Note: Yes, this post is about four season farming and the labyrinth that is Colorado water law, but please don’t be surprised if most of the pictures are of food. I have my priorities straight, you know!
My group spent the morning with Dr. Perry Cabot, an expert in water law. Oh my goodness, we learned so much!
I’ve had this conversation several times since Saturday…
“We were wrong about the rain barrels,” I say. “They are not legal in the city.”
“What??”, says my conversation partner. “Why not? That doesn’t make any sense!”
I don’t know if it makes sense or not, but Dr. Cabot explained that only people with well permits can have rain barrels and you have to apply for a permit to collect the water off your roof too! People in the city don’t have wells and the water that runs off the roof belongs to the people downstream.
Want to know more? Visit the Colorado Foundation for Water Education.
Lunch was just as amazing as breakfast.
Stomachs full, my group moved on to a session with Clara Coleman, a four-season farming consultant, formerly from Silt, CO. She showed us how to set up a garden or farm to grow food all year round!
Clara showed us two ways to build a hoop house, how to cover the plants to retain heat and even some clever tools for the modern gardener.
Many of the tools Clara used are either manual, such as the seeder in the picture, or use a cordless drill for power. She showed us how to prepare beds, seed at evenly spaced intervals, weed with ergonomically helpful tools and harvest greens with an ingenious device that uses tassels to collect delicate lettuces.
She also built a hoop house before our very eyes, beginning by bending metal hoops!
At the end of the day, I had a notebook (and brain) full of information I can use in my home garden and now I know more about small-scale farming too!. This was way more interesting than any professional conference I ever attended in the corporate world!!
The Follow the Farmer seminars are an annual event. Keep an eye on Joyful Noise Farm for the next one. Gardeners and anyone interested in our local food economy won’t want to miss it!
© 2013 Hungry Chicken Homestead
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