A Year In Review

Happy New Year Friends and Neighbors! 2019 is officially in the rearview and the opportunities of a new decade lay ahead. During this reflective time of year, all of us at New Roots Co (NRCO) find ourselves reminiscing on the challenges we faced and accomplishments we celebrated in 2019, most notably, turning one year old! Please join us as we take a look back on our inaugural year…

By: Shawna Wood

Happy New Year Friends and Neighbors! 2019 is officially in the rearview and the opportunities of a new decade lay ahead.  During this reflective time of year, all of us at New Roots Co (NRCO) find ourselves reminiscing on the challenges we faced and accomplishments we celebrated in 2019, most notably, turning one year old!  Please join us as we take a look back on our inaugural year…

NRCO was founded by a small group of committed volunteers with a shared vision of building a strong local food system in Eagle County, Colorado. This vision turned movement has resulted in at least 700 hours of volunteer labor, more than 4,000lbs of fresh produce provided to Eagle County residents and over 800 individuals served!

NRCO has formed partnerships with more than a dozen organizations, strengthening connections between key food system stakeholders and building a resilient network of local food partners. During our Food System Summit in February, we brought the community together for genuine conversation and authentic networking opportunities to identify the unique needs of our local producers and issues facing our food system.

Founder and President, Adam Fenton, created and continues to host the New Roots Community Radio Hour on Radio Free Minturn.  Notable people making a difference in the community join him on the show for talk and tunes every other Thursday morning at 9am on 107.9 Radio Free Minturn.  You can also catch his interviews by listening to our Podcast on Spotify, iTunes and SoundCloud. Tune in and/or subscribe for insights into food systems, food justice, climate change and more!

This summer, NRCO created a free educational garden class series catered to beginner and intermediate gardeners looking to strengthen their horticultural skills.  Master Gardener and Permaculture Designer, Lanny Ellis led classes on soil health, biodiversity and water conservation, among other topics. 

We are also excited to announce NRCO was awarded its first grant, which will be spent in partnership with Colorado State University Extension in Eagle.  Funding will go toward an interpreter for their Master Gardener course, which will now be offered in Spanish for the first time ever! We’re happy to be part of this new opportunity, increasing access to educational experiences formally unavailable to many members of our community.

We are proud of all that we have achieved during our first year as New Roots Co, none of which would have been possible without those who have supported us along the way.  A HUGE thanks goes out to all the volunteers, partners and community leaders who have made this work possible. A strong community of committed groups and individuals has begun turning our vision into a reality. Again, thank you for all the work you do, and please stay tuned for more projects and volunteer opportunities!  We wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

Hot Summers and Water

It’s August and we are feelin’ HOT HOT HOT here in the Eagle River Valley – and so are our plants!  While it is important to keep our vegetation watered and happy during these sunny summer days, A LOT of water gets wasted this time of year.  About 30% of household water is used outdoors and over half of it is spent on just lawns and gardens…GASP! But don’t you worry! It is possible to use less water AND keep your yard healthy.  “How?” you ask? The answer is in the soil!

Did you know, soil health is critical when trying to improve water efficiency in our gadens?  It’s true! Healthy soil holds more water meaning you don’t have to break out the hose nearly as often.  It also prevents runoff, saving even more water from washing away. Interested in enriching your dirt? Here are a few helpful tips…

To beef up your landscape’s soil health, try minimizing, or eliminating completely, the use of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, as these disrupt the delicate balance of the soil food web.  Our garden beds are home to a vibrant ecosystem, one that if maintained, will provide the soil with most of the nutrients it needs to thrive. Harsh chemicals found in pesticides and fertilizers, on the other hand, can damage this important ecosystem, actually causing the need for more plant care and increased watering.

In lieu of the chemical approach, try applying organic, non-synthetic fertilizers like compost tea.  Nutrient-rich and natural, this liquid gold revitalizes the soil food web by supporting the processes that already enrich the world beneath the ground.  Soil treated with compost tea has shown to require less water and synthetic fertilizers, leading to significantly improved plant health AND huge savings on your water bill.  Shout out to our friends at  The GroundUp and the CSU Extension for helping us to understand the importance of healthy soil and please visit their websites for more water-saving techniques and gardening tips!

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