Skip to main content

Agriculture and Gardening
Agriculture and Gardening
18 members
2 questions
10 posts

Cally updated 23 days ago

New Beginning Farmers and Rancher Program in Montrose!

Hello everyone,

I formerly was the Operations Coordinator at the Daily Press and have since moved into a new role as the CFRT Program Manager for a new Beginning Farmers and Rancher Program that is start next January run by Valley Food Partnership. I wanted to share a little about the program will everyone.

In 2021, Valley Food Partnership (VFP) applied for a USDA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program Grant as part of its mission to creating a network of food and added cost producers that will create a vibrant and strong food system across the Uncompahgre Valley and the Western Slope.

In August 2021, VFP was awarded a 3-year grant to start a new project, in partnership with Holistic Management International, focused on providing new farmers and ranchers with holistic management, water conservation, and soil health training along with mentorship and internship opportunities with local experienced farmers and support with land access. This program was officially announced by USDA- NIFA October 27, 2021.

The Cultivating Farmers and Rancher that Thrive (CFRT) Program is committed to helping Hispanic, low-income, veterans, and specialty crop producers find a place in agriculture. These populations oftentimes find it hard to break into the business and we are committed to help remove barriers of entry.

The CFRT Program will consist of 11 classes with participants able to apply for mentorship and internship placements. CFRT will also be giving participants access to the Western Slope Food and Farm Forum, other special events, and several farm... (More)

Sean liked 4 months ago

Montrose County Fair

On Wednesday, July 28th I had the opportunity to participate in the “Brown Bag Lunch & Learn“ event held at the Event Center  at the Montrose County Fair. The topic of “Improving Soil through SOIL HEALTH” was presented by the Shavano Conservation District. Conservation Agriculture was initially introduced in the Montrose area between the years of 1999-2002. Integrating on-Farm practices with applied research over the past two decades has contributed to formation of the key principles of Conservation Agriculture as they are being incorporated today on a practical basis in “The Valley”: 1. Minimize Soil Disturbance   2. Maintain Living Roots  3. Plant Diversity  4. Maximize Ground Cover  5. Integrate Livestock. 

Following the presentation, participants of the “Brown Bag Lunch & Learn” event were provided with a 75 page color ”SOIL HEALTH Resource Guide” prepared by Green Cover Seed, headquartered in Bladen, Nebraska. The Resource Guide is available to the public at no charge by going to


Aleta liked a reply 2 months ago

Suggestions on digging in clay?

Hi everyone,

I've recently started trying gardening and landscaping to turn my ugly desert gravel yard into something a bit more pleasing to the eyes, but I've been running into an issue -- clay. There is so much adobe clay in the ground that it's incredibly difficult to dig in by hand (broke 2 shovels already), and I was wondering if anyone has experience in this and could give me any tips? I'm doing a variety of things such as digging post holes, trenches, and general leveling of certain areas. 

I was considering maybe a rototiller, but I'm not sure it would actually dig deep enough into the ground to loosen the soil without renting an industrial level one. I was also considering an auger, but I have similar reservations about that. If they would work, what size(s) would be appropriate? I'm only on ~1/8 acre and am only landscaping 2/3 of it. 

So far the best luck I've had is digging the clay when it's wet, but it becomes so heavy it's ridiculous. I'd also like to avoid wasting water on something like this if I can. Anyways, any tips would be appreciated! Thank you!

Aleta replied 5 months ago

Phacelia seed for planting in Montrose Gardens

Four months ago Cally Hale & Aleta Labak & I had a discussion on cover crops in this  NABUR Agriculture discussion group. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to pick up 4 pounds of Phacelia seed at Southwest Seed in Dolores, CO. 

Phacelia is a fantastic pollinator attractor! 

I am actively looking to distribute the phacelia seed to those interested in seeding the phacelia seed within the next week or so. Within 2 months, the phacelia will be flowering! 

In return for providing the phacelia seed at no cost, I am requesting that the phacelia grower provide me with photos & written observations of the phacelia plants as they develop to maturity. 

If you are interested in seeding phacelia, please contact me prior to the 4th of July by texting to: 605.890.2600 or emailing me at:

Please be ready to let me know the amount of phacrlia seed that You are interested in planting: 

Phacelia Seeding rate:

4 oz / 1,000 sq. ft. / 0.11 kg / 92.9 sq.meters

Phacelia Seeding depth:

1/4 in > 1/2 in depth /  6.35 millimeters / 12.7 millimeters 

Looking forward to hearing from You before the Fourth of July.