An open house and 90th birthday celebration for Durango resident and master gardener Marye Jackson, will be held Aug. 19 at Ohana Kuleana Community Garden, located in the Animas City neighborhood at 564 E. 30th St.
The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado opened the community garden in 2013 as an effort to promote healthy living and organic growing in the community and offer sustainability for all. The Hawaiian phrase “Ohana Kuleana” means “community responsibility” – or “we all own each other’s actions.”
The family-friendly event will include tours at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. of the garden’s 45 organic plots; permaculture berm and food forest; insectarium; herb gardens; composting area; and nearby neighborhood streets. Bruce Spining, Ohana gardener, local historian and former board member of La Plata County Historical Society, will lead tours and share facts about the historic Animas City.
“Old Animas City was made up mostly of dairies and small ‘truck farms’ where the residents sold their produce to local stores,” Spining said. “Ohana Kuleana represents a revival of that neighborhood legacy and is a perfect contemporary extension of the old Animas City community.”
Vivace Mandolin Ensemble will perform early 1900s Italian dance music from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The ensemble features mandolin players Lauri Kloepfer, David Levine, Diann Mason, Art Meyer and Martin Model; Tom Fischbach on guitar; and Marvin Paioff on double-bass balalaika.
Fresh produce will be sold from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ohana farm stand. Proceeds go to the community garden.
A pie-tasting contest will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contest participants, for a $5 donation, will taste and judge sweet and savory pie entries. Pie entries must be submitted at 10 a.m. at the Ohana garden pavilion. The winning pie makers will be announced at 1 p.m. and receive garden plots for the 2019 season. For more information about the pie-tasting contest, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At noon, people are invited to join Ohana gardeners, and friends and family of master gardener Marye Jackson, for a toast to celebrate Jackson’s 90th birthday.
“The open house has come together easily due to the volunteer spirit that is built into the community garden,” Jackson said. “I invite everyone to come and celebrate my 90th birthday and join OK gardeners in sharing in this great hidden treasure.”
A 16-year charter member of the Ohana community garden, Jackson managed the Shared Harvest Community Garden, which was located in the Florida River Valley, for seven years before it closed. She is also a former Durango Botanical Society board member and was named, by the Garden Project of Southwest Colorado, as volunteer of the year in 2017.
“With the closure of Shared Harvest, Ohana Kuleana is the only community garden left serving the general public in the Durango area,” said Chris Paulson, Ohana Kuleana gardener and outreach committee member. “We see OKCG as a huge community resource and we are sponsoring this open house so everyone will have the opportunity to see and appreciate all the beauty and organic bounty that we produce here.”
The Aug. 19 open house is supported by Ohana Kuleana garden and Garden Project of Southwest Colorado. Dogs are not allowed in the garden.
For more information about Ohana Kuleana Community Garden, visit www.thegardenprojectswcolorado.org/ohana_kuleana.