Sunshine in the golden leaves is all around

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Wow! What a busy summer it turned out to be! The garden is now easing its way into a deep slumber for our harsh Rocky Mountain winters here in the San Luis Valley. The produce has all been harvested, including quinoa that we’re not quite sure how to process, but we’ll get there. 😉 All of the tomatoes were picked and eaten up, made into pasta sauce and donated to the Antonito Senior Citizen’s Center. Our purple potatoes were a major hit – so many children and adults in our community had never seen purple potatoes before, so they were a real treat! The Antonito Senior Citizen’s Center also received a nice goodie bag filled with purple and white potatoes. It was wonderful being able to include them in our harvest, even though many of them were not able to make it out to the garden.

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On top of all of the lovely harvest, we also sponsored the PUMPKIN PATCH over at South Conejos Schools for grades K-6. We didn’t plant Jack-o-lanterns in our garden, but tasked the Valley Roots Food Hub with sourcing 120 pumpkins for us, which they did in a heartbeat! All of the pumpkins were organic and from local farmers. We set up our pumpkin patch in the playground, and it really reminded me of Easter and really big eggs! 😀 The kids were so excited to be taking home a pumpkin for Halloween, and grateful they were as well!

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We also recently were invited out to Devon Peña’s house and farm out near San Luis, Colorado. He has been doing wonderful work to restore seeds to their heirloom conditions. He shared bolita beans and beautiful corn varieties with us – we can’t wait to get them in the ground next year!

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Thank you to everyone who made this first summer of gardening such a success! It couldn’t have been done without the countless hours of support from children, youth and adults alike! Here’s to making a dream come true!

I’ve got the money if you’ve got the time

Holy cow! So much has been going on over here in this small, cozy town of Antonito, Colorado! I’ve been running in circles getting the Save the Children Afterschool Literacy and Healthy Choices Program going at Guadalupe Elementary, and I’m happy to report a successful first three weeks of the program with stable enrollment numbers.

In my spare time, I’ve been busy learning how to farm out at Cactus Hill Farm. I’m so thankful for the opportunity I’ve got to learn from the wonderful, inspiring people around me. It’s looking like we’ll have some bees this summer as well, fingers crossed.

On another note, I’m happy to report that we were awarded our first grant EVER today! Woohoo! 😀 A huge THANK YOU goes out to the Annie’s Grants for Gardens program! I’m so grateful and encouraged by the fact that people see this initiative as a worthy cause to support. I’m just going to keep trucking along with my great-grandmother Lucy Jaramillo’s voice in the back of my head: poco a poco se anda lejos!

Merci, Annie!

P.S. We’re planning a seed drive at South Conejos Schools to see what kinds of heirloom seeds we can gather from our community. We’ll incorporate it into our science classes so that the kids can look into identifying the seeds as well, after which we can move on to planting the seeds indoors in order to get some seedlings going for the garden this summer.