High (6200 feet) on the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies on the side of Grand Mesa lies Cedaredge, an historic community of apple and other fruit growers. Small farmers in the past have pulled out orchards and turned their acreages into plots for retirees' homes. Some entrepeneurs have planted vinyards and wineries have resulted. Others with small plots of land have begun to grow vegetables along with the grass fed beef, sheep, and dairy cattle. Many thoughtful families have taken advantage of Colorado's conservation easements to protect their land from development.
Personally, we chose this place to retire because of its access to abundant water resources (Grand Mesa watershed) and its agreeable climate. The winters are milder than some realize and the summers are cooler. It soon became apparent that with our 1/2 acre we had space to supply ourselves with some fresh vegetables and fruit. So 4 years ago at the age of 63 and 65, we built a raised bed garden (fenced because of deer and rabbit populations). This year we had an abundant crop of strawberries, and are producing broccoli, carrots, onions, beans, snap peas, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and squash---all from a 12 x 12 space and enough to freeze for winter use and some to give away to the neighbors.
Having been educational professionals in a former life, we have found that growing a garden is fundamentally the same as "growing kids". Given the right environment and care with time and patience, positive results are possible and probable.
Thank you for focusing on the sustainability movement. We are also participating in a free trade purchase of coffee, chocoate, tea, and nuts through Equal Exchange as part of a church project. That's another story for another time!
Mark and Wilma Reever
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