Tomatoes: The Gateway Drug to Gardening

By Ericka Kastner

My eyes flooded with tears as Penn placed the packet of Poma Amoris tomato seeds in the palm of my hand as a gift. In that moment, what I’d known for years was confirmed, – growing food from seed was an extension of my soul. And in Penn, I’d found a kindred spirit.
Penn and Cord Parmenter live at 8,120 feet on 43 acres of land in the Wet Mountains, near Westcliffe with their three boys, where they practice what they describe as “extreme homesteading.” Cord, a master blacksmith and designer of their now globally known smart greenhouses, works side by side with Penn, a clay artist-turned -green thumb, to grow food, collect seeds and teach high altitude gardening to others.

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