La Puente's Valley Educational Gardens Initiative - VEGI

VEGI (the Valley Educational Gardens Initiative) cultivates garden-based nutrition education and community gardens throughout the San Luis Valley- join us!

VEGI is a collaborative organization of local schools, non-profits, and the community to provide hands-on education in schools and gardens across the Valley. We are a program of La Puente Home and work as a partner organization to the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley.

We currently provide 270 classroom and garden-based lessons for K-5 students in Alamosa during the school year. In the summer, we offer Garden Camps and programs in Alamosa, Del Norte, and Blanca-Ft. Garland. Stay connected with us for updates, tips, events, and info on how you can get involved to help make community gardening a success in the Valley!

Community Garden Nights are every Tuesday (May-October) at the Boyd Community Garden (11th and State in Alamosa). Boyd is a community food growing and sharing space, raising vegetables to donate to the Food Bank and to those who help with the garden.

Volunteer opportunities, internships, donating to the gardens, and helping with events are all options for community involvement!

We strive to meet immediate needs for nutritious foods through addressing root causes of food insecurity and health issues in our Valley. We work to build awareness and access to resources to grow nourishing produce in our own backyard. We are fueled by the community, so come be a part of our great work!

Mission: The Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI) connects communities and partners across the San Luis Valley with garden-based educational opportunities and resources. Our programs encourage youth to make healthy choices from seed to harvest, and our garden spaces cultivate nutrient-dense produce that benefits area households, La Puente programs, and partner agencies.

Some more pictures from our Boyd Community Garden Night Kick-Off!

Thank you to everyone who came out to support La Puente's Valley Educational Gardens Initiative - VEGI start to the growing season and the beginning of weekly garden nights at Boyd Community Garden.

It was a great community gathering, thank you to San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition for helping sponsor the event.

Boyd Community Garden Night Kick-Off was a blast! Thanks to all who joined and helped in the garden, to the musicians, 40 below, and to the organizations who came out! Special the la to San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition for helping out on such a great event!

Hope to see everyone throughout the season every Tuesday from 5-7pm at Boyd Community Garden. 🙂

Earth Week reflections: This may not look like much, but on Earth Day, VEGI planted for the future. This mini orchard will produce 5 different varieties of apples. It will teach the youth of our community how to be stewards to our planet and the life that feeds them.

We are so grateful to our supporters and volunteere for making Phase 1 of the Boyd Learning Garden happen! Special shout out to Catherine, Daria, Michelle, and Marilyn - who planted these trees in the pouring, freezing rain!

Had a great time at the Container Gardening Workshop at ASU Campus Garden yesterday as part of Hunger Education Week.

Participants used recycled materials to start their own container gardens - they will be growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs indoors.

Thanks to all who joined!

Join us tomorrow, April 9, at ASU Campus Garden in Alamosa at 4 pm to learn about growing your own container garden!

First signs of spring in Boyd Community Garden with the PALS - overwintered spinach and garlic sprouting! 🌱

VEGI has a new logo! We made stickers that are available in our office at the Foodbank. We simply ask that you support us with a $2 donation. Stop by anytime!

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect evening and we couldn't have done it without you.

Thank you to all those who helped make this event possible and stay tuned for updates about the Boyd Learning Garden.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support La Puente's Valley Educational Gardens Initiative - VEGI Kick-Off.

It was a delicious farm-to-table dinner in a gorgeous venue to support the work VEGI does to help fight hunger by changing hearts and habits.

Gratitude to all our donors and volunteers who made this event possible.

Watermelon?! In March?!

Can't wait to try these watermelon radishes from Hobbs Family Farm at the VEGI Kick-Off Dinner this Thursday!

Had a great time at the Microgreen Workshop this weekend! Thanks to all who came out, and to the Narrow Gauge Book Cooperative for hosting us!

So grateful for all the moisture this winter has brought us ❄💧

Happy AmeriCorps Week!

VEGI is so grateful for our AmeriCorps service members. Catherine is endlessly creative in delivering children's garden programming in the SLV, as well as using her keen design mind to make VEGI a more colorful place. We are also grateful for our newest part-time AmeriCorps member, Daria, who brings so much knowledge and passion about plants to our programming.

Thanks for all you do, ladies!

