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There is more than one kind of Wiki, part 1

LA VETA — You have probably heard of Wikipedia or WikiLeaks, but most likely have not heard of another Wiki that goes by the acronymn WCI. This Wiki, or in this case WCI, is very different and the acronym is short for Wahatoya Community Initiatives. WCI is the brainchild of La Veta resident Kristina Heim. “It wasn’t all that long ago that most people in Huerfano County had a backyard garden, or they farmed and ranched. Most food was local. Although we still have several active ranchers in the county, most of the farms are gone along with most of the family garden plots. I want to change that,” says Heim. WCI is a not-for-profit organization, with a stated mission: “Our first initiative focuses on creating a healthy, sustainable local foods system connecting families to farmers, ranchers and producers to help [those producers] distribute their products locally and encouraging community members to grow produce, fruit, berries, raise chickens, pork, beef, eggs and other value-added farm and cottage industry products.” Heim goes on to explain, “Farmers who were here in the past had to figure out what kind of crops could withstand our short

growing season and harsh conditions. So they grew root crops, cabbages, and such. Some of this produce was kept here and some was sent by rail to other nearby communities like Pueblo. WCI is doing research to see how we can grow a wider variety of crops and extend our growing season.” Last year was WCI’s first year and they offered a variety of classes to the public, all oriented around food. Several cooking classes were held along with classes on canning your own harvest. Heim noted, “Look for upcoming cooking classes that will run every other week from August to September and maybe into October.” WCI has plans to offer similar, and some rather unique, programs/classes to residents and tourists. Heim said, “Recently several of our interns went on a wild edible plant foraging class and made their harvest into a dinner. We plan to expand that and offer it to the public both near and far. We are calling it, “Farm, Forage, Feast” and, in the class, participants will harvest both home grown and wild plants. Additionally, we will cook and eat local wild game meat and trout. This class is very much hands on, with participants sharing in all aspects from foraging and harvesting to cooking. Another program that started last Monday, on July 14, is WCI’s Farm Camp for kids. The first class was called “Chicken Day,” which included a trip to La Veta resident Lone Ewing’s home, where WCI has one of several area garden plots. Seven local and visiting kids learned about chickens and the role they can play in sustainable gardening. Participants also learned how to make their own potting soil to start seedlings and even planted their own sunflower seeds that they will take home to nurture. WCI intern Stephanie Magoon, assisted by two other interns, help children to understand the food/garden cycle. Magoon stated, “I want to plant a seed of interest in these kids to give them a chance to connect to the land and to where their food comes from.” WCI intern Jake Hendrickson added, “We [he and his girlfriend Alexandra] came here to start a family. Focusing on kids helps me to unwind.” Alexandra joins in with, “We came here to be part of a community. To teach, to learn and to grow. I just feel normal around kids. Today, the kids made me laugh when they stated that they ‘Do not like dirt!’” The Farm Camp costs $5 per session but the fee can be waived. The camp runs for the next three Monday mornings from 8:30 am to 11 am and departs from La Veta school. For more information on WCI, its various programs and its upcoming events, check out their Facebook page or their website at wahatoya.org

Bertha Trujillo

  Bertha Trujillo, 97, from Gardner, Colo., entered her eternal home on Feb. 12, 2024. She was born in Gardner, Colo., on Sept. 30, 1926,

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