Valley Gardening: Charity challenge: Guess when the snow will melt

Well….it has certainly been cold this past week! If you can just hold on one more week, it is supposed to be 32 next Friday, and then 35 and then 36, etc. A real heat wave, with some serious melting no doubt.  And then, it will get cold again. But January will be OVER!

Speaking of melting, there is a pile of snow on the south end of the Safeway parking lot—behind the Wet Paintbrush. I am always looking for ways to raise money for the non-profits we support so I figured a contest of guessing when that pile would melt would be fun! Right? (This is my WWRBDo idea for this week).

Come by the store and donate $1 and write your guess down. You can guess as many days as you want.  Fifty percent of the donation will go to one of my charities—Society Hall, Valley Humane League, SLV Cancer Relief Fund, senior center or the museum OR you can designate your charity of choice. Fifty percent will be donated back to the winner. If (and there surely will be) there is more than one guess for a day, the names will be thrown into a jar and the winning name will be drawn by Peyton Sanchez, or the chief of police, or the sheriff. I haven’t asked any of them yet, so if you see any of them, go ahead and ask.

I am also looking for three volunteers to determine when the pile is actually melted.  Are you interested? It really will be an easy job, I promise.

If you don’t want to volunteer for this project, maybe you want to volunteer for the Citizen Streets Committee. The City of Alamosa is needing volunteers to help them prioritize street repairs. The idea is also to try and put a 1/2 cent dedicated street sales tax before the voters in November. I have very mixed feelings on increasing sales tax, for any reason. And the feedback I am getting in my little world is in disbelief at the request.

I know that there are different funds within the city budget. But when I look at the city I see a new city hall and a new library, and a new fire station/police station (remodeled), and a new city garage, and an ice rink. I see new trucks everywhere. I see a new street sweeper that doesn’t work as well as the old street sweeper. I watch as the city employs people for 30 hours so they don’t have to pay insurances, etc. (a practice of the big box stores).

I don’t deny streets need to be taken care of, but what have we been doing the past 20-30 years? I know that I was told a few years ago that the area of State St. just north of my business down to where the work was done a few years ago on south State was in a “five year plan.” And now, we aren’t even a blip on the horizon. I’m thinking the road in front of Alta Fuels will have to get as bad as La Due, and then maybe…. From five years to “who knows when”—what happened?

The city is also looking for input on the “Downtown on the Rio” plan. Please get involved and fill out this survey. If you are not online, I am trying to get a hard copy for folks to fill out in person—wonder if they even allow that anymore? Sad if they don’t. I will keep you posted. P.S. I haven’t heard anything about the “guarantee letter” that I thought would be a good idea to get from CDOT, before any more money was spent on this project. Not surprising.

Meanwhile…the Amish greenhouse tomato growers are getting ready—YAHOO. They are starting to turn the soil, adding the Insect Frass, and setting off Pyrethrin “bombs” to be proactive against mites and aphids. Some might also add Neem Cake to the soil to help with building a natural resistance to those same pests, and also diseases. Just saying this doesn’t mean you should start your tomato and pepper seedlings quite yet, unless you have ideal growing conditions. But it won’t be long. 

Yikes…I almost forgot to say thanks to that Hero of Alamosa Jamie Dominguez for helping me clear the snow from the front of the store! AND, thanks to Tony Bobicki and his nice little Bobcat for clearing the snow and ice at Society Hall—so appreciated! Speaking of Society Hall…the last two concerts have been absolutely fabulous…I mean it’s hard to believe there is such a facility, in a town our size, for these musical events. You really should come to a concert. If you have never been before, the next event is February 5 and for newbies, the ticket is an outrageous $5! Give me a call at 719-580-7838 for more info. 

One last thing—if you want to see a really huge Amaryllis bulb bloom, come by the Green Spot towards the end of the week. Amazing!