What's for dessert at the VEGI Kick-Off Farm-To-Table dinner? Beets me... 😉

Tickets available at: www.lapuente.net/news

audubon.org

Native Plants

Check out this cool resource from the Audubon Society that links you to which native plants attract which birds. Supporting biodiversity on our land and in our community is so important!

audubon.org

So excited for this collaboration with Square Peg Brewerks!

Make sure to get your tickets to our Kick-Off Dinner to see what we have in store.

Thanks Alamosa Community Greenhouse for the fresh rosemary!

(purchase tickets here: http://lapuente.net/news)

Grateful for our Grow Dome that stays green all winter long!

The spinach we planted a couple months ago is finally taking off, and we're excited to see radishes popping up that you just might see at the VEGI Kick-Off dinner... ;)

Let La Puente Home, Inc. love on ya!

Let us love on ya!

Don't forget to join us for a pre-evening Valentine thank you event for our supporters today at Milagros Coffee House.

The Community Seed Exchange this past weekend was a blast!

Thanks to all who shared their seeds and knowledge with our community on Saturday - can't wait to see everyone's gardens growing!

Friendly reminder that the Community Seed Exchange is happening this Saturday, January 26th.

Join us! We look forward to seeing you there!

La Puente Home, Inc.

"For a community to whole and healthy it must be based on people's love and concern for each other."

Thank you everyone who supports our mission to offer hope to those who need it most.

Because at La Puente, together we are family.

La Puente is our community's response to address the effects of poverty by providing a safety net of services, where individuals and families get that they need to stabilize, heal, strengthen, and ultimately thrive.

To learn more about how you can support our efforts www.lapuente.net/volunteer/community

[01/17/19]   VEGI is now on Instagram!

Follow what we're up to @vegi_lapuente

La Puente Home, Inc.

Colorado Gives Day is here! For every dollar you donate today through www.ColoradoGives.org/lapuente, a proportionate amount of the $1 Million Incentive Fund will also go towards La Puente, giving your donation even more power.

If there was ever a day to donate to La Puente, it’s today!

V.E.G.I. is enjoying being part of Alamosa Elementary's 3-5 Enrichment schedule.

Today, the students got to learn about local foods - what that phrase means, why they're better for our communities, as well as the many foods we grow and have here in the San Luis Valley!

The PALS got to learn about different types of soil yesterday, and they also got to try soil painting.

We love our weekly VEGI time with the PALS!

A bittersweet goodbye to our dearest Claudia.

As your time with V.E.G.I. draws to a close, we find that there are not enough words to express the impact that you have had on this program and this community. We are endlessly grateful for the passion and heart that you put into all you do, especially with V.E.G.I. over the past three years.

We will miss you, but can't wait to see where you will take your passion next. All the love.

naturespath.com

Gardens For Good - Nature's Path

Hey ya'll... we have a remarkable 190 votes so far on the Gardens for Good grant. This is incredible, and we need more votes to keep up with the top 9 highest recipients to qualify for $15,000 for VEGI! We are half-way to the deadline (October 15), so please vote if you haven't already and SHARE to your timeline if you haven't already!! We really appreciate the support, and thank you for voting once per email address! Lots of garden love, - the VEGI ladies

naturespath.com

[10/05/18]   Start saving those seeds for next years gardening!! A good place to swap local seeds will be the annual Nielsen Library Seed Exchange scheduled for Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 2p to 4p in Nielsen Library on ASU campus. Mark your calendars!

Nielsen library and Seed Librarian Mary Walsh host a local seed bank for check out free to the community.. an amazing resource! The bank is stocked from seeds local gardeners harvest from their gardens in the fall to share before seed starting in the winter. Great array of varieties adapted to SLV growing conditions and considerations.

Mary will send out another reminder in early January, but since this is the time of year when we are harvesting seeds, this is a little reminder to harvest for sharing. Isn't it wonderful to share?

Thanks so much!

Stone Soup 2018

For those who missed last week's Stone Soup... Our PALS director Don was phenomenal in bringing the story to life for Alamosa Elementary students. #magic

naturespath.com

Gardens For Good - Nature's Path

Please vote for us!!! This grant will be made to the top voted programs, and we would love to have it for VEGI’s community gardens. Thank you for taking a moment to help out!!

naturespath.com The annual Gardens for Good grant helps empower urban garden projects to grow organic food and nourish their communities. The program has supported 24 gardens across North America with $15,000 grants over the last 8 years.

