Potatoes for the community: Pagosa Springs Community Garden launches new project

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By Leslie Wustrack | Pagosa Springs Community Garden

The 2022 project of the volunteers that manage the Pagosa Springs Community Garden, the 30-year old space located downtown at the end of 5th Street on the river, will be to grow potatoes free of charge for the benefit of community members. 

Decades old, the garden is on land owned by the Town of Pagosa Springs, and plots are granted to the town’s citizens free of charge. With pride and respect to the beautiful space, each member of the volunteer group takes on tasks to prepare the garden for the growing season. Thanks to the generosity of Pagosa Springs merchants, goods (soil, compost, fertilizer, bird seed, tools, etc.) are donated annually to ensure the garden’s perpetuity. This year, as in the preceding six years, all plots are full. 

Every year, a relevant component is added to the gardening program. Last year, with the assistance of local donors and the Town of Pagosa Springs, the garden has been designated a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. Located on the river, the space inherently held all the natural elements needed. All gardeners agreed to an organic environment to ensure the survival and prolific thriving of bees, birds and insects. A bird bath and bird feeders were added, as were pollinating plants. The town generously provided certification and a plaque. 

This year, heritage farmer LeRoy Salazar is donating an enormous amount of certified seed potatoes to enable the volunteer gardeners to continue their community contributions. The seed potatoes will be planted and nurtured; as the potatoes mature, they will picked and donated to an organization that provides free food for the town’s citizens. 

To join our educational email list or to be added to the garden’s plot waiting list for next year, send an email to PagosaSpringsCommunityGarden@gmail.com. 

More about the garden

In 2017, the garden was rejuvenated by community volunteers with the assistance of local Pagosa Springs businesses. Raised beds and deer-out fencing were constructed with donated lumber. Soil amendments, fertilizers, seeds, plant starts, native plants, tools, hoses and other necessary items are all provided through the continuing support and generosity of Pagosa Springs businesses. The Town of Pagosa Springs provides free water for the Pagosa Springs Community Garden. 

The Pagosa Springs Community Garden is free and open to all. All of the beds are taken for the 2022 gardening season. 

Residents and town visitors are invited to stop by and enjoy the beautiful space; the practices of face-mask wearing and social distancing are observed. 

To add your name to the bed list for next year or to stay informed about the potato project, please send an email to PagosaSpringsCommunityGarden@gmail.com. Facebook users, please follow the garden at facebook.com/PagosaSpringsCommunityGarden.