Letter from the President, June 2021
Wow, what a perfect Plant Exchange at JoAnn’s beautiful home last month! Thank you, JoAnn and Robin, for a well-organized and excellent event! Thanks also to everyone who brought a bounty of plants to trade, as well as Connie who had special Garden in a Box plants, and Melissa who brought surplus flats of tomatoes and peppers from Masa Farm. It was such a treat to see everyone in person, and have a chance to share news of the community. This pandemic has been difficult for many of us. I am so grateful that the end seems almost at hand for most of us, and look forward to gentler times ahead.
Coming up June 23 at 10 am is our June meeting at Jack’s Solar Garden, a community farm on North 95th about a mile south of Olin Farms. Byron Kominek gave us his presentation in February of 2019, expounding on his vision for the family property. Since then he has completed the installation of 3200+ solar panels to create a 1.2 MW community solar garden powering 300 homes with renewable energy while improving agricultural production via agrivoltaics. Underneath the solar arrays Sprout City Farms, an urban agriculture nonprofit, will establish organic crop cultivation whose produce will be available at our Longmont Farmers Market this summer. Around the edges Audubon Rockies has established a large pollinator habitat. We will have a tour of the property and have an opportunity to see Byron’s vision come to life. Janell has done a wonderful job of arranging amazing programs for us each month. Be sure to thank her for her good work when you see her at this event. Bring a chair and a water bottle, as well as a hat and sunscreen. See you there!
Melissa organized an amazing field trip for us last Saturday to Masa Farm and Seed Foundation. They grow garden vegetables, beans, grains and flowers for seed with a mission to promote a local food community through strategic farm/garden designs, and to develop a bio-regional seed bank. It is a very impressive operation! I was blown away by their passion and dedication to a daunting task of hand-planting acres of expansive rows of numerous crops specially selected for their vigor over generations in our geography. They are now offering limited CSA shares, surplus plants and seeds for sale in their greenhouse, and welcome neighbors and visitors to volunteer on the farm and become involved with their mission. If you need plants or seeds guaranteed to thrive in Colorado, this is the place to go!
Every year I buy many plants for my garden, and end up with lots of plastic pots and trays. I know that most of those won’t be recycled, so what to do with them all? Masa Farm would LOVE to adopt your surplus pots! Please gather them up and bring them to our June meeting, or drop them at my house. I will see that they are delivered and put to good use at Masa.
Sandy just gave me a list of members who have contributed to our annual fundraiser for our scholarship fund. 30 of our members have already sent in their contributions (many of them exceeding the $30 suggested amount!) which is wonderful. Thank you! Only 22 members have yet to send in their contributions. We’d like to wrap up our fundraiser before July 1, so if you’ve not yet contributed, please do so in the next few weeks. Anne-marie is happy to answer any questions you might have.
Melissa and Karen organized our spring clean-up at Callahan House with a great turnout, and several of us have done the training and started volunteering in the Roosevelt Rose Garden. I filled up a big bag of thistles and weeds last week, great way to vent all my frustrations in a productive and satisfying manner! I hope every member of the club will pick a civic project this year and participate in keeping Longmont beautiful. Pick a project, and get involved!
- Callahan House – Melissa Welsch, Karen Janata
- Central Elementary School – Robin Ecklund, Sally Bootz
- OUR Center – JoAnn Dinser, Dudley McBride
- Rose Garden – Betsy Imig
Robin and Ruth have another Exploring Longmont event coming up this Thursday, June 17, 10 am at Roosevelt Park and Rose Garden. Please RSVP to Robin or Ruth if you would like to attend.
The weather certainly surprises me in Colorado. After a cool, wet spring, it turned hot and dry so quickly. I never needed a sprinkler system in Connecticut, but unless you have a xeric landscape around your home, it’s hard to manage without one in Colorado. I’m inspired by Janine Davis’ xeric landscape, which I know she’s shared with many members. My neighbor across the street dug up half her front lawn last year to replace it with xeric landscaping, and this spring it is just beautiful! As water becomes even more precious in our increasingly hot and dry climate, low-water plants will become our new normal. As responsible custodians of our natural resources, we will all be called upon to reimagine gardening for a changing climate. Be sure to enjoy the fruits of spring plantings and summer harvests, and stay curious.