Stone Soup 2018

Up to 580 kinder through second grade students at Alamosa Elementary got to harvest vegetables from the garden over the past week. Yesterday, they added them to the soup, and got to try the soup!

Special thanks to Ms. Laura's third grade classroom for baking bread in the outdoor horno this year! It was a delicious addition to the garden vegetable soup.

Also, a huge thank you to all of our volunteers and readers from the community who helped to make this event possible. We appreciate you!

Representative Donald Valdez graced us with his presence during 3-5 Garden Enrichment today! He talks with a group of girls about his political leader ship and how important it is to grow healthy food! Thanks to Melissa Fritschka for volunteering with harvest lessons as we lead into Stone Soup TOMORROW!!

VEGI is now an official partner of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network.. meaning we measure and record precipitation in the gardens each day... and are recording a high so far of .40 inch from last night's lovely rain!

[09/14/18]   Just a heads up.. we had a frost last night at Boyd Garden, killing the outdoor basil plants. Doesn't look like any sub 32 degree temperatures are in the forecast this weekend, but may be a good idea to start covering those tomatoes and more frost-sensitive plants!

[09/06/18]   Want to learn how to make your own pesto utilizing local basil?? Join us for a ....

Pesto Making Workshop and Party!

The Alamosa Community Greenhouse had a bumper crop of basil this year. They will be hosting a pesto making workshop this Sunday, September 9, 3pm at the Alamosa Presbyterian Church, 330 San Juan Avenue. Cost will be $10. Participants will have the hands-on experience of processing the basil and garlic into this scrumptious culinary favorite and take home about a pound of pesto each.

In addition, a potluck supper will be held, centered around a large pot of pasta with fresh pesto. If interested in staying for the potluck, please bring a dish or beverage to share.

Stone Soup 2018 is coming up.. Thursday September 27th! We are looking for celebrity readers, as well as people to help with coordinating this tremendous event the day of - especially between 12-3pm. Let us know if you'd like to be involved in this final harvest celebration of the season at Alamosa Elementary School Learning Garden!

Eat a rainbow of vegetables!

Here is our AmeriCorps member, Catherine, posing with today's lunch salad at La Puente Homeless Shelter.

All produce was harvested this morning from our Boyd Community Garden and the La Puente Grow Dome.

(kale, arugula sprouts, purple cauliflower, green beans, nasturtiums, tomatoes, and chives)

Join us tomorrow at Boyd Garden for garden night from 5-7 to share in the harvest!

Thank you to our wonderful partners over at Montezuma School to Farm Project for hosting their School Garden Educator and Production training in Cortez this week. It's been an incredible learning experience for us here at VEGI. We are so grateful to share our mission... to feed kids the wisdom and foods they need these days through the powerful educational tool of a school garden. Also LOVE Cortez :)

Our partners over at the SLV Local Foods Coalition are gearing up for the 6th Annual Local! Harvest Festival. This year's festivities include a Farm Tour Day on 8/25, with lunch at our very own Boyd Community Garden, and an all-day harvest fest Sunday Aug. 26th at the Rio Grande Farm Park.

Consider volunteering or attending one of these great events! https://www.slvlocalfoods.org/ for more details

Don't forget to join us for Garden Nights, every Tuesday at Boyd Garden 5-7 PM (corner of 11th and State)

An ode to our beloved outgoing Garden Coordinator... Tessa Lance! You did an amazing job teaching the kids about their veggies over the past year... an then, actually being a veg! Best to you in your new endeavors. We will always have a special place for you in our garden hearts!

ASU campus community garden is going to be getting their garden planned with some fall-baring veggies tomorrow evening, Wednesday 5-7pm. Would love some extra help! The garden is off Murphy drive by the Gingerbread House on ASU campus.

Plus some pics of Boyd Garden taken tonight... Really coming along. Thank you to wonderful volunteers!!!

Come pick your own plump sugar snap peas from the Boyd Garden hoophouse. They are in their prime right now!

[06/27/18]   anyone have straw bales for donation or for sale? Someone came by and cut ours apart at A.E.S. :( and so we are need of about a dozen new ones for seating in our outdoor classroom!

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Videos (show all)

Stone Soup 2018
Growing VEGI: Valley Educational  Gardens Initiative

Location

Category

Address


513 6th St.
Alamosa, CO
81101
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