New Year's Resolutions - I don't typically make them, so this year I decided to try something different: a New Year's
I figured that this way, there would be at least a one-in-five shot that I could accomplish something that I decided to
do in January.
My list (with brief descriptions as to why):
b Get a new 4-H youth development agent on board before the start of summer. As many of you know, Bob Salzer
retired in 2009 after 29 years with 4-H here in La Plata County. Unfortunately, his retirement coincided with a
Colorado State University hiring freeze and uncertain state and county budgets. However, it seems that enough people
spoke in support of the 4-H program and its value to our community, that CSU and the county have reached an agreement
on funding the position. We will begin advertising in seven to 10 days (watch the classified ads in The Durango Herald)
with the hope that someone will be sitting in that 4-H chair come May.
b In my yard, I hope to increase my food production by 50 percent.
I spent considerable time building vegetable and fruit beds this fall with the expectation that I could make more space
for the vine crops, onions and garlic, raspberries, hops, strawberries and potatoes.
At this point, I am about out of space, unless I get brave and start taking out sections of the lawn. But I like the
lawn - my pets, kids and kids' friends like the lawn.
b Keep CSU Extension visible in the community, and make sure that our programs, classes and workshops are timely
Extension is occasionally challenged when trying to be current; therefore, it is important to continue modernizing La
Plata County Extension through the establishment of new ideas, new programming and new directions. With continued
budget constraints, our survival depends on the ability to be inventive. We must take smart risks, some chances and
demonstrate that we are agents of change.
b Increase my knowledge of native and ornamental plants.
Even though in my office I have a couple pieces of fancy paper that say Horticulture," I have spent the vast majority
of my graduate school and extension career focused on vegetable production.
Don't get me wrong, I get really excited about food production, but I need to work on the other aspects of my game -
call it more well-rounded" (and no, I don't mean my belly or my bald head).
b Try to convince my kids to eat potatoes (Elena), beets (Asher) and spinach (both) from the garden. I've tried
to convince Elena that because she is most likely a descendant from Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a promoter of the
potato in Europe during the 18th century, she has no choice but to like the spud. So far it hasn't worked, but I will
keep trying and give you an update next fall.
I feel blessed to be part of this community and part of Extension - here's hoping 2010 allows me to continue that
Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.