US (CO): Greenhouse brings fresh local veggies to Steamboat Springs

Located just 10 miles from Colorado Highway 131, the Bee Grateful Farm lays hidden beneath several feet of melting snow, and where there isn’t snow, there is mud.

“We have a very short growing season,” said Hethir Rodriguez, who owns the farm with her husband, Jason. “We plant around June 11, whereas most other places are a month or two ahead of us. We focus on things that don’t care if there is some frost or if it gets below freezing here and there in the early season. What takes longer to grow, we start in the greenhouse.”

The couple moved to the Yampa Valley about four years ago and purchased 50 acres between Steamboat Springs and Oak Creek. Hethir is a herbalist and nutritionist, and Jason is a chef. The idea of starting a farm began to take root shortly after they moved there.

They started small — farming on just over an acre last summer and using a 1,500-square-foot greenhouse to grow what they wanted without the farming machinery used on larger farms. Jason said they plan to expand the greenhouse by 3,000 square feet in the fall, and they also are looking to increase farming operations by one acre.

“We have really harsh elements, and that’s why you don’t see a lot of farms around here,” Jason said. “The only other farm in Steamboat is Elkstone Farm, and it’s all greenhouse.”

Read more at Steamboat Pilot & Today (John F. Russell)

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