by Jim Conley
– CSU Extension Agent
Our series of “Living off the Land” workshops continue to attract record attendance. Between the economy and our desire to feel like we have more control over our daily lives, these workshops seem to be filling a real need in our community.
This Sat. April 18, we’ll continue our vegetable gardening series at the Community Center in Gardner, from 1-4 pm. Featured speakers will be Liz Catt of the Southeast Water Conservancy District, speaking on irrigation techniques and Kata Schmidt speaking about “straw bale gardening.” Admission is free, but we will accept donations to offset expenses.
This Sun. April 19, we’ll be holding a Sustainable Greenhouse workshop at the Huerfano County Community Center, from 1-5 pm. Our guest speakers will be Penn and Cord Parmenter. They were our featured speakers at our first vegetable garden meeting in February and were a real hit!! This workshop will cost $50/person. It’s expensive, but you’ll leave with a wealth of knowledge on the construction and operation of a sustainable greenhouse. It uses no external energy, just the sun!! Pre-registration is required; just call 738-2170 to pre-register and pay at the door.
Next Sat. April 25, we’ll hold our annual Small Acreage Management workshop. This session runs from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm at the Huerfano County Community Center in Walsenburg. It’s a day packed with information, designed for our many “ranchette” owners to provide you with information that will help you become a better manager of the natural resources on your property. There is a charge, and pre-registration is required. Featured speakers include : Lance Gatlin with Division of Wildlife, Doug Brgoch with Division of Water Resources, Tony Arnhold with Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bruce Quintana with the Huerfano Property Assessor’s Office, and Art Bobian, Chairman of our County Commission. Whether you own 5 acres or 120 acres, if you’re a relatively new owner of rural property, you’ll probably leave with a new appreciation for the fragility of the natural resources (soil, water, plants and animals) now under your stewardship.
One more quick item. If you’re interested in building an inexpensive cold-frame for use in growing some vegetable seedlings, the Walsenburg Housing Authority is selling old windows. They’re perfect for a cold-frame. Just buy a window, and place it on top of a container made from straw bales and you’ll have a well-insulated, perfect, cold-frame. A cold-frame can give your garden a real boost. You can plant earlier. I’m personally hoping for ripe tomatoes before our County Fair!