It’s almost May in Colorado and while we have seen snow in June before, it’s planting season for you home-growers out there.

It’s tricky to know exactly when to plant in Colorado, but the results can feed a family (or several) all summer long.  Lower grocery costs, frequent outdoor activity, healthy eating, and organic produce at its finest — gardening is a labor of love with numerous benefits.  Home veggie gardens, herb gardens, and fruit trees can do extremely well during Colorado summers if you have some time, space, and water to devote to the cause.

Each plant has a mind of its own, requiring different levels of sunshine, water, weeding, insect control, planting time, and planting depth.  No need to worry though, planting guides are all over the internet, including this guide from the Home Grown Foods Organization located right here in Fort Collins.

Home Grown Food Planting Calendar

Personally, I have found the May growing season to be a great way to give mother’s day gifts.  Herbs, veggie seedlings, and flowers are always a fail-safe in my family.

However, for those of you who may not have the time, resources, or desire to grow your own little dirt babies, Fort Collins is also home to several prolific CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).

These CSAs offer a “share” in their locally grown produce.  Community members buy in and, in return, are provided with seasonal crops that are sold to promote the local economy.  Most pick-ups are weekly, although some are more or less frequent depending on the CSA.

Happy-Heart-LogoThe Happy Heart Farm is just one of our local Fort Collins CSAs.  Lucky for you RAC members out there, the farm also offers a modest discount for your affiliation with the club.

Happy Heart Farm has over 25 years of history in Fort Collins and established roots in the community.

According to owner Dennis Stenson, Happy Heart Farm provides more than just veggies: “Our benefits include the freshest foods available, discounted working shares, educational opportunities to learn about cooking, preserving, fermentation, and celebrations such as Solstice parties, farm to table dinners, farm weddings, and more.”

Shares at the Happy Heart Farm range from a 20 to 24-week season of the freshest produce available.  Both Dennis and his partner, Bailey, work directly with their members to create an experience that goes beyond buying and selling.

Spring has sprung.  So whether you grow your plants at home or buy into the local CSAs, it’s time to get outside and back in touch with the innate benefits of nature.

You can get more info about the local food scene from the Backyard Bounty local food and farm guide, Farm Shares.Info,and the Pig and Plow.

Written By: Mariah Wenzel