Frisco’s three greenhouses are nearing completion |

Frisco’s three greenhouses are nearing completion

Summit Daily/Caitlin RowHead gardener Holle Vliet waters soil in one of Frisco's new community greenhouses by the Summit County Community and Senior Center. Vliet said she plans to plant potatoes and onions in the open-air greenhouse today.

FRISCO – The Frisco community greenhouse project’s lead gardener Holle Vliet spent much of Friday prepping her garden beds.

“I’m wetting down the soil and aerating it,” Vliet said, while working in an open-air greenhouse. “We’re getting ready to plant potatoes and onions.”

All three greenhouses are finally up – the community-use greenhouse is complete, and two others simply need final touches. Those will be used for growing vegetables to be donated to local food banks. Solar experiments, along with exploration into different garden techniques for Summit County’s short growing season, will also be a big part of the project.

“It’s all about eating healthy for less,” Vliet said.

Summit Prevention Alliance staffers and volunteers, with the help of Alpine Earth Center in Silverthorne, have been working hard over the past month to build numerous garden beds and three greenhouses near the Summit County Community and Senior Center. The concept was created last year to give low-income families and seniors access to healthy, fresh vegetables. Other goals include education and developing a farmer’s-market style distribution of produce with tiered pricing.

“It’s totally coming along,” Vliet said, also noting that her “garage is filled with seedlings just waiting to be put into the ground.”

Qualifying locals with community plots will start planting their personal gardens Monday. A plant and seed exchange party is also planned as part of the kick-off event, along with a talk on permaculture. The community greenhouse project is 100-percent organic, meaning no chemicals are used whatsoever.

“All 19 plots for seniors and low-income are filled up,” Vliet said. “There is a waiting list, though.”

While the project will be fully constructed by next weekend, Summit Prevention Alliance organizers are still seeking cash and tool donations to make its vision for healthy, inexpensive produce a reality in the High Country. Project coordinator Joanna Rybak hopes to raise up to $10,000 by Tuesday, as the community garden is most definitely over budget.

A $20,000 LiveWell grant paid for greenhouse materials and construction, but thousands of dollars are still needed to pay for unforeseen expenses related to running a garden of its size.

Vliet said she could still use chicken wire, watering pitchers, trellises, hoses and shade cloth.

Other needs include additional seeds for variety, and money to start a water fund.

According to Vliet, a donation to secure naming rights for the garden has been given, and the name will be announced once its approved by officials.

For more information, contact Rybak at (970) 453-9333.

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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