Roots of success

Spring Hoe Down supports school garden expansion

Square dancers with Carla Roberts and the Wild West Squares give a square dancing demonstration at last year's Spring Hoe Down at the Mancos Opera House. She will be back this year at the dance on April 12 with more demonstrations and easy-to-follow steps for everyone. Enlargephoto

Courtesy photos

Square dancers with Carla Roberts and the Wild West Squares give a square dancing demonstration at last year's Spring Hoe Down at the Mancos Opera House. She will be back this year at the dance on April 12 with more demonstrations and easy-to-follow steps for everyone.

The Montezuma School to Farm Project in Mancos has big plans for expansion, including revitalizing an orchard the school bought last year and a farmers market stand that will operate after school.

"This is an exciting opportunity for students to learn how to run their own business while offering locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to their communities," said Sarah Syverson, director of the Montezuma School to Farm Project.

To make the plans reality, the project is inviting the community to the Second Annual Spring Hoe Down at the Mancos Opera House.

This year, the dance is a collaborative effort between Mancos Valley Resources and the Mt. Lookout Grange, which partner to promote local agriculture.

The groups aim to match last year's success and raise $8,000 to help fund the Mancos school garden coordinator and the materials needed for the market stand.

Students will learn business concepts utilizing the school gardens as a living classroom, Syverson said.

The project is also looking forward to partnering with about 20 members of the National Civilian Conservation Corps, who plan to come for two weeks over the summer to help clean up the orchard space.

To help the students get ready for the busy growing season, dig out your dancing boots and join the line dance in two weeks.

Four Corners-based square-dance caller Carla Roberts will teach simple calls, and Mancos Elementary School third-graders will show what they've learned about square dance.

Music will also be provided by Carute Roma Gypsy Band and Sand Sheff and the Desert Mongers.

Carute (Kah-root-say) Roma, which translates to "Gypsy Wagon," is an upbeat troupe of bohemian musicians that play traditional Roma music from Eastern Europe and Russia, along with modern Gypsy songs from around the world.

Sand Sheff, now a farmer in Moab, has played in Nashville and Austin.

The event promises great food, with a taco bar provided by Sweetwater Gypsy Catering, featuring grass-fed beef from Wolcott Ranch.

The dance will be on April 12, and will run from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Mancos Opera House.

Tickets are available at Zuma Natural Foods in Mancos, The Dolores Food Store, FB Organics in Cortez and Maria's Bookshop in Durango. Tickets are $15 for adults, and free for children 17 and under.

Sand Sheff Enlargephoto

Courtesy photo

Sand Sheff

Carute Roma Gypsy Band will be back at the Second Annual Spring Hoe Down on April 12 at the Mancos Opera House.  They'll play at 7 p.m. Enlargephoto

Carute Roma Gypsy Band will be back at the Second Annual Spring Hoe Down on April 12 at the Mancos Opera House. They'll play at 7 p.m.