When Life Gives You Hot Springs, Use Them To Grow Tomatoes — In Winter

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Pagosa Spring Greenhouse
CSU master gardeners planted the first of three geothermal greenhouses in Pagosa Springs.

One mountain town will not surrender to Colorado's short growing season. After the Palisade peaches and Pueblo chilies run out, Pagosa Springs will still have fresh produce. Its secret is the first of three planned geothermal greenhouses, located in a park overlooking the San Juan River.

Heat from the local hot springs is pumped beneath the greenhouse floor, ensuring the temperature inside never drops below 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm-weather crops like tomatoes and squash grow throughout the winter. The nonprofit Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership planted crops in the first greenhouse late last year. Partnership president Sally High told Colorado Matters the project appears to be working out so far.