Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grace Park Community Garden

That bright green rectangle to the left of the Basalt High School is the approximate location of the new Grace Park (name may change) Community Garden.
An idea I would like to float for a future community garden, or an exapsnion of this one, is a Permaculture Food Forest, where instead of or in addition to your own dedicated plot, you may have a share in a polyculture garden, where perennial and annual food plants grow as if in a forest, which allows us to create guilds of companion plants that support each other's nutrient needs.  You can read about an emerging Food Forest Garden in Seattle here:
"It's Not A Fairy Tale" - by Clare Leschin-Hoar
"Beacon Food Forest" - the website for the effort itself.
If you are interested in having a garden plot in Grace Park CG, please leave a comment below, with your name, phone number and email.  We will contact you as Spring approaches and work begins on the new garden!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


                                                                        April 30, 2011
                                  Work Day ~ A show of Many Hands in the fresh fallen 4" of snow overnight.

                                                                     April 30, 2011
                                  Annie and Sasha steady the ladder as Shawn relocates the garden sign

            Paths are mulched annually with ground up Xmas trees from the
Town of Basalt Xmas tree recycle program

                                                 We all gather for planning and direction 
                               Our assignment is to mulch the paths, fix the fencing and relocate sign.

                                                                           April 30, 2011 
                                                              Fixing fences and Mulching Paths

Scott and MacKenzie place recycled cardboard beneath the fence before topping with xmas tree mulch as a an organic weed control method.

                                                                         May 29, 2011
                                A Fall 2010 planting spinach has wintered over and is ready to harvest.

                                                                        May 29,2011
                                 Good Eatings in May 2011 from September 2010 fall planting of spinach.

June 8, 2011
Nick Jacobson and his heirloom lettuces and radishes
                                                                      June 8, 2011

                                                                   June 16, 2011

                                                                         July 6, 2011
                                         Salvia argenta, Broccoli Rhab, Chives and Turnip Greens

July 6, 2011
                              Heirloom French Breakfast Radishes and early season Hakurei Turnips

July 6, 2011
                                                            French Breakfast Radishes

                                                                     October 13, 2011
                                                                       Tuscan Kale

                                                                    October 13, 2011
                                                   Green Cabbage, Florence Fennel and Chives

       October 13, 2011
      Florence Fennel

                                                                October 13, 2011
                                              Florence Fennel from Gayle's garden plot

Nice Work Everyone! Congratulaions on another great Homestead Drive
Basalt Community Garden Season

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In the garden: Give peas a chance

Copyright 2010 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. October, 21 2010 4:50 am

In the garden: Give peas a chance

BASALT — The freezing nighttime temperatures are bringing a close to gardening, which might be a blessing for the Condon family.

We ended up with a plot in the Basalt community garden this summer on the strength of my daughter advocating for such efforts as part of a high school project. We had a good time casting our luck, as well as our seeds, even though my wife, daughter and I collectively only have a tip of a green thumb. Thank goodness garden masters Gerry and Gayle were often on hand to give us tips and prevent us from panicking.

Our tastiest success were the Red McClure potatoes. We planted nine hills, then freaked out when they were slow to emerge. Gerry scratched his head over that one, noting that all you have to do is throw a seed potato in the ground and water it occasionally to help it flourish. Thankfully, our plants sprouted and then grew with a vengeance.

Payoff came a couple of Saturdays ago. It brought back memories of digging up hill after hill of potatoes with my grandpa in our lush Iowa garden when I was a kid. That good Iowa dirt was so prolific we'd pull up spuds quicker than Sarah Palin collects donations at a Tea Party convention.

In Basalt, our harvest was rewarding if not quite as bountiful. I reckon we hauled in 15 to 20 pounds of potatoes, ranging in size from small bakers to golf balls. And, man, are they yummy.

The tomatoes were also healthy producers. The sole zucchini squash went nuts. The lettuce kept us mowing down BLTs for much of the early season, and we managed to get a few peas and string beans.

My biggest lesson this year was chill out and give peas (and everything else) a chance. I panicked when various veggies didn't immediately pop up, so I planted more seeds. We ended up with The Jolly Green Jungle. The potatoes flopped into the tomatoes despite an effort to fence them off. The tomatoes, in turned, spilled out of their cages onto the beans and peas. The zucchini simply overwhelmed everything.

We hope to give it another whirl next year, but we will show a little restraint.

