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One revelation the COVID-19 crisis has produced is heightened awareness of the fragility of our food supply. The Colorado Master Gardenersm program at Colorado State University Extension has been using this time off to develop protocols for safe ways to return to community gardens, which helps fill some of the gaps in that supply chain while allowing people to go outdoors safely and productively.
The community gardens are activated sites in Littleton (Hudson Gardens, Pea Patch and Colorado Center for the Blind) and Greenwood Village (Silo Park), where CMGs interact with the public and share their wealth of knowledge about all things green. These gardening experts can also be found at local gardening centers or retailers, and people looking for gardening advice also are welcome to call the expert advice hotline at 303-730-1920.
Our CMGs are slowly returning to some of the gardens, always wearing masks and (gardening) gloves, and adhering to social distancing rules for interaction. In addition to being a great resource for members of the community for information, these demonstration gardens bring life to the areas where they reside as key pollinator habitats.
And most importantly, the gardens produce approximately two tons of food every year that is harvested and sent to local food banks. The CMGs are getting back out there to ensure that this year’s crop can safely be maintained and shared with those in need later in the season. “Each spring, the Master Gardener volunteers in Arapahoe County are eager to roll up their sleeves, work in these gardens, and grow healthy, nutritious food for others in our community,” said Lucinda Greene, assistant horticulturist and CMG program coordinator. “This year is no exception. In consultation with our local partners, we worked hard to implement safe practices at each of our gardens so that this essential work can continue in 2020.”
For more information, visit the CMG website.