Valley Gardening: Houses of hemp

It continues to be a really awesome fall! The mornings are pretty brisk, but the late mornings and early afternoons are perfect.

Yesterday, Brett Rodman, with Absmeier Landscaping and Construction, gave me a call. He was ready to bring me some boulders for Mom’s Garden. Yahoo! He brought three loader buckets full and I am in heaven! I had rototilled the area on the north end of the garden, adding about 20 bales of soil conditioner, and even planted a few perennials and shrubs, but I didn’t have anything to “anchor” the garden…and now I do.

I will be able to get a sore back on Sunday, as we roll these rocks into place, and I am happy about that.  I’m overjoyed. Many, many thanks to Adrian Absmeier for helping me with this project! I hardly even have to ask him and he is willing to help—both at Society Hall and for Mom’s Garden. You should check out their business on the south end of Alamosa, Highway 285. What they have in stock doesn’t fully represent what they carry, (and do) because they are so busy, and stock is rotating that fast. Tell them I sent you. And thanks again, Adrian!

Meanwhile, Catlin’s Greenhouse has been sold. Wow! I’m hearing that Joyce Catlin is giddy at not having to plant this year. I can certainly understand, as she has been running that place for over 40 years. I’m not going to give her age, but I’m jealous, and hope to be there in 7-8 years. I sincerely hope she enjoys retirement. The great thing about Catlin’s is that if I didn’t have something at my shop, I could give them a call, and see if they carried it. And they would do the same back at me. You can’t do that with every competitor. I will miss that. Thanks Joyce, and Larry (RIP), Brad and Lori for making the Valley beautiful for so many years!

The greenhouse was sold to some of the hemp farmers. So it will continue to be a growing operation, only different. This hemp stuff is something else. We all are going to hear more and more and more about hemp in the future. We need to embrace the potential.

I have one customer, Gene, who is pretty intense when it comes to experimenting on what we (folks in the Valley) might be able to do with the by-product of the hemp plant. The by-products would be the stalk, the hurd, the bast fiber, and even the leaves. He has made springs and building blocks and even an I Beam out of hemp. When Gene talks you can just see the excitement—hear it too. But then, he gets technical and I get lost (go figure). I am trying to spread his ideas, so that we can combine the energy and the ideas and do something really great for the Valley.

My dream would be our own little village of Tiny Homes made out of hemp. And only for vets who need housing. That would be really wonderful, don’t cha think? Anyone else have that dream out there in hemp land? Come by and I will show you what Gene is up to.

In a few minutes (on Friday) I’m going to head out for a quick tour of the new judicial center, a/k/a courthouse. A friend/supporter was in earlier and she was going to head out there with a towel in hand, to take a shower—lol. For those of you who don’t know, lol stands for lots of laughter. Through the grapevine (certainly a reliable source), I am hearing that the showers were a requirement for LEED certification—according to one of our county commissioners.

However, a friend brought me a copy of the letter from our county administrator and she wrote that the showers were not required. They were built to “encourage employees to exercise and maintain healthy activities on their breaks and lunch hours.”

My first question would be how long are the breaks? My second question would be “why couldn’t they walk to the recreation center, exercise, shower, and then get a taxi ride back to work?”

Time will tell how we afford this building and the jail and everything that goes along with them. Sometime soon, I will find out how much tax revenue has actually been collected and were it is being spent. Wouldn’t it be great if the loan(s) could be paid off ahead of time? Kind of like we are encouraged to do with mortgages. Cut back on principal? Just a thought.


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