Pumpkin Patch Thanks!

Guidestone’s Annual Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival Thank You!

From all of us at Guidestone Colorado, thank you to everyone in the community who participated in our Annual Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival, the weekend of October 13th-15th. Beautiful weather set the stage for a fantastic weekend of fun activities and we had an amazing turnout of festival-goers of all ages from our local community and surrounding counties. We are grateful to all the attendees, volunteers, sponsors and partners who helped to make the Pumpkin Patch a success!

We have many individuals, families and businesses to thank for their role in helping make the Pumpkin Patch such a great event! Special thanks to the following partners and event sponsors and donors:

Alpha Dog Care Amicas Boathouse
Central Colorado Title Chaffee County Closing Collegiate Peaks Bank
CP’s Portables Everett Ranch Foodshed Alliance
Francis & Sons Fringe Heart of the Rockies Radio
High Country Bank Hutchinson Ranch Hylton Lumber
Law Office of Jane B. Fredman Law Office of William F. Smith Kal Toys
KHEN Knapp Family Farms KSBV radio
Landmark Surveying Marquez and Herrick-Stare The McGovern Family
Mixing Bowl Moonlight Pizza Moonstone Ventures
Mt Princeton Riding Mountain Phoenix Natural Habitats
Ryan O’Brien Pinon Real Estate Poncha Lumber
Beatrice Price
Beatrice Price
Pueblo Bank and Trust Pursell Manufacturing
Rebound PT Salida Circus Salida Family Dentistry
Salida Family Medicine Seasons Salida Settings Event Rental
Simple Foods Teller County Waste Wellspring Nutrition
Weathervane Farms

Thanks to our team of hard-working and positive volunteers, and the musicians who created such a festive atmosphere, thank you for sharing your time and talents, and for being an invaluable part of the weekend’s success!

Celia AdemacLivia FolletAshley LeopoldEllie Rodak
Paul AlexanderKaren FortierChristopher LeydonMaryanne Rozzi
Dale AndersonTravis FrazierChrissy LongSalida Brass
Tomas AroyoJane FredmanAshton MartinezJuliet Schaub
Samantha BahnShelley, Evanlee & Kylee GarciaCarrie & Jane McBrideClaire Shepherd
Nicole BaroniCamden GillisMelissa McKennaCole Sites
Cainin BeckerRiggs GorbyGrace MorrisetteStephen Smalzel
Drake BiehnerTina GramannGeorge Mossman's SMS 6th grade classGaylene Stevens
Cathryn BishopNathan GregoryRobin NeJameStacey Stickler
Nora BlackburnBob & Katy GretherJordain NicholsChristine Sturgeon
Pete BondAbby GrooverIan NordstromMargaux Tachet
Addison & Allyna BrightThe Haggerty FamilySheena & Willow O'HaraTracey Thiele
Cheryl Brown-KovacicGreg & Kelly HamiltonLouise Olsen-MarquezDave Tipton
Kolby CarothersThe Hansen FamilyQuinn SmithJosh & Sam Visitacion
Leslie ChampBruce HayesCindy & Ron OsterholtJake Vold
Laura CleggBecky HolmesBeth & Sawyer PackSusan Wadsworth
Matthew & Jasper CoenBrian IntraryThe Peterson FamilyBruce Warren
Bonnie CulpepperLuke JohnsonTom PlantMonica & Reece White
Lucy DeLucaOpal JubaMadelyn PorterElisha Whitten
Jennifer DempseyAndrea K.Beatrice & Charlotte PriceElijah Wilcox
Aly DewberryKathy KerriganPeggy & Nelson ReiningerMark Zander
Chip & Wynn DickensonIza & Ziza KudasikHannah RhudeEthan Zeiset
Rebekah EarhartTammy LangCaleb & Ellie Richardson
Kathryn EdgingtonThe Leddington FamilyThe Rittman Family
Judy FaassLily LengerichSeth Roberts




Guidestone Partners with Salida Boys & Girls Club for Garden Club & Youth Farmers Market!

