Penn and Cord's Garden
Wild Mountain Gardening
Westcliffe, Colorado 8,120 ft.
Welcome to our world...
We are Penn and Cord Parmenter and we are mountain food and seed growers and high altitude gardening teachers. We have many passions in the mountain garden, we especially love growing corn and pumpkins in the open garden, Siberian and Russian tomatoes under cover, medicinal and culinary herbs and many varieties of perennial natives. We also design and build totally sustainable greenhouses that we never have to heat or cool.
Mostly we grow food, lots and lots of food, and here's the best part - we grow lots of food in less space with less water. Right now we are only growing on about 1/5 of an acre yet we are producing the same amount you would see on 4/5ths or 1 acre. Sound familiar? Bio-Intensive growing has proved out for us beyond our wildest dreams. This is how you grow more food with less water in less space. In combinations with other techniques, we have conquered growing tomatoes at high altitudes, pumpkins way bigger than your head, full ears of sweet corn and French melons.
As elevations increase we teach ways to define and ultimately overcome the challenges of the high country. We respect the earth and all its systems and try our best to emulate nature. We grow organically and let the plants teach us.
Cord says, love grows the garden, not money, and that is certainly true for us. Since 1992 we have been growing food at 8,120 ft. in the Wet Mountains. Every year is new and different and another great teacher. We could never claim to have it all figured out - the earth is mysterious and wise and we are avid students, all we can do is keep trying.
We have three gardens but below enjoy pictures of Penn's Forest Garden and Cord's Bio-Intensive Garden. Penn's Garden is on top of the mountain on decomposed granite and Cord's is below in the rich bottom land. Cord's is in the open and Penn's is in the trees. The picture at the top of the page is the view of the Sangre de Cristos from Penn's Garden in winter.
Take a look at our site and see for yourself, no matter what, we hope these pages will inspire you to get started immediately on your beautiful Rocky Mountain garden!