Note: April 30 event is cancelled due to weather forecast.
It is almost that time of year again when we come together and celebrate all the aspects of Earth Day. This year’s Earth Day Celebration will be sponsored by Catamount Institute in partnership with Aspen Valley Ranch and the Woodland Park Harvest Center. Mark your calendars for April 30th from 9:00-3:00 at Aspen Valley Ranch. April 30th is the backup date in case of inclement weather.
This year the students in the E-3 program from Catamount Institute in the Woodland Park elementary schools will have Show and Tell presentations celebrating the things they have experienced and learned this year. The E-3 program is an enrichment program for students in grades K-5. For 6 weeks the 2-5th graders meet weekly for 2 hours at Aspen Valley Ranch studying diverse subjects such as plant and animal studies, physical science, eco systems, weather, soil and rock and renewable energy. The K and 1st graders meet at the school.
In addition there will be many presentations including a solar oven demonstration, seed planting, tours of two greenhouses, a cordwood house, kiln and sawmill. Also several more children’s activities, a renewable energy trailer, nature yoga, native plants, a touch table from Mueller State Park, hikes and many, many more informational presentations all with the focus of bringing awareness of the diversity around us.
With plenty of parking and beautiful weather (we hope) this event is a family friendly occasion. Come and celebrate with us.
Many Harvest Center members are tending their indoor seedlings and making plans for gardening outdoors as soon as the weather clears in May… or will it be June? Join us at the Woodland Park Winter Market for casual conversation and/or serious discussions about high altitude gardening. We look forward to seeing you!
Greenhouse & Container Gardening.
We have a great lineup of presenters for this free workshop scheduled for 1:30-3:30pm March 13, 2016 at the Woodland Park Library.
Claudia Stover (Growing Spaces) will describe features of dome greenhouses; explain the planting/harvesting schedule for year ’round gardening; and give an overview of the Pagosa Springs Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership Project. Claudia is a longtime dome owner from Salida who teaches garden classes throughout our region.
Jennifer Allard (Dancin’ Feet Farm) will describe the construction process for her “smart greenhouse” which was inspired by Cord Parmenter (see Grit article). This energy efficient greenhouse enables her to garden most of the year on her ranch north of Lake George along the Tarryall River in a pristine, but challenging environment. She is always ready to share her experiences in a way that inspires.
Vanessa Haakenson (iThinkMedia) gardens in a beautiful setting at 8500 ft elevation in Woodland Park. Rough cut lumber, recycled windows and glass blocks were used to construct a very attractive, effective growing space. Her greenhouse and garden areas express her mindful living approach.
Scott & Sara Doud (Small and Simple Gardens) created a family business based on their passion for container gardening. They will describe their product line made using “hypertufa” – a man-made material resembling the ancient, porous rock. The artful containers are durable in our climate. You will learn which plants thrive in these containers.
Lee Willoughby will moderate the workshop and conclude with a quick overview of container sizes appropriate for various vegetables.
Woodland Park Library, 218 E. Midland Ave
Join the HC crew at the WP Winter Market for our usual swapping of stories about high altitude gardening experiences.
We have smiles, handouts and tips to share.
The heirloom hollyhocks, Olympic Red Kale, Top Bunch Collards, and Parsley shown in the photo wintered over in the solar heated 22′ geodesic dome at 8700 ft altitude near Woodland Park just north of Pikes Peak. The warm spell we are are experiencing the later part of February has given cause for moving from Cabin Fever to Spring Fever among the large population of high altitude gardeners. Kathy, Jill, Ron, and Lee responded by organizing a Spring planting of seed trays in the dome for transplanting in a few weeks after refreshing the raised beds with soil leftover from filling the Garden Above the Clouds raised beds built in 2015.
Seeds planted February 27 included Olympic Red Kale, Red Russian Kale, Lacinato Kale, Top Bunch Collards, and Rainbow Chard. Amazingly, we maybe taking these veggies to Community Cupboard late April.
A large group of high altitude gardeners testing positive for Spring Fever, gathered at the Woodland Park Library today to hear, question and discuss topics related to hydroponics, wildflowers, native grasses, and starting seeds on a timely basis.
Jeff Wheeler began with background information about hydroponics and shifted to a hands-on demonstration of setting up a small hydroponic kit. We will soon post pdf files of his handouts.
Mary Menz shared several photos of wildflowers taken at her home last growing season. The photos were certainly inspirational. She encouraged people to watch for an opportunity to sow wildflower and/or native grasses between now and April. Planting on ground where snow has melted is especially productive just before another snowfall is expected. Download the Teller-Park Conservation District seed brochure at tellerparkcd.org.
Lee Willoughby began with a fascinating time lapse video of a runner bean germination filmed by Neil Bromhall at www.rightplants4me.co.uk. Next, he shared a story of 800 year old squash seeds discovered on the First Nation’s Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin.
The following resources are helpful to high altitude gardeners:
This Harvest Center workshop covers growing in water and soil. Jeff Wheeler (Pikes Peak Hydroponic Supply) will demonstrate setting up a hydroponic garden. Lee Willoughby will demonstrate starting starting seeds in planter trays and describe the care required to produce healthy transplants. Free admission at Woodland Park Library, February 21 1:30-3:30pm.
Join us 9am-1pm February 13 at Ute Pass Cultural Center for the Woodland Park Winter Market. Paula and Jim Bennett along with Lee Willoughby are looking forward to chatting with you about high altitude gardening. As usual, we’ll have gardening handouts and a positive attitude about gardening prospects for 2016.
Harvest Center Garden Workshop January 17 1:30-3:30pm
We begin our 8th year of offering free high altitude gardening workshops on January 17 at the Woodland Park Library. We will give an update on Community Garden Projects and learn that some people are harvesting veggies in January.
Jeff Wheeler, Pikes Peak Hydroponic Supply, will give an introduction to family scale hydroponic methods. He will return in February with a lengthier presentation. This may be the year you add hydroponics to your garden techniques.
We will also provide advice for seed selection and planting timetables.
Holiday treats potluck * White Elephant gifting * Open House Atmosphere * Invite friends
Join us Sunday December 15 to Celebrate 2015.
Potluck Treats – people generally bring healthy snacks, salads or even deserts. Simple raw fruit & veggie dishes are popular. On the other hand, don’t stress if you haven’t time to prepare something.
White Elephant Gift Exchange – whether whimsical or practical, the gifting is always fun!
Invite friends – this is a family event; feel free to invite family and friends. Can’t stay the whole time? Drop by for a short while for a snack and say “hi” to friends.