by Marissa Lorenz
As days get longer and temperatures get warmer, as the West Grand Greenhouse Plant Sale gets underway, there can be no question that–barring a Summer Solstice snow storm–garden season has arrived in Grand County.
It is finally time to get seeds in the ground or to harden off your seedlings in order to have the most bountiful garden possible, whether you are hoping for a bevy of blooms or a cornucopia of tasty delights. And if you don’t have a garden or if you would just like to share the joys and frustrations of high-altitude gardening with other aspiring and/or accomplished green-thumbs, it is time to head to the local community garden.
Grand Community Gardens is a non-profit organization operated by Grand County’s Colorado State University Extension office. They have community gardens in Kremmling, Hot Sulphur Springs, Granby, and Fraser. The Kremmling garden and its raised garden plots are located in an enclosed area at the Middle Park Fairgrounds.
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin
Grand County CSU Extension Agent Olivia Clark assures that there are still beds available in the Kremmling garden, at a cost of . Beds measure 4’ x 16 ‘ and have a raised wind buffer. An array of gardening tools are available onsite, including water, hoses, and a rotating compost bin. 14 of the beds have automatic irrigation.
Clark explains that, once the irrigation system is turned on for the year, the gardens will be watered on a daily schedule. She notes that beds must be planted by July 1, and each plot owner is expected to volunteer two hours of service at the gardens each month
Bed rentals in Kremmling are $25 each for the summer. The bed rental fees go toward the perpetuation of the gardens and educational programs.
The Kremmling community is also participating in other ways, according to Clark, who notes that Grand Community Gardens partnered with the West Grand High School Ag program, comprised of Ag teacher Jacob Walter and his students, to construct 10 new raised beds last fall that were moved to high-demand sites in Hot Sulphur Springs and Granby this winter.
“Most of these beds have already been installed this spring and can be seen in their new homes,” Clark states, adding that Grand County Road and Bridge assisted with the transport of these beds to their locations. “It truly has been a community effort to construct and install the new beds.”
Clark also points to the fact that many local gardeners have participated in the Colorado Master Gardener Program, “which combines education and volunteer work.” Needed volunteer hours can be obtained by working at any of Grand County’s community gardens.