We’re Planting a Barn and Growing a Dome!
Food is so important to our lives.
Food has the power to sustain us, nourish us, comfort us, and bring us together around the table. Food has a BIG influence on our physical and emotional health, our relationships, the environment, and the well-being of our entire community. That's why Guidestone is dedicated to growing food, farmers and community.
It is in that spirit that Guidestone Colorado is excited to announce that we're planting a barn and growing a dome!
The week of August 5th saw the construction of a 42’ diameter geodesic grow dome at the Community & School Farm on Holman Avenue, and the raising of the The Guidestone Barn at Hutchinson Ranch!
We Need YOU!
We are incredibly grateful for the generous funds, volunteer time, discounts, loaned items, and advice that have gotten us this far. There is also much left to do. We would like to ask for your financial support to raise an additional $50,000 to further these important projects along. Will you help us plant a barn and grow a dome by making a generous gift today?
Read on to learn more about our story, how you can be a part of these projects, and an exciting matching funds opportunity!
Keep an eye out for future events and invites! Thank you to everyone who witnessed and helped out with the first phase of these projects! If you haven't yet visited these sites, please get in touch - we'd be happy to show you around!
Dome Growing Days. Phase 1 was August 5th through 9th. The dome was built over 5 days at the Community & School Farm!
Phase 2: Building out interior beds and filling them with soil.
Barn Planting Days. Phase 1 began August 7th. The timber frame was erected in one day at the Hutchinson Ranch!
Completing Phase 1: Adding a roof and stabilization.
Planting A Barn: The Story of the Guidestone Barn at Hutchinson Ranch
Bringing a community together – let’s frolic!
A traditional barn raising is a work event that combines socializing with a practical goal. This type of work event is also known as a frolic. A barn raising fulfills a practical need and also ties the community together through mutual aid. Hundreds typically attend, either as workers, support, or observers – each playing a vitally important role. A barn-raising (or a barn-planting, in this case) symbolizes the community support, resilience, and sustained effort that it takes to build a structure that will become the heart of an agriculturally-rooted community. We see Salida as an agriculturally-rooted community, and it’s our dream that this barn will become a hub for agricultural activities, discussions, inspiration, and progress.
The barn project germinated when the very generous Hersh Family decided to give Guidestone the timber-frame of a beautiful 200-year-old mixed-oak heritage barn that was a grist mill in its former life. In support of this project, a private family foundation contributed the funds to cover the cost of the barn foundation, and the Hutchinson Family, with a goal to expand agritourism opportunities in partnership with Guidestone and the Hutchinson Homestead & Learning Center, has offered a location on the Hutchinson Ranch to plant the barn.
The Guidestone Barn at Hutchinson Ranch is destined to become an education center, a place for community events, and a central hub for Guidestone’s programming and expanding vision. This means there will be opportunities for you to get involved in programs and events at the barn, and to learn and play in the truly unique setting of a working ranch!
Growing A Dome: The Story of the Geodesic Grow Dome at the Community & School Farm
Closing the gap for our youth
One of the challenges Farm to School programs often face is that the growing season in many parts of the country, Salida included, is opposite of the school year. Farm production is at its height through the late summer and fall, while school is in session through the winter months when little is growing in abundance. This means that while students can assist with planting in the Spring and see the fruits of their labor in the Fall, there is a long stretch where providing produce to a school lunch program or delivering hands-on garden education is less feasible. That’s where the grow dome comes in! A private family foundation recognized this discrepancy and provided funding to help Guidestone build a geodesic grow dome that can be used to close the gap between the growing season and the school year. The grow dome will be used to grow cold weather crops through the winter, provide healthy, fresh food to Salida School District students, and accommodate classrooms of students to participate in production and learning throughout the school year.
Your support of these efforts can make a significant difference – in the lives of the youth in our community, in the families they influence through their learning, experiences, and sharing, and in the expansion of agricultural learning opportunities. A vibrant agricultural community means a healthy future for all of us – youth, families, farmers, ranchers, area visitors, and the land that sustains us all.
Double your impact by August 31st!
Thanks to the Oliver Family, another very generous donor, we are able to kick off this campaign with a challenge grant! Through August, your contributions will be matched dollar for dollar up to $9,000! We only need to raise $7,760 more to reach $18,000 in the first month of the campaign, which will be 36% of the way to our big goal!
Let’s see what we can do when we come together as a community to achieve something as big as a barn and as productive as a grow dome! Thank you for your belief in local agriculture and your community!
The Budget Low Down
These costs are already funded ($195,000):
$85,000 - Grist mill barn timber frame
$65,000 - Geodesic grow dome, foundation, and some of the interior build out
$45,000 - Barn foundation
These are our remaining costs ($50,000):
$15,000 - Roofing and barn stabilization (e.g. cross-bracing)
$15,000 - Interior grow dome build out
$8,000 - General operating support for this project
$7,000 - Additional infrastructure to support full farm site utilization
$5,000 - Partially permanent restrooms at the barn
Because of You - Guidestone Successes & Community Impact
Guidestone is honored to have engaged our community in the following ways:
10,000 pounds of produce has been grown at the Community & School Farm for Salida School District student lunches and the community.
All 1,000+ Salida School District students have participated in school garden activities since 2012.
Since 2010, over 5,000 students’ lives have been enriched through their participation in programming at the Hutchinson Homestead.
Over 12 years, the Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival has grown and now has more than 1,500 attendees each year. Overall, more than 13,000 people have experienced the beauty of a historic working ranch and celebrated the harvest season during the annual event.
To learn more about all of Guidestone’s work, please visit www.GuidestoneColorado.org.
I guess what we’re saying is: Come frolic with us! Help us raise the roof! Join us in planting a barn and growing a dome for the youth of Chaffee County, our community, and beyond.