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Jim Conleys last article

HUERFANO- As many of you know, this is my last week as your CSU Extension Agent for Huerfano County.  Thanks to all of you for a great seven years since I arrived in this wonderful place that will always be “home.”  This is a great place to live and you’ve made my work so enjoyable- I could never hope to find this much satisfaction, challenge and reward in any work.  It’s all because of the great people in Huerfano County! 

    A special thanks to the 4-H Club leaders, members and parents.  It’s been a pleasure to work with the Fair Board, the Weed Advisory Board, our Extension Advisory Council, the Master Gardeners, the Tourism Board and Council, the leadership in La Veta and Walsenburg, our County Commissioners and the rest of the great team at the Courthouse, the Chambers of Commerce, the Huerfano Basin Stockgrowers, and my colleagues from other agencies, such as NRCS, Colorado State Forest Service,  US Forest Service, the Colorado Office of Economic Development & Trade, the Upper Arkansas Weed Management Cooperative, both of our outstanding libraries, our three excellent newspapers, the Department of Local Affairs, the Council of Governments, our local veterinarians & State Board of Stock Inspection.  Thanks to my predecessors Angelo Blasi and Bill Hix.  Any success I’ve enjoyed relied on the foundation they built for Extension in Huerfano County.  Thanks mostly to the everyday citizens of Huerfano County who have become my clients and friends.  It’s been a great seven years!!

    OK, back to work!  We have had great interest in vegetable gardening this spring!  To date we’ve had three gardening workshops and a beekeeping workshop.  But, we’re not finished yet.  This Fri. May 29 at 6:30 pm we’ll feature three interesting topics at the Gardner Community Center.  Liz Catt will speak on garden irrigation; Kata Schmidt will teach us about Straw Bale Gardening, and Jean Kenney (the tomato goddess of Colorado City) will teach us how to produce ripe tomatoes by July 4th!  This is the last of our series-of-three gardening workshops, and it’s sure to be an informative session.

    Finally, what are we going to do with all the fruits and vegetables that we’re going to grow this summer?  Our last workshop will be “Preserving Summer’s Bounty.”  It will be taught by Lois Illick, Extension Agent from Pueblo County.  Lois says, “If you want to savor and save the goodness of nature’s bounty, then come to this workshop to learn how to preserve food at home, safely, while retaining high quality.”  This workshop will feature pressure canning, water bath canning and food safety.  She’ll be here on Sat. June 20 for the all-day, 9 am to 5 pm, workshop at the Huerfano County Community Center, in Walsenburg.  The cost is only $10, and you must pre-register for this workshop by calling our office at 738-2170.  The class size will be limited to 30.  If the attendance at our gardening workshops has been an indication of interest, we’ll fill this class within a few days.  Call now to pre-register.

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