High Altitude, Short Season Seeds

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I’ve been killing plants here in Estes Park for six years now. Last summer I decided to take a different tack, working with hardy, native and/or short season plants well adjusted to our (lack of) summers. Phase one was a re-landscaping of our cabin, with a combination of native and hardy edibles and perennials…currants, rhubarb, sand cherries, rasberries, cacti, and so on. The shrubs grew nicely in their first year, though we gathered but a single berry from most. We’ll see what bounty they raise in their second year.

This summer it’s all about food! I built six raised beds behind our rental property out of an old deck that was being thrown away and filled them with honest-to-goodness “well rotted manure” from the pile at Elkhorn Lodge stables. I’ll use a bunch of seeds that I’ve had on hand for the new gardens…seeds that I’ve collected from survivors here in the small cabin gardens. I also ordered a bunch of seeds from Seed Savers Exchange. Not to mention a stunning seed catalog, they have a wide…no, enormous variety of cold weather, short season, high altitude seeds available. So we’ll be growing Hidatsa Shield and Dragon Tongue beans, All Blue potatos, Silvery Fir Tree tomatos, Rostov sunflowers, and a delicious looking lettuce mix.

I’m planning on filling out the ranks with some Botanical Interests seeds, including quinoa, amaranth, carrots, and kale. It’s a bit early to start the seeds here, even indoors….so check back in mid March when I will start all the seedlings!

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