Now that another successful and rewarding La Plata County Fair is in the books, all of us here at Colorado State University Extension will forget to charge our so-called smart phones, put the out of office notification up on our email and go into hibernation.
Really, there isnt much else for us to do until reports are due in December.
Our 4-H youth development agent is off to the Colorado State Fair, carting up a vanload of amazing projects. As a kid, I engraved a plaque for my dad that read: A messy desk is a sign of a genius. It was impressive, and I think he still has it. But this year, I saw 4-H projects ranging from treasure chests, to a butcher block table, to a boat.
Seriously, a river-ready boat.
So much for my dads plaque.
Family and consumer science is also active with upcoming food-preservation classes that should be a requirement for all gardeners. There is nothing like dried, local peaches and apples while riding the chairlift in January or opening a jar of garden salsa in the dreary depths of winter.
In September, look for applications for the Colorado Master Gardener program that will start in February and the Colorado Building Farmers course will begin in October.
The Master Gardeners have been using all that accrued (and not forgotten) knowledge they gained last winter and spring at the Durango Farmers Market, numerous school gardens and at the newly planted (check it out!) demonstration garden along the Animas River Trail at the Durango Public Library.
Along with Healthy Lifestyle La Plata, we are also getting ready to host a number of local food events.
Saturday is the finale of the Iron Horse Chef that will start at 9 a.m. at the Durango Farmers Market. Come see Dennis Morrisroe and Vera Hansen wield knives, ladles and cast iron (oh my!) as they showcase so many of the local products available every Saturday at the market. They love the energy from the crowd, so come cheer them on.
The fifth annual Tour de Farms is Aug. 27. One of my favorite events of the year, the tour truly does showcase the wide range of agricultural and horticultural gems in our area, all from the comfort of your gel-filled bike seat. We have two rides an in-town 5-miler and an out-of-town 25-mile ride both of which require advance registration and culminate with a barbecue and bluegrass at Ska Brewing Co. It is a great ride; I promise you will learn a ton, and if you dont then Ill give you a free, commemorative pint glass filled with your favorite Ska beverage.
Lastly, be on the lookout for upcoming Durango Botanical Society events, including a plant walk with Jeff Wagner on Wednesday and our fundraising event of the year in early October. We will be hosting Panayoti Kelaidis, senior curator and director of outreach from Denver Botanical Gardens, for a number of educational opportunities Oct. 6-8. Think ice plants and agastache.
Stay tuned, and stay awake. You know Extension will be.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.