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November 1, 2010 Meeting

Mid-Valley Community Garden Collective meeting minutes: November 1, 2010.
Present at the meeting were Gayle Shugars, Patty Overstreet and Gerry Terwilliger
Gayle opened the meeting by reading the minutes from the last meeting (August 2nd) and noting that this was our one year anniversary. 
No changes were made to the minutes.
Patty discussed the responses to the survey she had sent out to the Homestead gardeners.  Tana Davis and Annie Wilkinson indicated they would not be participating in the garden next year.  Two gardeners are leaving, Chante Floreani and Lyndal Williams, leaving 3 ½ plots available.  All other respondents to date indicate that they will be returning.  Annie Roskam’s response was very positive and she suggested more sharing of produce, which was also an idea of Patty’s.  Annie thought that the sign with rules that the TOB installed was not very welcoming.  We discussed moving the sign to the back of the garden and putting a more welcoming sign at the front. 
Scott Condon’s article “Give Peas a Chance” was referred to and a link will be sent to the gardeners.  This article was about his experiences in the Homestead garden.
The idea of having an automatic watering system was ‘floated’.  It was generally thought that this was not a good idea.  It would reduce visits by the gardeners and some gardens might get ignored for a long time, permitting weeds to take over.  It would also reduce the community aspect of people watering the plots of others when needed, either by request or by observing that a plot looked dry.
It was discussed for next year a load of compost would not be needed.  Probably few tools are needed.  Also, better steps would be good.  Next year the compost pile should be moved.  The plot fee should be reduced because of not getting trucked compost and most everything else is purchased or installed.
Fran, Patty and Gerry participated in outreach at the Basalt High School during parent teachers conferences on October 27-29.  A few contacts were made, but overall it went quite slowly.  In retrospect, it was a difficult venue to capture attention and if efforts are made like this in the future, perhaps ‘free’ cookies or candy would help.  The parents arriving were focused on getting to their conferences and paid scant attention to anything else.  Fran is going to follow and try to reach one or two of the contacts made.

Gerry reported on the possibility that the RFL will take on establishing a CG at the BHS.  He related that he was going to give a presentation on November 5th to the RFL as a ‘project sponsor’ and asked that everyone come if possible (Gayle and Patty attended).  Also, if the project got accepted, there would be an all day meeting on December 3rd with the RFL group that he would not be able to attend.  Gayle and Patty thought they would be able to.

Gayle said that the Lazy Glen greenhouse was to be removed and wondered if there would be a use for it at the High School.  It is quite dilapidated, but she thought perhaps the piping would be useful.  No action was taken.
Gayle reported that Rae-Ann Hunter’s garden at the Methodist Church in Carbondale produced 60# of potatoes, 12# of carrots, 99 bags of lettuce and 7 quarts of green beans that was donated to Lift-Up charity.
Gayle listed the community gardens in the RF valley:
                        Aspen community garden
                        Snowmass village at the fire station
                        Basalt Homestead
                        Basalt Elementary School
                        Rock Bottom Ranch
                        Carbondale Community garden
                        Carbondale Methodist church
                        Carbondale Tessa Horan Memorial CG
                        Glenwood Springs Community Garden.
Gerry said that he would not be at the December meeting.


October 4, 2010 Meeting

Mid-Valley Community Garden Collective
Monthly Meeting Summary Notes
Monday, October 4, 2010

Attendees:  Betsy Defries, Brita Stevenson, Gerry Terwilliger, Fran Suiter, Scott Snelson, Gayle Shugars

Gayle read last month’s minutes to recap that meeting.  She noted that the Homestead Picnic did not happen, as too many people were unavailable to attend.  As a result, Patty is working on a HSCG questionnaire to solicit 2010/2011 gardener input. Listing the current project areas, she felt that if we have the opportunity to do a garden a year, we’d be keeping it a manageable level.  Our current project areas include the Homestead Garden, Basalt High School, the possible public garden on the Basalt property next to the high school, and Crown Mountain.

Fran gave her report on the Basalt High school garden.  At their last meeting on September 7, Michael Thompson and David Bedford spoke of their experiences with Roaring Fork High School, the Basalt Middle School, and Aspen High School, all which have gardens in some form or another.  The major point of their talk was that motivated individuals needed to be involved from within the school including staff and parents if possible.  It was decided at this meeting to have one more outreach effort during Parent/Teacher Conferences to solicit and gauge interest.  If more people don’t become involved, it was agreed that the group would turn their attention and help in the effort to establish a community garden on the property next to the high school.

Betsy commented on the gardens she was familiar with in Berkeley.  She said the school districts hired an extra person to run the gardens and try and incorporate the garden into teacher’s curriculums, for example from AmeriCore.  She has a list of funding sources she would be willing to share, should we move forward with the high school.

Brita indicated she was participating in a leadership program in the valley and that the groups within the program were looking for projects to work on within their coursework.   She thought the Chase property garden would be a good project and she offered to quickly do a proposal for us.  The MVCGC then discussed what might be needed within the scope of their project, the list of proposal questions, and what the Town was thinking about size-wise for the garden (initially around ½ acre).  Fencing, gates, handicap access, water, power to run things (solar, for example) and a joint meeting with the Town on October 25th between Pitkin County, the Town of Basalt Council, the Collective and other stakeholders.  Brian McNellis is the Town contact on this project.  We all agreed at the meeting we would send her data and other information to help her do the proposal.

Gerry talked about the Homestead Garden, which he oversaw this last summer.  He mentioned that Basalt Councilwoman, Karin Teague will lead a community 10-10-10 sustainability event project at the HSCG moving rocks by the water spigot to try and control bindweed. 

Scott Snelson, who is with the Forest Service, mentioned that the Service is looking to convey some of their property to community organizations, counties, and cities in the next 18-20 months. Another garden site opportunity for MVCGC. He’ll keep us posted.

Lastly, Gayle mentioned that our blog is up and new things are being added and for all to check in and add anything to it.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 1st, the first Monday of the month.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Glenwood Springs Community Garden Stroll

The Glenwood Springs Community Garden hosted a Garden Stroll for the
Community on August 11, 2010.
Many types of gardening techniques and unique vegetables were a big part of their successful year. If you haven't had a chance to see the garden, it is located next to the Glenwood Recreation Center.