La Plata County 4-H is sponsoring a garden plot and pumpkin patch at the Old Fort Lewis Research Station in Hesperus.
This community-engagement project aims to encourage young people to get outside, get dirty and have fun learning about growing vegetables. The vegetables produced will be distributed, through the USDA Commodity Foods distribution program, to local families in need of fresh produce.
The goal is to give back to our community through local food. Hopefully, it will also encourage more people to eat and grow more vegetables for their diets. We will not use chemical sprays or artificial fertilizers on our vegetables. In addition, the pumpkin patch will be harvested for a Halloween celebration in October. This fun-for-the-entire-family event will bring the community together to celebrate our rich agricultural heritage.
This project also will be entered into the statewide “Come Alive Outside Challenge,” sponsored by JP Horizons and John Deere. This challenge looks to inspire Colorado FFA and 4-H chapters to develop a community project that promotes healthy lifestyles.
The Come Alive website, www.comealiveoutside.com, says: “The statistics on obesity, chronic disease, sedentary lifestyles and loss of a real social network with face-to-face interaction are staggering. It has happened gradually, but with each and every generation, there are fewer skinned knees, less of a need to call the kids in at dusk and fewer memories being made around a campfire or in the garden. Our purpose is to simply create awareness with the intent of exposing every opportunity for an individual, family, business and community to Come Alive Outside.”
So, let’s get dirty. Because this is a community project, we invite all 4-H clubs and other youth-serving organizations or businesses the opportunity to help. This could be a great after-school or summer activity.
We need workers for a variety of different tasks throughout the growing season. We can organize educational opportunities at work days to promote local agriculture. We also can supply tools and other equipment needed. Also, we can provide transportation for as many as 10 people from Durango to Hesperus and back. Please call or email me at the Extension Office to learn more about the garden schedule and/or to organize a work day.
On another note, the La Plata County 4-H Council is hosting a “4-H Spring Fever Activity Night” from 6 to 8:30 p.m. April 11 at the La Plata County Fairgrounds Extension Office building. Come see what 4-H is all about. We’ll offer crafts, demonstrations, pizza and fun.
We will have heritage-arts and leather-crafting demonstrations. Samantha Harris of the Mountaineers 4-H Club will give a presentation about her 4-H experience. Also, there will be members and volunteers on hand to answer questions. Afterward, there will be a pizza party and movie.
If you are not enrolled in 4-H, this is your opportunity to check it out and join for the current year.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is La Plata County 4-H youth development agent.