A Blog Series
By Bryant Mason
Founder, The Urban Farm Company of Colorado
A five-month whirlwind has passed since I became Stapleton’s Chief Gardening Officer. The biggest issue in the community has gone from keeping rabbits out of the gardens to figuring out what to do with so much zucchini!
There were four April snowstorms that made the gardening season a distant idea. But now, as tomatoes ripen and our garden boxes overflow with vegetables, it’s clear that the proliferation of gardens in Conservatory Green neighborhood mirrors the overall development of Stapleton homes.
Here’s a glimpse of this year’s gardening season:
- I’ve taught numerous gardening classes at the Stapleton Visitor Center, covering topics ranging from beginner vegetable gardening to how to grow the best possible tomatoes. Chef Elise Wiggins’ fried squash blossoms were also a major hit during a culinary event that followed July’s gardening class.
- The six Visitor Center gardens are producing food at an amazing rate, giving us pounds of fresh organic produce that’s donated to Bluff Lake Apartments’ food bank every other week.
- My business, The Urban Farm Company of Colorado, has installed 12 gardens at five builder model homes in the new neighborhood, showing residents how easy it is to grow food right in their backyard.
- Parkwood Homes has even decided to offer a free 4’x4’ irrigated garden bed to each of their new homeowners – all installed by The Urban Farm Company. I’m also teaching gardening classes at the builder’s model home.
- Lastly … we have installed more than a dozen gardens in other Stapleton neighborhoods.
- Overall, the progression of urban gardening in Stapleton is exciting. With help from the homebuilders and residents, we have set the stage for tremendous growth in the number of gardens that will be installed in the community next season. And as more and more residents move in, keep your eye out for more and more gardens! In the meantime, here’s Parkwood Homes’ recipe to use all of that zucchini …
Wheat Germ Zucchini Bread
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 Cups Shredded Zucchini
2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Vegetable Oil (Canola)
3 Teaspoon Maple Flavoring
½ Cup Wheat Germ
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
2 1/2 Cups Flour
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees
- With mixer, beat eggs. Add oil, sugar, brown sugar and maple flavoring. Beat until foamy and thick.
- Use a spoon and stir in zucchini.
- In another medium bowl, mix together flour, wheat germ, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
- Slowly blend dry ingredients at medium speed into mixture until well blended. Add walnuts and blend together.
- Pour mixture into two greased/flour loaf pans. I use PAM Baking spray.
- Sprinkle each loaf with sesame seeds until covered. (NOTE: About 2-3 tablespoons each loaf)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 60-minutes. Cool in pan for 10-minutes on wire rack. Then remove.
Use can eat this bread plain. Or, use cream cheese or butter. In a toaster over, you can even toast a slice before putting on your spread.