OLT - Items filtered by date: November 2018
Tuesday, 11 December 2018 14:34

Member Appreciation Weekend 2019

For those of you ready to make plans for the 2019 Member Appreciation Weekend, we have picked the date. The annual celebration will be the weekend before the full moon in July: July 12 and 13. The Full Moon is the following Tuesday making for bright skies on the nights of our event. We will be providing more information in the coming months.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 14:33

Winter and Hot Water

This winter, the Sangre de Cristo range is providing less water bubbling up from the springs. Reduced water, resulting from drought, means less electricity produced by our hydroelectric plant. The amount of power we can produce is based on the volume of water as well as the vertical drop. While our vertical drop is constant, the volume of water varies. The heated pools are built to help us regulate the electricity we produce. Electricity provides us with a hot sauna, laundry, stoves and ovens, hot showers, hair dryers, toasters, coffee pots, and electric heat. We are replacing OLT electrical heat with geothermal heat, which frees up kilowatts for other purposes.

The amount of power we can produce is finite and this year is less than last year and less than the past several years. What does this mean? The reality is that the heated pools will not be getting as much electrically heated water. Individual attempts to conserve energy by minimizing other electrical devices will help make sure that there is electricity enough for all, even if the pools won't be as warm.

Be prepared. Wear warm clothing between pools and accommodations. Visit the sauna to get thoroughly warm. While we are making effort to maximize the power available for the heated pools, expect them to be a little cooler this winter. Be conservation minded.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 14:29

Flowers, Pumpkins and Corn

We had plenty of Marigolds in the garden this year. In addition to the cheery flowers they brought to the garden and in vases for the welcome center, they helped protect the vegetables from certain pest and attracted valuable insects as well.  Mexican Marigolds are said to offend a host of destructive insects and wild rabbits as well. The abundance of Calendula in the garden also discouraged in soil borne pests and provided a reservoir for beneficial insects.

7 Benefits of Marigolds

  • Lowers Inflammation and Free Radical Damage. ...

  • Reduces Eye Inflammation and Conjunctivitis. ...

  • Has Natural Antiseptic Properties. ...

  • Heals Skin Wounds, Burns and Rashes. ...

  • Helps Reduce Hemorrhoid Pain. ...

  • Eases Cramps and Spasms. ...

  • Naturally Repels Bugs.

Benefits of Calendula

Calendula is used for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, cancer, and stomach and duodenal ulcers. Calendula has also been used for measles, smallpox, and jaundice. Calendula is applied to the skin to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation) and to treat poorly healing wounds and leg ulcers.  

Ranch manager Mike grew an interesting pumpkin this year! Nantucket Pie Pumpkin is from an Heirloom non-GMO seed.  A very unusual pumpkin with very long, slender fruits. Best known for its flesh, which is almost stringless and is said to make the most delicious pumpkin pies. Uncommon variety, rarely available in markets. Fruits can grow to 5-8 pounds. Harvested green with an orange spot on the bottom.  Let pumpkin ripen in storage, turning orange for the sweetest flesh inside.

Garden Manager Brian Ross had great success with an heirloom sweet corn!  Any gardener in the valley knows just how hard it is to grow sweet corn in the valley.  We had a wonderful crop of the most beautiful sweet corn.

Guests were able to harvest their own produce or purchase from the welcome center.  We also did a few farmers markets and supplied two local health food stores with pumpkins!  Our new garden manager Sabine has been working hard to put the garden to bed for the winter.  She has also planted flower bulbs for next season. As we begin to enjoy this season of peace and tranquility, we look ahead to the next season and the beauty and bounty it will bring.

Heirloom_sweet_corn - Nantucket_Pie_Pumpkin -

Orient Land Trust is a nonprofit land trust
dedicated to the preservation of Valley View Hot Springs (VVHS) and its viewshed—
including natural and biologic resources, agricultural lands, wildlife habitat,
open space, and historic and geologic features of the northern San Luis Valley—
for the education and enjoyment of current and future generations.