Community Garden put to bed for the winter

High school students help cap completion of a successful first year

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Markayda May rototills at the Community Garden Wednesday as the local High School Leadership Montezuma members prepared the garden for the winter months. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Markayda May rototills at the Community Garden Wednesday as the local High School Leadership Montezuma members prepared the garden for the winter months.

On a windy 68-degree day, volunteers prepared Cortez’s Community Garden for the winter season on Wednesday.

“We’re winterizing or putting it to bed,” said Bobbi Neubarth, president of the Community Garden Board.

Neubarth was aided by volunteers and some 23 sophomore and junior high school students from across the county. They hoed and rototilled the ground, finished work on a fence and built compost bins. They also built some cold frames for use in growing winter crops like lettuce, carrots and peas.

The high school students, part of a Leadership Montezuma Team, were excited to help.

It was the first time in a garden for Montezuma-Cortez High School junior Joseph Gurule. “It’s helpful,” he said. “If they need help, I’m happy to help.”

“I like it a lot, doing something productive,” said Dove Creek High School junior Shelbie Knuckles.

“It’s fun to get it ready for next year,” said Corissa Guynes, also a Dove Creek junior.

Alex Prime, the program coordinator for High School Leadership Montezuma, said the students were participating as part of a service learning project.

Fifty volunteers helped with the garden this year, Neubarth said.

“We held 12 very successful workshops from soil building to preserving food,” she said. “We donated 253 pounds of food to the food bank, soup kitchen and low-income families.”

The garden has 13 plots, three of which were purchased and 10 which were sponsored by businesses and community members. Four of the latter were donated to Kemper and Manaugh elementaries, Tree House Daycare Center, and a low-income family.

Volunteers from the Cortez Community Garden were also sent to help with the community garden at the day labor center.

“I thank the community because without their support, it would have never been possible,” Neubarth said.

By all accounts, it was a successful first year for the garden, which is located at 1202 E. Empire St. next to the Children’s Kiva.

calebs@cortezjournal.com

Members of the High School Leadership Montezuma team prepare the Cortez Community Garden Wednesday afternoon for winter. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Members of the High School Leadership Montezuma team prepare the Cortez Community Garden Wednesday afternoon for winter.