We’re rolling through Spring and in the midst of gardening season! For some of you, this increase in lovely warmer weather makes you want to be outside, feeling the dirt on your hands and introducing some new life to your gardening space.
We at Mesa County Libraries are excited about the abundance of new developments occurring within our Discovery Garden on the corner of Fifth Street and Chipeta Avenue in Grand Junction. This once-barren plot of land is now being filled with wonderful features to provide a peaceful setting for the community to enjoy educational programming, fresh food grown using pesticide-free and permacultural practices, and quiet relaxation in the heart of the city. The library has a dedicated bunch of staff and community partners working hard to better this special place.
One of the key areas where progress is being made (with huge help from community partners and grants) comes in the form of a hoop house. What does this mean and how is it bettering the Discovery Garden, you ask? Let’s learn!
A hoop house is a small-scale version of a greenhouse and an effective way to help extend your growing seasons through the colder months. Hoop houses are warmed by the sun and during the toastier summer months can be cooled through the use of vents, shade fabrics, and fans. They are usually constructed using heavy greenhouse plastic and a curved support frame of some sort using malleable metal pipes, plastic pipes, and wood.
The Discovery’s Garden hoop house was constructed using a wooden frame, plastic PVC pipes, and thick greenhouse plastic and was funded by a much-appreciated grant from the Mesa Conservation District. The hoop house was constructed by the members of the Discovery Garden committee with terrific help and dedication from Grand River Academy students. Inside the hoop house, we started growing colder-weather vegetables within the last couple months such as kale, mixed greens, radishes, and peas. We now have radishes ready to harvest and will soon begin planting some eggplants, tomatoes, and warm weather seeds. The hoop house plants have been watered with the help of an electric pump pulling water from rain barrels, furthering our vision of wasting as little as possible.
Due to the current times and the need to social distance we can only have a few people in the garden at once, so we are currently not accepting any volunteer positions. However, we encourage you to walk through the garden at your leisure to enjoy the space and the features within. Thank you for being a part of our community!