Letter from the President, July 2021
What a privilege it has been to witness the creation of Jack’s Solar Farm in our community. Since Byron gave his presentation to our club in 2019, it has been fascinating to watch his dream become reality, providing renewable energy for 300 homes, habitat for pollinators, and space for low-water agrivoltaics to grown food for the community. Our tour to explore the finished project in June was inspirational. Thank you, Janell, for making the arrangements, and to all of you who attended. Be sure to spread the word amongst neighbors and friends about their public tours and keep an eye out for Sprout City Farms at the Longmont Farmers Market later this summer.
Coming up July 28 at 10 am is our annual flower show. The church on 3rd is open again, and we will be there to set up at 9:30, with refreshments at 10, meeting at 10:30, and voting for the best specimens and arrangements at 11. As things get back to normal, the board has decided to keep the refreshments for our monthly meetings simple. Darlene will have coffee and tea available, and a few members will provide simple snacks. Robin is bringing chocolate cake, I’m bringing a GF lemon-poppyseed cake, and two members will bring fruit. With a nod towards eco-friendly practices, please bring your own mug, plate and utensils so we don’t generate plastic waste. Our composting bag will be there for any food or paper trash.
An encouraging word about the flower show event itself. As a new member five years ago, I was intimidated and confused about how to participate. It is actually lots of fun once you understand the rules of engagement. The show is divided into 2 sections: horticulture and arrangements. In the horticulture section, specimens from your own garden are displayed in groups of similar specimens. For example, the roses will be together in one section, zinnias and dahlias in another, etc. Each of us will have a chance to vote for one in each category, with a sticker on the card next to each specimen. The one with the most stickers will win that category. There will be some fun prizes for the winners, as well as bragging rights. The other part of the show is flower arrangements, which can be made with flowers from your own garden, or flowers you buy, or a combination. There are 3 suggested categories for the arrangements: include a vegetable, add a garden critter, or free-for-all any arrangement that makes you smile. The arrangements this year are non-competitive, we won’t be judging these. Just put together something beautiful for the joy of creation. This should be a fun and inspirational event for every member, whether you have spectacular flowers in your own garden or a good eye for color and form in an arrangement. Most important is the opportunity to be together at the church again, to share our mutual love of gardening and our curiosity about nature in all its variety.
We have a nominating committee! Kay Richards and Rita Rosson have agreed to help us recruit a new president, vice-president and member-at-large for next year’s board. Sandy and Karen have agreed to stay on for one more year, and Joann and Betsy have another year as at-large members. We have been so fortunate to have good leadership guiding us forward since the club’s creation in 1964. Even if you are a new member, please consider putting your name forward if you’d like to take on a leadership role. Let Kay and Rita know of your interest if you’d like to volunteer. We vote on the new board nominations in October.
Our field trip to Farmette Flowers was postponed due to rain. It is rescheduled for Thursday, July 22 at 5 pm. Farmette Flowers is a boutique flower farm and floral design studio run by Helen Skiba. She grows flowers and designs floral arrangements for weddings, flower share members, and local businesses. Helen is excited to spend a couple hours with us showing us her flowers and farm. To sign up email or call Melissa Welsch at firstname.lastname@example.org (303-548-6743). If you are interested in carpooling, meet at Kohl’s parking lot (near Chili’s) at 4:45 pm.
Robin and Ruth have outdone themselves with their Exploring Longmont events this summer. The tour of Roosevelt Park and Rose Garden was wonderful! Coming up is a visit to Old Mill Park this Thursday, July 15 at 10 am. It is an historic park on land that once housed a flour mill, with several historic buildings to explore. They are planning a scavenger hunt, and suggesting you bring lunch for a picnic after the tour. Please RSVP to Robin or Ruth if you would like to attend.
Robin is also organizing a Pollinator Garden/Bee Field Trip this Tuesday, July 13 at 9 am. Rose Pierro and Laura Pechaitis will talk about the creation of this remarkable garden space in their neighborhood near Jim Hamm Nature Area. Please RSVP to Robin if you would like to attend, and bring a picnic lunch for some social time after the tour if you wish.
In my sixth summer in Colorado, I’m finally beginning to recognize the birdsong of most visitors to my feeders, and identify the trees unfamiliar to this Easterner. Gardening in Colorado is certainly a challenge for newcomers unaccustomed to clay soil and water scarcity. I’ve learned so much from the programs, field trips and civic projects offered by our garden club, not to mention the wise and generous members eager to share their expertise. Please take time to welcome new members when we meet for the flower show at the church July 28 at 10 am. I look forward to seeing you all there!