Issue 3, September 2015
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MSTFP LOGO "Connecting our growing future with our farming heritage"
 Learning and Growing. Growing and Learning. 
Want to be a part of the school garden movement?
Your contributions are invaluable to the future of Montezuma School to Farm Project and the 2000+ students we serve. Every dollar counts, from purchasing seeds to building new gardens to paying for our professional school garden teams. Together we are building a nationally acclaimed program. 

Tax-deductible donations are always welcome and can be mailed to:
MSTFP via PO Box 694, Mancos, CO 81328
Please make checks out to the "Mancos Conservation District"
and specify "MSTFP" in the subject line
Donate through PayPal
MSTFP Presents:
Homespun Supper
at the Historic Mount Lookout Grange

An elegant evening of comforting, local cuisine.

October 17th beginning at 6:00PM
Limited tickets: $60 each - Sponsor a farmer’s seat for an additional $30
RSVP to Christine Foote at or 856-340-1655 with your full name, dietary restrictions, phone number, email, and main course preference.


- 2015 Menu -
90% Local Food - Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Dairy Free options 
Deviled Egg Duo
Smoked Trout Veggie Nori Roles
Bruschetta with Goat Cheese on Crostini
Massaged Kale, Carrot & Apple Salad with Lemon Avocado Tahini Dressing
Butternut Squash with Ginger & Lime Cream Swirl

Sirloin Steak with Sautéed Mushrooms, Onions & Peppercorn Sauce
with Roasted Rosemary Carrots and Garlic Mashers
-or- Wild Mushroom & Leek Risotto
with Roasted Rosemary Carrots and Warm Beet Salad

Flourless Chocolate Cake
with Beet Ice Cream 
-or-  Chef Kendra's Famous Carrot Cake

Tell All Your Friends: Mancos Youth Farmers Markets are Back!
Monday Sept. 21st & 28th, October 5th
3:30 - 4:30  on the front lawn of the Elementary School
Fresh school garden veggies, dried herbs, seeds, tshirts, visors, and more. 

Proceeds benefit the Mancos School Garden.
Learning From The Best
Sarah Syverson and Tyler Hoyt, respectively MSTFP's Director and Garden Coordinator at Cortez Middle School, attended the Edible Schoolyard Academy at the start of the summer season. The Academy is a comprehensive training focused on garden classrooms, garden kitchens and garden program administration. The training took place in Berkley, California where the Edible Schoolyard has spent over 20 years developing and refining their garden programs.  Our staff were surrounded by educators, administrators, parents and community programmers from across the country. They went to learn from the best, and the best did not disappointOur reps came back inspired by the program's ubiquitous cohesion in everything from language to processes. 

The Edible Schoolyard lies at the core of MSTFP's development; we've learned so much from them over the years and our community benefits on a regular basis from their programming. A training “WELL worth the time,” declares Sarah.  The Edible Schoolyard Academy’s structure expertly mimicked the experiential style of learning prominent in our garden classrooms. Giving our staff the same experience we want to give our students, in a word: Powerful. 

See if you can spot Sarah and Tyler in this video from the Edible Schoolyard!
Additional Edible Schoolyard Inspiration: Alice Waters, a founder of the Edible Schoolyard, received the National Humanities Award last week.  
Youth Farm Apprentices In Action!
Did you catch us at the Cortez Farmers Markets this summer? Tuesdays and Fridays brought eager apprentices to the garden, while Saturdays brought them to Farmers' Market. The program challenged students to think about the garden from a production perspective by calculating out plantings, quantifying harvests, recording sales. Participation in the markets provided apprentices with authentic experience to reflect upon and connect with garden processes.  Seven students completed the program this summer, earning a stipend, fresh weekly produce, and greater insight into the how's and why's of their garden.
When School's Out, Farm Camp Is In
Another successful season of Summer Farm Camp in the books! The program, coordinated by MSTFP as a part of Summer Playground Days at the Cortez Rec Center, paired nine weeks of Seed to Table concepts in the garden with active and creative outlets for roughly 45 kiddos between the ages of 5 and 10. Highlights from the summer session include debuting our observation bee hive, seeing grapevines produce their first year of fruits, and closing out the season in style with harvest pizzas and a plant-based fashion show.
A big thanks to Angi Sauk for letting Farm Camp once again expand its outdoor classroom to include Three Dog Night Farm. We love opportunities that not only expose students to new and different environments, but also showcase local growers. 
Inundated with AmeriCorps!
Back in June, a Denver-based AmeriCorps National Civilian Conservation Corps team (NCCC, if you want to be acronym savvy) joined forces with MSTFP for two weeks. Despite their short stay, the group worked at all of the school gardens and allowed us to accomplish massive, site-specific projects very quickly.  With this skilled group working alongside our garden staff and top-notch community volunteers, we installed a shade structure, shed, vertical growing beds and more. 

