Yampah High’s Taste of the Holidays fundraiser on tap for Saturday | PostIndependent.com

Yampah High’s Taste of the Holidays fundraiser on tap for Saturday

Yampah Mountain High School students have been working hard to assemble the plantable seed ornaments that will be available at Saturday's Taste of the Holidays bazaar fundraiser.

A crop of regionally adapted monster marigold flowers come summer could be just the gift you’re still looking to give, or get, and there’s only one place to find it.

After being postponed last weekend due to the winter storm, students at Yampah Mountain High School have had another whole week to prepare for their Taste of the Holidays Bazaar on Saturday.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the school’s Sustainable Science Pod, where students learn organic growing, cooking and nutrition methods, build entrepreneurial skills and mentor younger students.

If you go…

What: Yampah Mountain High School Taste of the Holidays Bazaar

When: 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21

Where: YMHS, 695 Red Mountain Drive, Glenwood Springs

Cost: $5 donation to support the school’s Sustainable Science Pod, plus a variety of plants, jams, jellies, hand-made baked goods and ornaments for sale to support the program

Among the craft items that will be for sale are plantable seed ornaments made of shredded paper from the school and containing marigold seeds harvested from the school’s gardens.

A plant variety is considered regionally adapted after growing seeds from the same plants for four years, explained Kim Wille, ag biology teacher at Yampah and founding director of Growing Empowerment.

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“One of our projects is to build a regional seed bank,” she said.

The marigolds from which this year’s seeds came grew in Wille’s flower garden literally just a few feet from the Lake Christine Fire in the summer of 2018, so they’ve been exposed to the fire and drought conditions that are common in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Monster marigolds grow in the Yampah Mountain High School gardens this past summer.

“They have a deep orangish-red color, so they even look like fire,” Wille said.

Students have been busy making, drilling and stringing hemp twine through the seed ornaments.

They’ve also been making peppermint bark, caramel popcorn and butter mints (peppermint and spearmint), as well as packaging fresh-dried, organically-grown sage from the school gardens, Wille said. 

Yampah Mountain High School students prepare baked goods for this Saturday’s Taste of the Holidays fundraiser.

The school will also be selling its homemade green tomato salsa, and a limited supply of jams and jellies.

“We didn’t make that many jams and jellies this year because fruit trees were pretty barren due to late frosts last spring,” Wille said. “We will have our ever-popular Jalapeño Jam, Plum Jelly, and Grape Jelly as well as Luffa Soap, and Gardener’s Hand Salve.” 

Students also serve up some tasty holiday treats, including Wille Chile, Veggie Wille Chili or Pork Chile Verde.

Recently, CBS4 Denver interviewed Wille and the Yampah students and aired a segment on Yampah’s Sustainable Science program.


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