May 30, 2014 | Featured Instructor

A good day on the mountain is a day you don’t have to go to “down below”. “Down below” in Alaska refers to the lower 48.  “Down below” in Colorado means anywhere off the mountain – like the town where the grocery store is. After we’ve saved up errands and we are completely out of toilet paper, someone negotiates being the one to go. This is when the one who gets to stay home starts adding things to the list.  This can be dangerous.

Some days it is so ridiculous you have to bail before you are done – crumpling the list and diving back into the truck to bomb back up the hill as fast as you can. 
As I ascend, the heat, the stop lights, the chaos, peels away and falls off as the truck climbs the mountain.  The temperature drops considerably as I crest the pass and when I come over the top and see the amazing view as I descend over the other side, the business and heat of town is merely a distant memory.  I can’t even remember why I bolted as I enjoy the Penstemons blooming along the way.

If you desire experiencing the "Up Above,"  join the Gardens in the beautiful Wet Mountains touring Penn and Cord Parmenter’s High Altitude Gardens and Greenhouses.  We will discuss shade growing veggies, fruit, composting, soil building, season extenders and more.  This walking, talking, educational tour includes demonstrations, examples and two totally sustainable passive solar greenhouses.  The setting is gorgeous, bring your camera, a sack lunch, water, the usual stuff.   See you on the mountain!  Register online for the High Altitude GardenTour (2 dates to choose from!  June 6th and August 21st) or find out more information at our website or call 720-865-3580.

GUEST BLOGGER: Penn Parmenter

Penn and Cord have been gardening and growing food in the Wet Mountains north of Westcliffe, Colorado since 1992. Their three abundant gardens sit on a mountain at 8,120 ft. and feature numerous high altitude growing methods.  Penn and Cord bring 21 years of experience to this approach and are passionate about emulating nature and chemical-free growing. Everyone can grow clean food and we intend to inspire you to look again, at what is all of ours to enjoy – the abundance and sustenance of nature!

Visit their website at


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