Expanding the Little Chapel Garden

Larry, Jim, Jon and Skye adding garden space at Little Chapel Food Pantry in Divide, Colorado. Off camera are Kathy C & Lee.  Update:  June 18th Jim, Chris, Ron and Lee moved soil into three beds and repaired the hoop covering on one.

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Awesome 6th Annual Plant Sale

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We enjoyed bringing organic plants to the market which were selected for our high altitude conditions; hardened off; and, reasonably priced.

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The Movers at Work

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Ron, Chris, Cheryl, and Julie are lifting a covered raised bed for transport to a staging location where the bed will be refurbished and then installed at a local school or food pantry. Hillary, Hank, Phyllis, Anne, Rose and Lee were also involved in the project.

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Gravity Fed Drip Irrigation

The Harvest Center promotes sustainable, healthy lifestyles. Our dome greenhouse at Aspen Valley Ranch in Woodland Park, CO grow veggies year ’round off-the-grid. Because of our past couple of years experiencing drought, we developed an interest in demonstrating the use of gravity fed drip irrigation to the many high altitude gardeners in our area. This short video shows the feasibility of using off-the-shelf materials to create a gravity-fed system.

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Great Enthusiasm Expressed at Workshop

2014 March WorkshopOn this beautiful day in the Rockies, sixty + high altitude gardeners brought their positive energy to the Woodland Park Library.

Lee Willoughby began with a brief overview of the workshop and events scheduled for this Spring.  Click to view his slideshow.  Among the handouts available was the updated Seed Planting Guide.  The companion download is a document representing the collective wisdom of Harvest Center growers regarding seeds and sources for maximizing success in our high altitude environment.  The seed suggestions are available for download SeedsSources2014 .

Michelle and Steve Harding shared their comments and photos in a light hearted manner which kept the audience chuckling.  Their photos are available for viewing through dropbox.  Steve recommends the greenhouse plans at this site as the inspiration for his greenhouse design.

Jeff Wolin’s presentation, “Good Enough Gardening”, was also humorous and informative.  The Wolin Family gardening efforts in 2013 were quite productive.  View his slideshow as html pages by clicking here.

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Welcome our UCCS Nutrition Student Volunteer

Working in the domeRon, Kathy & I welcomed Tashina to our volunteer work crew at the Harvest Center dome by asking her to incorporate soil amendments into raised beds and apply a deep watering.

Additional work by our crew assured the dome that we hadn’t forgotten her and would be planting soon. We took a short winter break this year after growing veggies here for five consecutive years (that’s 365 days per year in our Growing Spaces dome!).

We are fortunate to have this “win-win” relationship with the faculty of the nutrition program at UCCS.

Photo: Ron, Tashina, Kathy & Lee behind camera

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Selecting and Starting Seeds Workshop

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAA large group of high altitude gardeners convened today for a workshop on selecting and starting seeds appropriate for our environment. Jennifer Allard, Mary Menz and Lee & Kathy Willoughby shared their experiences with the group. Follow this link for a summary which includes pdf downloads and videos.

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2009 Harvest Center Retrospective

The Harvest Center “sprouted” in 2009 from Lee Willoughby on Vimeo.

After a lengthy germination, The Harvest Center sprouted in 2009 and grew substantially that first year. Our dome greenhouse was built and began producing veggies for the Community Cupboard food pantry. We built our first community garden in Woodland Park and our sister garden was built by the good people of Green Mountain Falls. About 150 planter boxes were built and spread around our community for people to grow tiny gardens!

This video captures the spirit of that exciting year and documents the completion of projects. We hope that you will sense the intangible value of the rich community-building experience we enjoyed.

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Harvest Center 2014 Event Calendar

calendarimageThe Harvest Center is pleased to announce our calendar of events for 2014.  Since 2009, we have offered free workshops and events each month and attended the Woodland Park Farmers Market to promote high altitude gardening and swap information with all who stop by our booth for a friendly chat.

This year we begin with an overview of the exciting progress the Ute Pass community is making with our high altitude food shift.  Several community partners will report and identify opportunities for supporting their efforts.  We will also describe resources for planning your garden.

Highlights for the year include our annual Celebration of Earth Day in April, Plant Sale in June, Garden and Greenhouse Tour in August and Local Food Week in September.

Click for our 2014 HC calendar in pdf format.

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Off-the-Grid Tomatoes

December Tomatoes from Lee Willoughby on Vimeo.

These lovely tomatoes will soon be dropped off at our local food pantry, Community Cupboard. It is awesome that a dome greenhouse allowed these tomatoes to grow into the first week of December will no fossil fuel heat source. Just the sun and heat mass (soil & water) provided warm. The Harvest Center, Woodland Park, CO at 8,700 ft elevation.

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