High Altitude Season Extension Research Trial Garden Data and Publication Intern

Western Region



(San Miguel)

Primary Topic:

Food and Agriculture

Other Topics:

Health and Well-Being, Natural Resources and Sustainability

Lead Mentor:  

Yvette Henson

County Director, San Miguel Basin

Internship Overview:

There is an increased demand for local food production at the home garden and commercial levels . There is also increasing concern about food insecurity in rural mountain communities with extremely short growing seasons in Colorado. These communities rely almost exclusively on fresh produce and other food items that are trucked into the area. Increasing local production of crops will make areas more food secure.
Season extension techniques play a necessary role in crop production at high elevation areas with extremely short (~60-120 day) growing seasons. Utilizing a combination of proven season extension techniques and adapted plant varieties will allow rural mountain communities to become more food secure and increase the potential for additional income by selling produce.

In 2011, we began yearly growing trials comparing yield and quality of vegetables grown under different season extension covers and no cover. We have also been evaluating different varieties of each vegetable grown to determine adaptable plant varieties for high elevation growing. We try to choose open pollinated varieties so that we can recommend seed saving as well.

Our season extension beds are located in Telluride at 8,750’ in elevation. We have occasionally grown with Teller and Eagle counties. Their elevations are 6,601’ and 8,900’ respectively.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

Record (and analyze?) data from 2011 through 2022.. Make graphs. Make brochure(s) on results of High Altitude Season Extension Research Trial Gardens. Having this done will give us helpful information to distribute to gardeners and growers (particularly at high elevation, short season areas).

The successful candidate will be invited to visit the lead mentor in Norwood and the research site in Telluride at least twice: once at the beginning of the planting year and then near the end.

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

Extension Agents & Faculty
Gardeners and small growers at high elevation, short season area, food insecure areas.

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

Understand how to set up a research project, and how to record and analyze data, make graphs followed by appropriate publications to share the results of research trials.

Give public presentation of the work accomplished. The student intern and mentor(s) might even present at a professional meeting such as American Society For Horticulture Sciences.
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