The purpose of the dome is to provide a year-round location for fresh fruit and vegetable production to supply the Pagosa Senior Center’s Community Cafe, which serves the community five days a week, providing tasty and nutrient-dense, seasonally inspired meals.

"I began working as a horticulturist for the Senior Center this past August to supplement the current food program by providing fresh, nutrient-dense, locally grown produce to the kitchen," writes Archuleta Senior Inc. (ASI) grower and farmer Kelle Carter Bruno.

This position was made possible by a grant from ARPA, which President Joe Biden signed on March 11, 2021, to combat the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This August I found myself starting seeds and making preparations for a new growing season. The act of placing a seed into the soil is always one of trust and hope. As the season shifted to fall, a time I am usually putting my garden to bed, I found myself beginning a new gardening experiment. Which plants would produce at 7,500 feet above sea level during the cold winter months?

I discussed the needs of the kitchen with the ASI chef, Cynthia Sperry, and paired her desires with the plants that are hardy enough to grow through the cold season. We decided to try collard greens, cilantro, cucumbers, radicchio, dark purple and red lettuces, spinach, fennel bulbs, green and red kale, multicolored chard, dill and cherry tomatoes."

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