Welcome Taylor! Farm to School Initiative Summer Intern

Taylor Rapke is honored to be joining Guidestone’s Farm to School Initiative as the Farm to School Production Intern this summer!

Taylor Farm to School InternGrowing up south of the Adirondack Mountains in New York, Taylor has always loved being in the great outdoors.  This love carried her to the University of Vermont, where she majored in elementary education and pursued concentrations in environmental studies and Spanish. During her first year as a second grade teacher in Lake County, CO a proud moment for Taylor was being able to incorporate her vision for a more sustainable food system by creating a classroom compost and seeing the positive student engagement that came as a result.  She is thrilled to be able to combine her passion for local, healthy foods and education as a Farm to School Initiative Intern.

Last spring, she learned organic gardening skills as a WWOOF volunteer for two months in New Zealand and is looking forward to honing those skills in the garden this summer!  In her free time, you can find Taylor hiking in Colorado’s beautiful wilderness, hula hooping, or attending a concert!

Adopt a Fruit Tree! Salida School Gardens Fundraiser

Guidestone Colorado hosts Fruit Tree Planting and Fundraiser at the Salida School Gardens: Holman Farm Site on Saturday May 30th from 10am-2pm.

Celebrate spring, community, and good food and help us plant and expand the fruit tree orchard at the Salida School Gardens: Holman Farm Site on Saturday May 30th from 10am-2pm!   We are seeking individuals, families, businesses, and other organizations to adopt a tree by helping to cover the cost of purchase and maintenance of these trees over time. This is a great opportunity to invest in a community project that will literally bear fruit for years and years to come!

Adopt-a-Tree – levels are:

apples farm to school logoGreen adopter: $25 (prepares the soil for the orchard!)
Bronze adopter: $75 (helps to purchase and plant the trees!)
Silver adopter: $125 (adopts a tree for the 2015 season)
Gold adopter: $250 (adopts the orchard for the 2015 season)
Platinum adopter: $500 (adopts the orchard and garden for 2015)
Garden Sustainer: $1,000 (supports the Garden and capacity building for the Farm to School Initiative)

You can participate in the adoption by clicking HERE or by joining on site at the event.


We will be planting apple, plum, apricot, and pear trees! Whether you sponsor or not, we would still love your help in preparing and planting them! Refreshments and kids activities will be provided during the event.

The Fruit Tree Planting & Fundraiser event will also be your chance to meet an inspiring group of young people devoting two weeks of their time in service to Salida with Guidestone Colorado. Through a partnership with the Conservation Legacy AmeriCorps VISTA Program, Guidestone Colorado will host an AmeriCorps NCCC Team May 17 – June 2. Comprised of nine young adults between the ages of 18-24, the Team will be volunteering their labor to two community sites in Salida that Guidestone Colorado manages: the Salida School Gardens, Holman Farm Site and the Hutchinson Homestead & Learning Center on Hwy. 50.

We hope you’ll join us on May 30 for the Fruit Tree Planting & Fundraiser from 10am-2pm! The Salida School Gardens, Holman Farm Site is located on Holman Ave. in Salida by the soccer fields and dog park.

Contact Margaret Fitch, Director, Farm to School Initiative at margaret@guidestonecolorado.org or Jennifer Visitacion, Executive Director of Guidestone Colorado at jennifer@guidestonecolorado.org or call 719.239.0955 for more information.

Vote for the Salida School Gardens Program to receive an Opal Apple Youth Make a Difference Grant!

Guidestone Colorado is pleased to announce that our Farm to School Initiative and the Salida School Gardens: Healthy Food, Healthy Growing Program is a semi-finalist for the Opal Apple Youth Make a Difference Grant!  To secure this grant, we need your vote, and itll only take a second! VOTE HERE!


As a reminder of all the good things you are supporting with your vote: The Salida School Gardens Program empowers youth with the skills and knowledge necessary to grow their own food and make informed eating choices. The Salida School Garden program offers a continuum of engagement, providing age appropriate garden learning and leadership opportunities for toddlers all the way to adults. This allows participants to build on their experiences and knowledge as they assume more responsibility and demonstrate their deepening understanding of agriculture and education. Each garden education opportunity includes a garden project component allowing participants to directly contribute to the success of the garden and to learn food production skills through hands-on experience

Voting beginning April 15 through May 15, 2015. Only one vote per person is allowed. To vote, visit here  Also, please help us spread the word by sharing the  – this link http://opalapples.com/voting/healthy-food,-healthy-growing,-salida-school-gardens-program.aspx  – with friends and on facebook.

