a one-room school house. The family was hit hard through those years with the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. And, in 1937, Elmer died after a long illness. Left to fend for themselves, the family lost the farm to foreclosure. They also lost Shirley’s oldest brother, the first local boy to be killed in World War II. Shirley boarded with a family in town to attend the higher grades, graduating in 1941 and going on to earn an associate’s degree at Dodge City Junior College. She taught fourth grade in Ingalls, Kan., for two years before moving to Denver, where she worked for the Gates Rubber Company and a telephone company. She met her future husband in the big city. Chaperones of a young adults group at Calvary Baptist Church introduced her to Robert Warden, their son. The two married May 25, 1948, and moved to Boulder so he could finish pharmacy school at the University of Colorado. In 1952, the two joined the Granby community, where they’d stay until 2004. During those years the couple enjoyed a happy marriage and celebrated the birth of a son (Steven Robert) and a daughter (Dana Diane). Shirley, a homemaker while the children were in school, thoroughly enjoyed her job as a court clerk for the District Court in Hot Sulphur Springs after the children went off to college. When she left the position, she joined Bob at the drug store, keeping the books. The couple were avid members and supporters of the Church of the Eternal Hills. Shirley often taught Sunday school and was also active in the women’s circle. They attended services in the old log church and were instrumental in helping raise money for a new church in Granby. They also raised funds to build the church in Tabernash. The family enjoyed skiing together on Sunday afternoons and with little time to change before church service sometimes wore their ski clothes. She liked to golf and play bridge, but gardening and reading topped her hobbies. She grew as many different flowers as one could at Granby’s elevation. Favorites were sweet peas, lupine, peonies and tulips. She loved all kinds of books and was involved with starting the first library in Grand County. She also served on the library board. Always trying new authors, daughter Dana Andrews recalls a story from her brother about a neighbor’s daughter who married author Nelson DeMille. The news prompted Shirley to stay up all night reading his newest work. Shirley lived in Denver her last four years, “but Granby was always her home,” Dana said. During that time she would visit the Denver Public Library often and joined a large-print book club.

Community garden ready to sprout in Fraser

With a growing trend toward local, organic produce, vegetable gardening has seen a resurgence in recent years. But, not everybody has the right space for a garden at their house. With that in mind, Grand County Community Gardens, in partnership with the Colorado State University Extension Office in Kremmling, offers some of the highest altitude community vegetable gardens in Colorado, providing Grand County residents with the space and opportunity for learning how to grow their own food and become a more sustainable community. “Gardens provide an educational platform for teaching good nutrition and knowing the source of your own food,” said CSU County Extension Director Travis Hoesli. “Kids who are involved in gardening are more likely to engage in eating more vegetables.” “Gardening also provides an alternative physical activity and positive social outlet for people of all ages,” added Debbie Buhayar, secretary of the board of Grand Community Gardens. Grand Community Gardens was started in 2008 by Carol Morales of Morales Farms in Granby. With grants from the Grand Foundation and support from the county and the towns of Hot Sulphur Springs and Granby, the project installed 20 beds in Kremmling, 20 beds in Hot Sulphur Springs and 28 beds in Granby. Community members rent sites, which come with prepared soil, covers, irrigation and fencing. The county and towns provide the space and the water for the gardens while the CSU Extension Office joined the project in 2010, providing administrative support, funding and educational resources in addition to insurance. “These gardens have proven to be an asset to our communities,” Buhayar said. Now in its fourth season, the project is hoping to add a community garden site in the Fraser Valley. Grand Community Gardens has partnered with the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District to provide up to 40 irrigated, raised beds at the Fraser Valley Sports Complex. “All along I’ve had an inkling that Fraser was interested in having this,” Buhayar said. “There’s quite a few of us that drive to Granby.” “The biggest challenge is funding,” Buhayar added. “People want to help … people have offered to provide labor, but we need dollars for fencing, irrigation and materials to build beds.” Buhayar is estimating start-up costs in the neighborhood of $50,000, including the irrigation system, recycled plastic bed boxes, covers, dirt, landscaping and fencing. Future plans also call for a hoop house, a native demonstration garden and an educational center. Plots will rent for $80 the first year to help pay for soils and new, water-saving irrigation technology. More than 60 different kinds of vegetables thrive in Grand County, including all kinds of lettuce, potatoes, carrots, spinach, root vegetables, peas and herbs. In a standard 4-by-16-foot site, “You can grow more than your family can eat over the summer,” Buhayar said. “I am still eating vegetables that I grew last summer.” CSU is offering three classes this spring on April 9 and 16 and May 14, with sessions each day in Fraser and Granby covering a variety of topics from seed selection and garden management to produce harvesting. The classes are offered for free as part of the extension’s outreach. For more information about the classes, call the CSU Extension Office at 724-3436 or visit grandcommunitygardens.org. To get involved or donate to the Fraser Community Garden project, call 726-5143. – Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.

Gardening in Grand County seminar Friday, May 3

It feels like spring might really be arriving in Grand County. Before we know it, the trees along the river will have that first hint of green and we'll be thinking of planting in our own gardens. If you are an experienced gardener or would like to give vegetable gardening a try, a community garden might be right for you. The organization Grand Community Gardens, in partnership with CSU Extension Grand County Office, has four community gardening sites – Kremmling, Hot Sulphur Springs, Granby, and Fraser (all Fraser garden plots have already been rented for this year). The community gardens are open to anyone who is interested in growing their own vegetables. For a reasonable fee, a raised garden bed, already filled with soil, is provided. The gardens are fenced and have an automatic watering system which makes maintenance a breeze. If you are interested in finding out more about Grand Community Gardens, there will be an information meeting at the Hot Sulphur Springs Library at noon on Friday, May 3. Information can also be found at http://www.grandcommunitygardens.org.