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Mountain Tomatoes

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

We all know the tomato is the gate-way drug to gardening, the Holy Grail of the mountains is to grow a red tomato. Technically, the mountains and tomatoes don’t get along and this class explains why.

In 1991, Penn Parmenter was told she could not grow tomatoes in the mountains. Today, she is working with around 200 varieties of tomatoes at 8,120 ft. elevation in the Wet Mountains. Learn about tomato varieties from around the world, especially those grown in high, cold places. Learn how to find and adapt seed, create night-time protection, prepare soil, fight disease and enjoy the fruits of your labor. The world of tomato seed swapping is also explored.

Penn comes armed with high-altitude tomato seeds, plants, demos and tips for reaching success with the tomato. Join the addiction! No more green tomatoes! (Unless it's Green Zebra, or Green Doctors or Evergreen).


Price: $32, $28 members


Instructors: Penn and Cord Parmenter are high altitude food growers. They live in the Wet Mountains in South Central Colorado and they apply a multitude of techniques to overcome the challenges of the high country. Their totally sustainable greenhouse provides food year round for them and their three boys.

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