Want to say more with your vote? Consider matching your vote with a $1 donation to directly support the program!  Donate here!

A big thank you to Opal Apple for this opportunity, and a of course a big thank you to all of you community members who contribute to the program on a daily basis whether through, votes, donations, volunteerism or enthusiasm!

For more information about the Salida School Gardens:  Healthy Food, Healthy Growing Program, please contact Margaret Fitch, Director, Guidestone Farm to School Initiative at margaret@guidestonecolorado.org

Elevation Beer Company and LiveWell Chaffee County to Sponsor First Volunteer Days at the Salida School Gardens, Holman Ave. Farm Site! Won’t you join us?

volunteer kickoff elevation livewell 2

Elevation Beer Company is rallying their team to kick off the season with the first volunteer day at the Salida School Garden next Wednesday April 15th from 5-8!

We’ll gather at the garden on Holman Ave, by the dog park and soccer field at 5:00, take a tour of the garden, learn what the project is all about, and then dig in to some spring bed prep and early season seeding! “The Elevation team is excited for this fun opportunity to work together to help and learn more about this great local organization,” says Sheila Bustamante, Co-owner, Elevation Beer Company.

Additionally, LiveWell Chaffee County is sponsoring another volunteer morning Friday April 17th from 9am-12pm and will also provide a light lunch after working up an appetite in the garden! Both volunteer opportunities this week promise to be a great time with fun crews, and we’ll get some much needed spring garden work accomplished. Show your support, have a great time — join us!

Volunteer opportunities at the garden will be held every Wednesday from 5-8pm, and Friday from 9am-12pm throughout the growing season: April 15-October 16th.  Families are always welcome, and children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Please contact Margaret Fitch, Director, Farm to School Initiative: Margaret@GuidestoneColorado.org

Volunteer Sponsorship opportunities are also available throughout the season. If you want to learn more about how you, your family, your business or organization can support he Salida School Gardens through Volunteer Sponsorships, contact Guidestone Director, Jennifer Visitacion: Jennifer@GuidestoneColorado.org

guidestone volunteer holman ave farm site


Spring has sprung at the Salida School Garden!

With the Equinox just around the corner, trees beginning to bud and bees emerging, not only is spring on its way, it feels like it’s already upon us!

DSC_0872And with the change of season comes a flurry of fun school garden activities! We are very pleased to announce that the Colorado Health Foundation has awarded $70,000 to support many of these activities including further expansion of the Holman Farm Site, the implementation of education programs and Internship opportunities, a continued partnership with the SCC Agricorps youth corps, as well as strategic support for the middle school and elementary school education gardens.  We are very grateful for the support and eager for another successful season and community involvement! Below is more information about different ways you can get involved:

Production is an ongoing labor of love at the school garden, and we can always use extra helping hands!

G_Newsletter_3.5This year we’re inviting volunteers to join us every Wednesday from 5-8pm, and Friday from 9am-12pm throughout the growing season: April 15-October 16th.  We’d LOVE regular volunteers, but appreciate one time helpers too!  Tasks will vary depending on the season but could include bed prep, irrigation installation, seeding, transplanting, harvesting and washing produce! Families are always welcome, and children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.  To register CLICK HERE!

Growing Fruit Trees in Chaffee County

Do you ever get inspired by your neighbors’ apricot bounty, cherry pie, or apple sauce? Do you want to learn more from local experts about planting and growing fruit trees of your own? Come join us for Growing Fruit Trees in Chaffee County, a workshop for adults at the Salida School Garden- Holman Farm site!  March 31, 5-7 pm. For more information CLICK HERE!

Community Potlucks

Help us celebrate school gardens, good neighbors and good food, by sharing in a community potluck every last Thursday of the month, at the Holman Farm Site,  May through September, (May 28, June 25, July 30, Aug 27, Sep 24) Come at 5:00 for a garden tour, and or drop in at 6:00 for the meal! Bring your friends and family, a food item to share, and your own bowl, utensils, and cup/water bottle!


Are you looking for a summer position, want to learn more about gardening and contribute to the success of the Salida School Gardens Program? Guidestone is offering a paid Farm to School Production Internship this summer, from June 1-July 31.  This position will support all production aspects at the Holman Farm Site, support production at the other district education garden sites, and assist with marketing and sales of produce. For more information CLICK HERE!

As you can see, there is a lot going on at the school gardens this year, and a lot of ways that we hope you will join us in our efforts and in celebration!  This is not an exhaustive list, so stay tuned for additional events and opportunities. In the meantime, we hope you check out our website, stop by the garden, lend a helping hand, share a tasty meal, and stay in touch!