Time for a green thumb tune-up in Summit County | SummitDaily.com

Time for a green thumb tune-up in Summit County

Special to the Daily Silvana's Community Garden in Silverthorne was still bountiful this past September.

Locals may not be able to tell from the snow piles still lingering outside, but according to the Summit Prevention Alliance, gardening season is upon us. The organization kicks it off Wednesday night with its first gardening class of the year: Edible Landscape. Participants will lean how to grow vegetables and herbs in the High Country from master gardener Kim Ravenswood – and walk home with a complimentary pair of gardening gloves.

Joanna Rybak, LiveWell Summit County grant manager at the organization, said some people don’t realize vegetables can grow in our high-altitude climate.

“Right now, there’s a really huge local food movement. There’s a huge need and a want to grow your own food and to understand how to do that,” Rybak said. “It’s really nice to be able to offer affordable classes to the community to give them what they want.”

Wednesday night’s class is free, with a $5 suggested donation. The lesson is a partnership between the nonprofit – dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles in Summit County – and Silvana’s Community Gardens in Silverthorne. Currently in its third year, Silvana’s goal is to develop a community garden that welcomes all individuals, regardless of experience. Rybak said the two organizations work together to create a calendar of gardening education. Other scheduled classes include one about the importance of soil health in April, and a lesson on transplanting in May.

Additionally, the Summit Prevention Alliance partners with the High Country Conservation Center in Frisco, which also offers gardening classes. Jennifer Santry, executive director at the center, said the two work together to make sure the lessons complement each other. Because Silvana’s and the Summit Prevention Alliance are already offering several classes about planting, Santry said the conservation center is focusing more on backyard composting. HCCC’s two week Master Mountain Composter Program begins in May, and takes place in the organization’s living garden.

The prevention alliance also manages Nancy’s Community Garden, Frisco’s community greenhouse project next to the senior center. The garden consists of three greenhouses – two of which are used to grow produce to give to Summit County food banks and sell at local farmer’s markets. Rybak said the alliance is currently looking for volunteers to tend to the veggies. The third serves as a community garden for seniors and low-income families.

For those who don’t want to, or can’t, plant in their own backyard, plots are available at Silvana’s, the living garden, and Nancy’s.

For more information about Silvana’s and upcoming classes, go to http://silvanascommunitygardens.org. Information about HCCC’s composter class can be found at http://www.highcountryconservation.org/mmc.htm. For plot information, contact Jennifer Santry at (970) 668-5703. Joanna Rybak can be reached at joanna@summitpreventionalliance.org, or (970)453 -9333.

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