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Food and fun

A couple of years ago, after participating in KSUT’s spring on-air fund-drive, I thought it would be fun to have a radio show. Not a novel idea – there are plenty of great gardening radio shows across the state and Southwest – but my hope was to bring even more local focus to our local public radio station. A couple months later, I was chatting with some folks at the Durango Farmers Market and ran into fellow gardener, Tom Bartels.

For those of you who know Tom, you are most likely aware that: a) he knows a ridiculous amount about growing food and practices what he preaches; b) he knows how to produce a radio show; and c) he has a great mustache – seriously. It rivals any police officer’s or high school gym teacher’s upper lipholstery.

I found him – my banter buddy, and it took all of about 10 seconds to convince him. “I’m in.” And that was it; his organizational acumen went into action and before I knew it, we convinced KSUT to host a short show with the hopes of making it longer. In 2022, we asked to make it longer – from 4 minutes to 30 – and that deserved a bit more work, some creative topics that took us out of the studio and onto the farm, and way too many corny jokes (see what I did there?).

Now, 22 30 minute-episodes later, I think we have something to be proud of. We plan to start our Saturday at noon show on KSUT back up later this spring, and it also made the leap to a podcast. Not sure if I can name names, but if not, you will be able to find it on the following podcast apps: one that is a jungle in South America; my favorite fruit, a search engine that is so popular its name is also a verb; and also on one that I cannot think of anything cute to reference. Let’s just call it Sp_tify.

Tom and I will also be the guest hosts of this month’s Green Business Roundtable at noon Wednesday, Feb. 8. If you want a tasty lunch and hear us banter, check out San Juan Citizens Alliance’s website, where you can RSVP for any of the lunches as well as check out all the cool things they are doing in the region. I am hoping we can have an open discussion on what food means to everyone. How to grow it, how to buy it and how our perspective on what food means may be very, very different from someone else’s. We all eat – we all have to eat. Our goal is to make you shift the compass, even if it is just a minor amount. It may not be realistic to change something as important as eating 180 degrees. But what if you just picked a couple things, knowing that it is OK to stray, to indulge, to not beat yourself up if you eat that bag of potato chips or get your meal through your window?

In our house, we plenty of junk food, but we also shop at the farmers market whenever we can. Our pantry contains food from the middle of the grocery store, but we are also committed to eating beef that have themselves eaten well. And my 17-year-old will seek out the cheapest lunch he can find in 30 minutes, but he also knows that he will come home to a dinner made with as many vegetables that Beth can squeeze in there (and a whole bunch of love).

Darrin Parmenter is the director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office. Reach him at darrin.parmenter@co.laplata.co.us or 382-6464.