Each year, Guidestone partners with the Salida Boys & Girls Club and Salida School District to host Garden Club at the Salida Middle School Garden. This year, Garden Club was organized by two Americorps members, Leah Capezio (CSU Extension, 4-H STEM) and Ronni Vitullo (Guidestone, VISTA), and Guidestone’s Farm to School Director, Kayla Maddox.

Each Wednesday morning, youth from the Boys and Girls Club were offered the opportunity to spend an hour at the garden, learning about the many things that go into growing vegetables – from soil, seeds, flowers and pollinators, and that other essential ingredient – fun! Each week the youth walked with us from the club the garden, usually leaving a trail of bubbles as they go, thanks to Leah! But Leah’s contributions to Garden Club went way beyond the bubbles she gives the kids each week. Leah is a Master Gardener and educator extraordinaire who has formed solid relationships with the kids at the Boys and Girls Club. In fact, one club participant, Amelie, told us that Leah was her main inspiration for coming! Just one sweet example of the power of relationships in community building and education.

Through these partnerships, we have been creating an engaging curriculum for the Garden Club, by outlining topics, curriculum and activities. For example, one Wednesday, the youth engaged in building little pollinator habitats to place around the garden. They thought about the needs of pollinators and gathered up materials from around the garden. Some of the youth coming back each week looked forward to checking on the habitats and fixing them up each time. But it seems they get even more excited about…. harvesting! It’s possible you’ve never seen a child so excited to eat greens!

Each week we also set aside time to talk and reflect. We spent time observing changes in the garden, reflecting on lessons and what fun we had. Memories are documented in our garden journal which you can see here: GARDEN JOURNAL.

Although school has started and Garden Club at the middle school has wrapped up, Guidestone continues to work with youth at the Boys and Girls Club to host the Youth Farmers Market. You’ll find the farm stand by the entrance to the Boys & Girls Club each Friday in September from 4-5:15pm.

We’re grateful for the continued engagement of kids at the Boys & Girls Club and hope to see you at the farm stand this month!

Inaugural AgriSummit a Success!

AgriSummit 2016 logo

Thank you to everyone who made the first annual AgriSummit: Local Food + Agritourism in the Heart of the Rockies a big success! With about 100 people in attendance, the day was inspiring and topped off by Deborah Koons Garcia and her beautiful film…Symphony of the Soil.  Her grace, humility and openness is infectious. Thank you to the planning committee, Salida SteamPlant, Colorado Tourism Office, KalamataPit Catering, Senator Gail Schwartz, and all of the presenters and vendors for your time, energy and dedication!

To see photos of the day’s events, click HERE!

AgriSummit Hosted & Sponsored By:

The Colorado Tourism Office, Guidestone Colorado, the Salida Creative District, the SteamPlant Event Center, GARNA (Greater Arkansas River Nature Association), CCFA (Central Colorado Food Shed Alliance), LTUA (Land Trust of Upper Arkansas), Colorado State University Extension and Hutchinson Homestead & Learning Center, Upper Arkansas Conservation District.

Spring in the Life of a High Country Rancher

Spring is here, and in an agricultural region, an iconic image that heralds this season is baby livestock of all kinds.  Here in Chaffee County, as one travels the county roads, this is most easily seen in the pastures of local cattle ranches, where you’ll find herds of momma cows and their calves, frolicking, nursing, resting in the sunshine. The Hutchinson Ranch is no exception.

Although ranching practices have evolved over time, the heart of ranching has always been caring for animals, producing food, and stewarding the land. New techniques and technologies have made some ranching jobs easier, and yet, many of today’s ranching tools and skills, especially in the high country, are the same as they were over a hundred years ago when the Hutchinsons began ranching.

The year begins with late winter calving when ranchers keep an around-the-clock watch on their pregnant cows and take care of the calves once they are born.  Abby Hutchinson’s (6th generation) herd started calving the end of January, and they are almost done, which Abby states is record time this year! In late spring, new calves are gathered and branded before being moved with their mothers to fatten up in higher mountain pastures. Like 100 years ago, before summer fully arrives, fences will be checked, ditches cleared and pastures prepared for irrigating and growing hay.

