It was a record-breaking year for the CRMS garden. As we were planning for a robust expansion for 2018, we purchased a tractor and other specialized equipment. We broke ground and installed irrigation on over 2 acres of new field on Crystal River Road. This piece of land had long ago was used as a CRMS soccer field, but this year it became a gorgeous, thriving garden. In all, the garden doubled in size. However, because of our new area, efficient production system and excellent production weather, we more than tripled our yields! Almost every single crop was healthy and bountiful. This year the garden produced 27,500 pounds of produce
! (Last year was 8,800 pounds) It was a tremendous feat to bring in the harvest. We are so thankful for every class, sports team, work crew, faculty, and staff that helped harvest this fall. It indeed was a school-wide effort!
We are amazed and happily overwhelmed by the amount of produce going into the Bar Fork Kitchen. With all of this produce, we were able to get creative in the kitchen by preserving some of the harvest
. We made sundried tomatoes, kale chips, pickles, and froze several hundred pounds of beans and broccoli. We engaged the students in weekend activities of Harvest Feast Preparations, Apple Cider Pressing, Apple Crisp making, and Pumpkin Carving. Both of the Root Cellar Storage Rooms the garden uses were full to the brim this fall with several months’ worth of potatoes, winter squash, onions, beet, carrots, and cabbages.
Another exciting development was that we partnered with LiftUp
, a Food Pantry in our region, to donate excess produce to their many locations, from Aspen to Parachute. They were thrilled to receive such large quantities of fresh organic produce, (a change of pace from their typical canned food donations), and offer it to their clients. We were proud to be able to do this and give back to our community, and we hope to continue the relationship with LiftUp for 2019.
Now that it’s a new year, we are planning our growing season and soon work crews will be starting seedlings for the 2019 plant sale
and crops for the summer!
We are looking forward to another year of the thriving CRMS Organic Garden Program