You may have wondered how the first settlers were able to grow enough food to feed their families.
Now you have the chance to see it first hand.
“Making Hay: A Field Hand’s Supper” is a special event at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, Colo., on Sunday, June 10, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
This is your chance to experience life as an 1887 homesteader, then view prairie wildlife as you enjoy a one-of-a-kind heirloom, organic supper cooked on a wood stove and served outdoors.
This unique program will help you appreciate the challenges of plains farmers as they struggled to bring in a harvest plentiful enough to feed their families and take a cash crop to market.
You’ll also be able to discover how the heirloom crops of yesteryear evolved into the high production crops of today.
Christmas in the Soddies is a special event at the Plains Conservation Center. Join other modern-day pioneers to celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas in the sod Village of Wells Crossing, Saturday, Dec. 4 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.
It was love at first sight when I stepped out of the present and into the past at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, Colo. Now I know whenever I feel the need to travel back in time, there’s a place just a short drive away.
You, too, can experience a bit of time traveling this Saturday at the Center’s annual Christmas in the Soddies event. For those new to the Colorado plains, soddies are buildings made from sod–the only material available to pioneers when they first arrived here.
In these soddies, you’ll be able to eat holiday cookies baked in a wood-fired stove and create old-fashioned tin-punch ornaments, just like the settlers in 1887.
During the season’s harvest, remember to donate extra vegetables, herbs and fruit to your local food pantry, soup kitchen, church or social agency.
When I was at the Plains Conservation Center on Saturday, I learned that much of the fresh produce grown in the heirloom garden was donated to help feed hungry families.
Tudi Arneill, Plains Center executive director, said all of the pumpkins remaining in the garden would also be donated.
Gardeners in the Denver and Fort Collins area have reported donating more than 200 pounds of fresh vegetables to the Plant a Row for the Hungry effort this year. I have a feeling many more took their gardening bounty to Food Bank of the Rockies donation sites, but didn’t report their contributions.
If you still have some tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, or other produce growing in your garden and you’re wondering what to do with it, please donate it to a food agency site in your neighborhood and let me know your totals. Just send an email to me at jodi@WesternGardeners.com.
Harvest on the Homestead at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, Colo., featured an apple pie contest, zuke shoot, music, fresh-pressed apple cider, and the chance to enjoy some old-timey fun.
I had the chance to sample 14 delicious apple pies and judge each on its looks and taste. It was a tough job, but I was glad to do it.
The blue ribbon, and a copy of The Colorado Gardener’s Companion, went to Jessica Olin of Lakewood with her pie called “Lattice Drizzle.” That pie got equally high marks on its fancy crust and delicious filling.
The apple pie contest was held inside the yurt that sits near the Plains Center’s visitor center and was just one of the many fun things to do at the event.
The Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, Colo., is a historic farm and living classroom where visitors can learn what it was like to live on the plains in 1887.
I was writing about the heirloom garden at the Plains Conservation Center and wanted a first-hand experience of feeding the chickens, roosters and cattle, meeting the blacksmith and standing inside a one-room sod house.
I loved every second as my imagination took me away.
I don’t live too far from the Plains Center–as the crow flies–so the glimpse backward hit close to home. It was easy for me to stand on the windy prairie, look north and visualize what the plains looked like before development took over. I’m so grateful this place preserves over 1,000 acres of open space for generations to come.