Granby pastor adjusts to high altitude gardening |

Granby pastor adjusts to high altitude gardening

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado

Tonya Bina / Sky-Hi Daily News

Coming from Atlanta last year, Pastor Kenneth Warford of the Granby Baptist Church was used to temperate climates for his gardens.

“He’s originally a country boy from Arkansas,” said his wife Maggie, United Country’s newest realtor.

“I love to grow things,” Warford said. “My mom always had a big garden and she’d raise vegetables and we had a pantry of everything – year-round – so I got it natural.”

What he got was the drive to have a healthy garden, even at 7,935 feet above sea level.

Behind the church parsonage, Pastor Warford, a retired Air Force chaplain, started his garden.

It began with a fence to keep out foragers.

Then after snow fell, he decided the garden needed protection. “It was just so cold,” he said. “I thought, nothing is going to grow in this weather.”

While Maggie was out of town for foot surgery, he began to construct a greenhouse that grew as organically as the vegetables he’d grow inside it.

“He put up four poles, and he was going to put plastic over it,” Maggie said. “Then he got bored, and he started adding to it and adding to it. By the time I got here he was putting a roof on it. I said, ‘What is this a chicken coop?’ He said, ‘No, this is my greenhouse.’

“I opened the door, and I felt like I was in a secret garden,” she said.

Bit by bit, and unplanned, the pastor had added spray-foam insulated walls, a half-shingled roof, plastic, doors that open to the sun, and automatic heat lamps to keep it warm at night.

The potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, cabbage, scallions, asparagus, rhubarb, jalepeno peppers, tomatoes and herbs now grow in Cadillac conditions. He even has a side garden of sunflowers, pumpkins and watermelon.

“Everybody looks so happy in there,” Maggie said of the plants, which experience 80 to 90 degree temperatures at night.

“I told him I want to come in here when it’s snowing,” she continued. “I want to bring a little chair in here and read a book.”

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail