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




Spring in the Salida School Gardens!

Students from Longfellow Elementary, Salida Middle School and Horizon’s Exploratory Academy have been working throughout the spring to transform their gardens into a thing of beauty once again! Each of the 3 SSD garden sites have seen many enthusiastic students throughout the past few weeks.  Here is a recap of some of the highlights:

Longfellow Elementary students assist with weeding the pumpkin patch bed.

·       At the Longfellow Elementary garden, 16 classes from K-4th grade, have engaged in spring seed planting activities and bed prep over the last few weeks. Lessons in plant life cycles, climate, and seasonal changes in the garden are woven into each visit.  A new rock lined bed was constructed and will house some flowering bushes and a variety of pollinator attracting plants. All the beds and garden grounds were cleaned up and debris removed.  Soil amendments and mulch were purchased and added to several beds. Through funding from SOSS, materials, supplies, garden library books, binders holding lesson plans, garden activities and resources have been purchased and will soon be at the students and their teacher’s finger tips and arranged on shelving in the garden shed. Lake Valley Seeds in Boulder donated a huge box of seeds for the garden.  Thanks Lake Valley Seeds! Check out the new hummingbird feeder the next time you are near!

·       At the Salida Middle School garden, the 5th grade classes have been assisting with annual bed prep in anticipation of spring planting.  Spring starts were planted and are growing in the classroom. A few new bird houses and hummingbird feeders were purchased and will soon be hanging in the garden. One class participated in a “Poetry in the Garden” lesson and tried their hand at writing garden Haiku. We received a generous donation of seeds from Botanical Interests to grow in the SMS garden this year.  Thank you Botanical Interests!

Horizons Exploratory students plant onions.

·       A huge thanks goes out to Horizon’s Exploratory Academy students for all their efforts at the Holman Farm site. Mrs. Ceglowski’s class has been working twice a week for the last month to plant beds, weed, prep, lay irrigation, water, and provide a variety of other essential garden needs. The success of all three of our garden sites relies on the district-wide efforts of our students and their teachers.

Celebrate National Farm to School Month!


October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate connections happening all over the country and in YOUR neck of the woods between schools and local food!

According to the National Farm to School Network- Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips.

carrot-eatersOver the past decade, the farm to school movement has exploded across the United States, reaching millions of students in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Farm to school is an important tool in the fight against childhood obesity and food insecurity. In addition to improving child health, when schools buy local, they create new markets for local and regional farmers and contribute to vibrant communities, a win-win-win scenario!

Since 2011, Guidestone Colorado has been working with the Salida School District and LiveWell Chaffee County to develop a comprehensive Farm to School Initiative that supports the Salida School Gardens: Healthy Food, Healthy Growing Program.  Operating on three school garden sites, this program aims to be a model for food production and education integration into the schools that can be replicated throughout the Arkansas River Valley and shared with other rural communities throughout the state.

leg-gardenGuidestone’s Farm to School Initiative supports a continuum of engagement to provide opportunities for students from Pre-K through High School to engage with the Longfellow Elementary School and Middle School gardens as well as the Holman Farm site. In 2016, over 800 students participated in garden based hands on activities, lessons and service learning opportunities. Over the summer, local and visiting youth participated in garden camps, garden clubs, and a Youth Farmers Market that is held in partnership with the Salida Boys and Girls Club.

From the School Farm, the school district receives carrots, peas, kale, chard, tomatoes, spinach, beans, squash, cucumbers, and basil that are directly incorporated in to healthy district meals by school district food service staff. To help celebrate Farm to School Month, food service staff has cooked up a fun plan to engage students. Salida schools will participate in a taste test vote to decide between a carrot muffin and a healthy pumpkin bar.  The students will choose their favorite and the winning choice will be served on Halloween.

Whether you are a food service professional, a farmer, a teacher or a food-loving family, there are plenty of ways to celebrate and get involved in National Farm to School Month! The National Farm to School Network offers a variety of free resources on its website, farmtoschool.org, including posters, stickers and a communications toolkit.  You can also visit coloradofarmtoschool.org for more information and resources about Farm to School in Colorado.

To get more involved with Guidestone’s Farm to School Initiative and the Salida School Gardens program, please contact info@guidestonecolorado.org.

farm to school logo

Guidestone and Colorado Proud School Meal Day!

co-proudOn Wednesday September 14, we celebrate the annual Colorado Proud School Meal Day. This day celebrates Colorado agriculture and helps to educate school-children about healthy eating. Coinciding with harvest season, there is a lot to celebrate!
Colorado farms and ranches produce abundant food resources. The agribusiness in the state puts 40 billion dollars into the state’s economy and provides for 170,000 jobs.  There are over 37,000 farms and ranches in the state encompassing more than 31 million acres   (Data compiled from the Colorado Department of Agriculture img_1018website).

Here in Salida, Guidestone’s Farm to School Initiative supports the growing and procurement of locally grown, healthy foods for district cafeterias, and fosters educational opportunities and curriculum connections both in the classroom and through experiential farm and ranch field trips.  In addition to the Holman farm site which produces food for the school district’s meals, Guidestone also provides support and maintenance of the gardens at Longfellow Elementary school and Salida Middle School.

img_1040On Wednesday, meals served in the Salida School District will feature produce grown at the Holman Farm site.  After school on Wednesday at both Longfellow Elementary and the Salida Middle school freshly picked carrots will be served up to students as we talk about Colorado Proud Day and the benefits of healthy eating.  Come join us at 3:45 at either of these sites for a healthy, delicious and nutritious snack and celebrate the bounty of harvest season and the abundant foods that Colorado has to offer!

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.