NOTE: AmeriCorps is a national program with over 75,000 members engaged in service annually. There are three branches: VISTA, State and National, and NCCC. MSTFP's regular staff includes one VISTA member, and multiple State and National members (also referred to as Direct Service members).
Patrick, Hannah, Sarah, Kelli, Kelli and Christine - AmeriCorps Direct Service and VISTA members.

Even More AmeriCorps!
Meet the newest additions to the MSTFP team: Patrick Alford, Hannah Hall, Sarah Smeltz, and Kelli Diaz. Along with Kelli Meeker (returning AmeriCorps Member), these folks just launched into year-long Direct Service AmeriCorps positions with Montezuma School to Farm Project. We're excited to see what they bring to the program. Give our newest team members a warm welcome if you see them around our towns! 
Spotlight on Kemper's "Hidden Garden"
Make your way alongside of Kemper Elementary School. Go all the way to the back where you can enter the school grounds through a gate in the chainlink fence. Continue on and follow the building as it curves in on itself. Nestled against the brick walls you'll find a secret garden really starting to gather some speed.  

Arched walkways (known by those who frequent the space as 'bean tunnels') guide students and visitors between square beds of abundance. A tool shed, pergola shade structure, circle of benches, adobe oven, sink for produce washing, cold frame, and carved wooden sign all stand tall as new features of the space. Students, volunteers and staff were hard at work this summer, and we're beyond impressed with their results. Special thanks to Ansel Baker and Brett LeCompte for their work on the adobe oven, as well as Tyler Willbanks and Tyler Lindell for their work on the shed and pergola, respectively.  Additional thanks to the Girl Scouts for designing the garden's new sign, and to Dave Sipe for carving it with such finesse. 
Swing by the Kemper Karnival on Sept 18th from 5-7pm.
You can have your family photo take in the garden!

Thank you to our local businesses! Your generous donations for building projects, 
tools, plants and seeds help us give every student an edible education. 
Stonertop Lumber, IFA, Slavens, Belt Salvage, ACE Builders Choice, Big R, Walmart,
City Market, Let It Grow, Cliffrose Garden Center and Gifts, Mesa Verde Garden Club,
Swallow's Nest Natural Building, ETL Deisgn
A Fresh (and Fishy) Take on Water Conservation
Students in Dolores arrived back at school this year to find a fascinating new learning lab situated just beyond their cafeteria.  Eight horizontal growing units and three vertical towers in conjunction with 300+ gallons of water now provide the foundation for the school's cutting edge aquaponics system. Different from the soil-filled gardens outside, this growing space involves recirculating, nutrient-rich water, clay pebbles and lava rock for vegetables, and space for more than a dozen for fish (Tilapia). It supplies a host of new opportunities to spotlight water conservation, nutrient cycles, biology, and physics (the list goes on) by garden staff and classroom teachers alike. An added bonus: the system's indoor location allows for year-round learning and growing. In time, the units will provide food for the cafeteria too. 

Gunther Hardt, a local aquaponics proponent and practitioner, designed, financed and spearheaded construction of the system. Students in the Dolores School's wood shop helped with the construction. The Montezuma School to Farm Project worked with Gunther to begin growing in the system's units and is excited to report two successful lettuce harvests to date. 

Interested in learning more? Food for the ears:
Thanks For Coming!
Back in June, we invited everyone out to our "Community on the Farm" Potluck. About 100 people joined us for the night's festivities - what a great turnout! Complemented by a roaring thunderstorm, live music from the Motones, poetry, badminton, cornhole, and a marathon of donkey petting (as pictured above), we'd say it was a evening of all-around jubilee and we're glad you came! If you missed it this year, we'll see you next time.
THANK YOU To our Local Support
Mancos, Dolores and Cortez School Districts
City of Cortez
Town of Mancos
Mancos and Dolores Conservation Districts
Mancos Valley Resources
Tierra Madre Herbs
Cliffrose Garden Center and Gifts
Kiwanis Club of Mesa Verde
Dolores Rotary Club
Coutts & Clark Western Foundation
First Southwest Bank
Sponsor Logos
Thanks for reading!
Until next time, follow us on:
For more information contact:
Sarah Syverson, MSTFP Director

Copyright © 2015 Montezuma School to Farm Project, All rights reserved.