Over the last two years, Paonia Soil Co. has been partnering with community programs throughout Colorado with the shared vision in mind of growing nutrient dense food and supporting the local community through hands on experience and shared knowledge. Soil that Serves partners with community groups tackling soil infertility, food security, infertile soil, or who work to share the knowledge of horticulture based education.
Creating a beautiful, healthy garden from a dry urban lot
11 years ago, driving past the corner of East Colfax and Niagra in the Historic Montclair District, you would have seen nothing but a dirt lot. Now for over 10 years, this lot has been home to vibrant colors, bountiful fruits and vegetables and a team of Denver residents – the stewards and gardeners of the Historic Montclair Community Garden. These residents are creating a space for native pollinators, organizing weekly runs to the food bank with the produce grown and you guessed it – supporting their local soil supplier.
The Historic Montclair Community Garden began using Paonia Soil Co. products for their garden beds a couple years ago, and were specifically drawn to using our Dynamic Dressing® compost. This mix is biodynamically prepared, carbon/nitrogen & pH balanced, and fully composted at over 140°f.
While we can route trucks for a soil delivery to our customers, there is something inspiring about meeting the folks in person who put the soil to use. We’ve had the chance to visit this 31 plot community garden and meet Idelle, the organizer of the garden who has had a garden plot here herself for the past decade.
Idelle has long supported Paonia Soil Co., ordering yard totes to eliminate single-use plastic, planting our cover crop seed mix to keep roots in the ground through the winter, and choosing local and organic seed varieties. She has seen the garden grow and change with new, growing tasks to manage every year.
Their favorite product?
Our Dynamic Dressing Compost!
It’s Biodynamically prepared, carbon/nitrogen and pH balanced and is fully composted at over 140°f. Every 1% increase in soil organic matter helps soil hold 20,000 gallons more water per acre. And we’re big fans of that.
A Community Tends to its Garden
If you’re reading this then you’re likely to know the work, challenges, love and patience that goes into building a garden. But what really was clear during this visit is the way this community tends to the people and the pollinators of the local community. They have planted a native pollinator garden out front of their entrance; a move so inspirational that it’s worth learning more about. You can do the same and get a list by location of local pollinator plants best suited in your region. This could be for your garden, along your sidewalk or at the welcoming entrance of your school.
Before leaving, Idelle shares that she is going to the Native Seed Swap happening the following weekend to gather more pollinator friendly plants for the coming spring.
This last season, Idelle used Paonia Soil Co.’s Pro-Type Cover Crop Seed Mix made up of hairy vetch, legumes, and clover. These roots are overwintering and replenishing their soil.