President’s Message

Letter from the President, August 2020

Letter from the President, August 2020

Thank you, Anne-marie, Kay and Vivienne, for a wonderful flower show last month!  And thank you to all our valiant members who brought beautiful samplings from their gardens, and spectacular arrangements for all to admire.  St. Francis of Assisi’s spacious fellowship hall was set up for extravagant social distancing, and the voting was organized to give us plenty of space.  Our prize-winners took home chicken-poop fertilizer, weed-killing vinegar and lovely gifts from the Tree Farm shop.  There were even bags of fresh cider donuts from YaYa Farm to take home, as well as gluten-free treats from Outrageous Bakery.

It was wonderful to see everyone!  Thank you so much to our organizers extraordinaire for making the flower show happen with panache.  Although our activities and gatherings during this time of pandemic are different, I’m delighted that we are finding ways to carry on with grace and enthusiasm.  Thank you all who are making this possible!

This month’s meeting is in Connie’s garden.  Wednesday morning, August 26, at 9:30 am we will be meeting at Connie’s home, off Niwot Road and Longview Dr.  You will find her exact address in our membership booklet.  Please bring your own chair and mask.  Connie’s garden offers some shade, but if you are particularly sensitive, an umbrella might be good to have.  We will not be offering food or beverage, but you may bring a water-bottle for surreptitious sips as needed.

Janell has confirmed with our speaker, Melissa Shopnitz, who will be talking to us about African Violets, and teaching us how to divide off a mother leaf to achieve prolific plants covered in blossoms.  She comes to us via a contact from Janell’s garden club in Texas.  I’m looking forward to learning!

Go visit the extraordinary Parry’s Agave once-in-a-lifetime bloom at the Northern Water Conservancy in Berthoud.  It is spectacular!  If you drive in the front entrance and go around to the parking lot on the south side, you’ll see its towering stalk just behind the scale model Colorado water supply garden.  Isn’t it interesting how nature has responded to our human time of quarantine?  What have you noticed in your neighborhood and hikes?

Longmont Farmer’s Market is on!   There were 3 peach vendors this Saturday, but one sold out early Saturday and the other two have dwindling supplies.  Those famous Colorado Palisades peaches are a rare commodity this year, due to the late frost that destroyed much of the crop.  I hope you’ve had a chance to buy a box and indulge in this local delicacy while supplies last.

Catherine from Brown’s Farm in Niwot (and a Hoe & Hope alumna) got married the previous weekend, but she was back this Saturday with her beautiful greens, zucchini, cucumbers, herbs and potatoes.  Nothing quite like new potatoes and homemade zucchini bread for a cool evening patio gathering!

Also thrilled to see again a new vendor, Five Freedoms Dairy, “ethically sourced milk for compassionate consumers”.  Dr. Kevin McSweeney emphasizes improved animal welfare and sustainable farming practices.  They are selling pasteurized, non-homogenized milk and the best Skyr Icelandic yogurt I’ve ever tasted!  Also fantastic ricotta.   Together with Italian sausage from Lazy J Ranch, get ready for lasagna!  Dr. McSweeney is offering CSA shares for the winter months, because “cows don’t take a vacation” even when the Farmer’s Market is closed for the season.   Check out their website:

Our Longmont Farmer’s Market is not the cheapest food, but it is the best for your health and the best for our environment.  Better to spend your money at the Farmacy than at the pharmacy!  Be sure to support our local small farmers.  Who are your favorite vendors at the market?

Jack’s Solar Farm is becoming a reality, and we’re going to see it this coming Saturday, August 15, at 11 am.  Melissa has arranged with Byron to give us a late-morning tour, but if you’d like to come early to pull some weeds along the 1.5 acre strip of pollinator garden which was planted this spring with the help of our local Audubon chapter, you are encouraged to do so.  I’ve been pulling thistles in this patch several times this summer.  What a great way to enjoy the spectacular view, get some fresh air and exercise, work out all your worries and frustrations, while contributing to this worthy local project.  Please email Melissa if you’d like to join the tour, or come early to pull some weeds!

I’ve had 5 large, delicious tomatoes from my garden so far this summer, Caprese salad is my new favorite lunch!  Watering is meditation in the summer heat.  The zucchini is finally slowing down.  I hope you are spending time outside to enjoy the natural beauty of our community and all that grows.  Be sure to keep your eyes focused on nature’s promise of healing and hope all around us, and stay curious.