Archuleta County Extension and 4-H invites public to open house


Colorado State University Extension of Archuleta County will host an open house for the residents of Archuleta County.

Come see what new and exciting opportunities await you at the local Extension office on Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The CSU Extension office is located on the Archuleta County Fairgrounds at 344 U.S. 84, in Pagosa Springs.

If you love gardening, cooking, food preservation, renewable energy, volunteering and working with children, there is something for you to check out at the CSU Extension and 4-H Open House.

Learn how you can become a Master Gardener, Colorado Energy Master or 4-H volunteer and give back to your community.

If you are a young person ages 5-7, you can explore the world of the 4-H’s (head, heart, hand and health) as a Cloverbud. Older youth up to age 18 can learn valuable life skills, explore new subjects, travel and meet new people from across Colorado and the world as a 4-H member.

Your local Extension office has much to offer you and your family, so mark your calendar for Oct. 17 to join us.

If you were one of the lucky people who had the opportunity to participate in 4-H in your youth, you might remember a program centered on rural ways of life, agriculture, ranching and home economics. Today, we are proud to teach from our core values, but we are so much more than cows and cooking. If you’ve ever wondered what 4-H is all about or wanted to get acquainted with 4-H activities, this is your chance. We are kicking off our new 4-H year this month and are looking for new members and new volunteers. Come to the open house to register for 4-H and discover all of the projects we will be offering members this year, including:

• GPS/Orienteering.

• Gardening.

• Sportfishing.

• Shooting Sports.

• Photography.

• Scrapbooking.

• Vet Science.

• Food Preservation.

• Cake Decorating.

• Beginning Cooking.

• Clothing.

• Dog Agility.

• Horse.

• Livestock (swine, poultry, goats, sheep, beef).

• Leadership.

• Entomology.

• Model Rocketry.

Come out to the Archuleta County Extension and 4-H office with your family, have some fun, enjoy hands-on activities andvisit with 4-H’ers, and volunteers. Meet with our staff, 4-H Program Coordinator Becky Jacobson, Administrative Assistant Terry Schaaf, and County Director and Extension Agent Liz Haynes, and tour the Extension office.  Experience what makes 4-H and Extension programming valuable to your community and get involved. Terrific concessions will be offered, with proceeds to support the 4-H Council.

For more information about the open house, call the Extension office at 264-5931.

Master Gardener Program

If you have a love of gardening and would enjoy sharing your passion with others, perhaps you should begin thinking about becoming a Colorado Master Gardener. For those of us that have transplanted to the San Juan Mountains from other states, we might find gardening at 7,000 feet a challenge to our gardening skills and sometimes downright frustrating. Do not despair ... the Master Gardener Program will help you gain the knowledge, skills and ideas necessary to turn your yard into a fantastic home garden.

To become a Master Gardener, your only prerequisite is to have a passion for gardening. The term ‘Master Gardener’ does not mean that you have expertise in all subject matters related to gardening. The hands-on expertise comes from the 55-plus-hour training program, ongoing continuing education opportunities, information provided by the CSU Extension-Archuleta County office and from the knowledge shared by other local Master Gardeners.

The Master Gardener program and training is conducted by the Colorado State University Extension via distance technology and face to face. The Master Gardener training courses are taught by Colorado State University Extension professionals and experts. The program covers the challenges specific to gardening in southwestern Colorado. A sample of topics covered includes:

• Soils, Fertilizers & Soil Amendments

• How Plants Grow

• Mountain Gardening

• Vegetables

• Small Fruits

• The Science of Planting Trees

• Lawn Care

• Weed Management

Classes typically meet once a week from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. for 11 consecutive weeks. Cost of the training, which includes a copy of the Master Gardener Manual, is $275 per person and must be paid prior to training. Married couples who register together and receive only one copy of the training materials may participate at a reduced price of $445/couple. Partial scholarships are available through the Archuleta County Extension office and can be requested on the application form. Those participants who do not wish to participate as a Master Gardener volunteer will be required to pay the full registration cost of $625 for the training.

If you would like to learn more about successful gardening in the Pagosa Springs Area, be sure to call the CSU Extension Office in Archuleta County today at 264-5931 to reserve your space in the 2013 Colorado Master Gardener Program, which tentatively begins Jan. 31. Registration will remain open until Dec. 21, 2012.

 Canner gauge testing

The CSU Extension-Archuleta County Office is offering to test dial pressure canner gauges for Archuleta County residents for $5. For more information, contact Terry Schaaf at 264-5931.

Dial gauges should be checked for accuracy before use each year. Gauges that read high cause under-processing and may result in unsafe food. Low readings cause over-processing. Pressure adjustments can be made if the gauge reads up to 2 pounds high or low. Gauges that differ by more than 2 pounds should be replaced.

Replacement gauges and other parts (e.g. gasket, safety plugs) for canners are often found at stores that sell food preservation equipment or from canner manufacturers. When ordering parts, be sure to provide your canner model number and describe the parts you need.

Weighted gauges will either keep rocking gently or make a frequent jiggling noise to indicate that the correct pressure is being maintained. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to know how a particular weighted gauge should rock or jiggle. Weighted gauges do not require testing.


Oct. 11 — Mountain View Homemakers meeting, noon.

Oct. 12 — Wolf Creek Wonders 4-H Club meeting, 2 p.m.

Oct. 17 — Mountain High Garden Club meeting, 10 a.m.

Oct. 17 — CSU Extension Open House, 4-6 p.m.

Learn more about our upcoming events on our webpage at