Want to be a part of the dedicated and enthusiastic team that helps share this and other Homestead stories to people of all ages?  Become a Homestead Volunteer!  There are many volunteer positions available to fit personal interests and time availability. For more information, click here, or contact Andrea: (719)239-0955 or andrea@guidestonecolorado.org.

Also this year, Abby is arranging a workday to invite people to help clear ditches to prepare for irrigation season.  If you would like to follow in the footsteps of the Hutchinson Family, and participate in a tradition that goes back to the very earliest days of ranching in Chaffee County, please email Hutchsalida@gmail.com.

Be a part of a lasting agricultural tradition and participate in Spring on the Ranch!

Hutchinson Homestead 2015 Highlights and Winter Kids Quilting Series

I am always so grateful for this time of year, giving us time to pause, take a breath, and reflect on how the past year has gone.  For the Hutchinson Homestead & Learning Center, what a year it was!

One of the biggest successes of the year came with the completion of an interpretation grant in May 2015. Funding through 23585918884_8a98d2766e_mHistory Colorado State Historical Fund and the National Park Service Save America’s Treasures Program, and a year and a half of work with an amazing interpretation team, saw the design, fabrication and installation of interpretive displays in the Visitor Center, new signage at the site’s entrance, a brochure, website and welcome video.  All of these combined made us truly ‘visitor-ready’.  Since then, over 230 visitors stopped by the HH&LC to learn more about the site and take a tour of the Homestead buildings, to learn their stories and walk in the footsteps of those who have lived and worked here before.  Of those guests, the majority happened to be driving by, saw the sign, and decided to stop in.  Hooray for heritage tourists and the opportunity to share such a unique place with visitors to Chaffee County!

Summer at the HH&LC also resounded with the laughter of children, strains of banjo music, the braying of Delbert the Donkey, and the rustle of pasture grasses as children hiked, explored, and played during our Farmhands Summer Camp programs.  Farmhands programs at the homestead weave together the cultural and agricultural history of the site, traditional homestead skills and current ranching practices.  Children ages 5-12 had the opportunity to work with guest instructors including Abby Hutchinson, several fiber artists, a farrier, blacksmith, leather-worker, beekeeper, large animal vet, historians and cowboys, as well as explore the pastures, irrigation ditches, corrals and Cottonwood groves of the Hutchinson Ranch as part of their camps.  In all, there were 386 student contacts through 6 distinct summer programs/ 24 program days, as well as 115 students through 3 school field trip programs this year.

The success of these programs and tours are due in large part to the time and talent of our volunteers and guest instructors.  Their graciousness in sharing their expertise with children and visitors are what bring the HH&LC to life.  For them, we are truly grateful!

Finally, 2015 saw the transition of the operations and management of the HH&LC from Salida Area Parks, Open Space and Trails (SPOT) to Guidestone.  It is due to SPOT’s fundraising, care and attention, and the support of many individuals and businesses, that the HH&LC is what it is today.  Guidestone is honored to be entrusted with the oversight of the homestead moving forward, and we are thrilled to help bring the HH&LC into this next phase of community engagement, events, programs and celebrations!

pioneer girls samplersAs we dive into the New Year, we are kicking off the programming season with a Friday Enrichment Kids Quilting Series!  Quilting was an important skill on a homestead, and a way to spend time indoors through chilly afternoons. Learn to piece, sew and quilt a small lap quilt in the company of friends, and take home a cozy treasure for the long winter ahead. Designed for ages 9 and up, and all experience levels, participants will join us for 6 Fridays, beginning January 15th! Local quilter, Jodi Poole will help provide instruction as we learn this traditional life skill.  For more info and to Register, Click HERE!

There are many additional programs and events being designed and planned, and we look forward to sharing all of these opportunities in the near future! From the homestead, we wish you a cozy winter, and hope you will visit us sometime in 2016!