Community Agriculture Alliance: Kick off the season of cultivation | SteamboatToday.com

Community Agriculture Alliance: Kick off the season of cultivation

I came to the Yampa Valley in 1974. Since that lovely summer, I know there is a chance of snow at anytime of the year. So, as much as I am relishing this sunny spring Monday, I know there is more snow to come.

And the water yielded from our spring snows, added to the abundance we have experienced this winter, is assurance that my annual yearning to cultivate will be ignited.

Before my move to the Yampa Valley, I grew up in the agriculture rich Willamette Valley in Oregon. During my childhood, I embraced my yearning to cultivate by being a seasonal picker. 

The heart of my home town of Corvallis was the Land Grant School, Oregon State College. Steeped in its agriculture history and with a vast farm system, it was a tradition for local kids to pick beans, strawberries (watch out for the poison oak) and the famous marionberry at the OSC farms.

The sights, sounds and smells of my childhood experience of cultivation and harvest have lingered. And now, in the Yampa Valley, I embrace cultivation in preparing and producing vegetables in my small raised-bed gardens while supporting local farmers and ranchers who cultivate livestock and increase the number of produce and local food products.

At the heart of both of these exquisite agriculture communities is the science and art of cultivation. Today, I would like to offer a challenge to have you blend the nontraditional agriculture definition to cultivate —pursuing, acquiring or developing a quality or skill, activities, such as preparing my raised bed gardens and ordering my Easter lamb. I invite you to do the same, joining me in taking advantage of a couple of outstanding resources here in the Yampa Valley that will help you cultivate this spring.

An essential resource is the upcoming Evening with the Master Gardeners from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 8 at Library Hall, a collaboration between the Bud Werner Memorial Library, Colorado State University Extension Office and Colorado Master Gardeners. As comprehensive as it can get, this event invites you to enjoy a trade fair-like environment that will provide an opportunity for you to cultivate your knowledge and skills in the areas of seed, starting with soil blocks, permaculture, perennials, native shrubs and trees, gardening with kids, backyard chickens, container gardening, vegetable gardening, greenhouse gardening, composting and weeds.

If you go

What: Evening with the Master Gardeners
When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 8
Where: Library Hall, Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave.

Kick off your season of cultivating and add to your list of resources to cultivate your knowledge of the growing local food industry and the abundance of local food products that are available to you by signing up for the Community Ag Alliance Marketplace. Become a Yampavore today at caamarket.org.

Happy spring and enjoy cultivating. 

Nancy Kramer is the program coordinator at Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Program.


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