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Vision turned reality for a small town near Steamboat Springs in 2022.

People + Place
A newly constructed community garden in Hayden, Colorado offers its residents a chance to sign up for a plot, be a part of their local food system, and rally towards sustaining it.

This dream came in part from a local community member, Festus, who also happens to be a CSU Master Gardener and has been growing food in Hayden for over thirty years.

In working with the Town of Hayden, Festus and Allesha, a town employee with the Best and Brightest Fellowship with the State of Colorado, were able to curate something amazing.

Space + Time
The transformed garden space was two years ago, a vacant dirt lot. It’s now a beautifully enclosed space, filled with nearly 10 plots, a great watering system, and a shed to boot.

While building soil is part of the long term vision, it is also a process that takes years. That’s one of the reasons that makes Paonia Soil a growing medium that delivers nutrients, and begins to build back healthy microorganisms in the soil without the need for chemical inputs. Not only this, but growing fresh food right down the road makes a difference especially when interstate highways responsible for trucking food to local grocery stores can shut down at a moment’s notice.

Working together, we planned a soil workshop to discuss the active role that Paonia Soil Co.’s Living Soil Blends give in growing food we all love and care about, and care about feeding our communities with! Especially key elements that have to do with delivering nutrients back to the plants with the presence of an active and healthy soil food web.

Soil Mix
Raised Bed Mix (rice hulls) was the choice for this garden. This living soil blend mirrors The Bomb (perlite) but with the distinct difference that one contains rice hulls and the other perlite. The organic rice hulls in this mix not only eliminate the appearance of perlite but they also increase the water holding capability in the soil – something we all appreciate when living in dry and arid climates!

What’s Next
With visioning, support, and community, Hayden’s garden is now built to thrive. Growing strong, healthy plants in the best soil brings us all so much reward. Festus and Allesha plan to offer workshops throughout the seasons that will benefit their community and touch on techniques that support their growing efforts such as soil blocking, composting, the soil food web, and more.

Thanks to the Town of Hayden for choosing Paonia Soil Co. We’re excited to celebrate this accomplishment and be a part of the journey towards greater food security.

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