HYGIENE – Zweck is a name well known around rural Boulder County, associated with farming, fresh garden vegetables and a wide variety of fruits.
Gayle Zweck is granddaughter of the Cushman family, St. Vrain Valley pioneers, and wife of Russell Zweck. She is a small, trim, active lady full of life and energy. She lives on the Zweck Family Farm off of Airport Road which was homesteaded by George Zweck in 1866.
Born Gayle Thomas, she grew up on a farm in Hygiene. Soon after graduating from Longmont High School in 1947 she married Russell Zweck and moved into a house on the farm where they “did everything.” This lifestyle agrees with her, she said. “Everyday on the farm is a good day. There is a renewal of life here with the animals, birds and the trees. You hate to lose an animal, yet another one comes. A tree falls and another sprouts up. Everyday is interesting and satisfying. It’s not about the money, you don’t make a lot of that.” It is the life style that a farm affords her that she loves.
Zweck is a mother to four children, Tom, Carol, John and Dan all who live in the area. She
has been blessed with six grandchildren and now 11 great grandchildren who are “smart, pretty, handsome and good,” in the words of a proud great grandmother. It pleases her that they come to play around the lakes. So far she does not see any of them wanting to carry on the family tradition of farming.
She has a great passion for gardening. As we spoke there was snow on her front lawn and she was wishing that it was melted so that she could get out and mow. Her son John said that she still mows the grass, but now lets him fix the mower and sharpen the blades, things that she once did herself.
The 68-member Hoe and Hope Gardening Club, of which she has been a member since 1964, keeps her involved in spreading her passion among the wider community. They plant and maintain gardens at the Tiny Tim Center and the Our Center in Longmont, including a sensory garden where one can use the senses of smell, feel, and taste. Her gardens at the farm are a sight to behold. She has extensive perennial gardens which showcase her love of gladiolas, the 650 bulbs she has nurtured along, and lilies and dahlias. “I can’t think of any flower that I don’t like,” she said. Her vegetable garden is huge and she now shares the work and abundance with her family. She puts most things up in the freezer but she still cans applesauce. She is a good cook and would rather eat at home where she can count on a good meal. The Methodist Church in Hygiene, where she married her husband, has been a strong foundation in her life and she is still an active participating member. She raised her family to be part of the church family. She continues to be inspired by the Methodist teaching.
Her social life keeps her very active in bridge and she finds great enjoyment in going to the theatre. She has a real love of nature and watching the wildlife on her property, owls and their babies as well as over 50 different species of birds.
She summed up her recipe for success: “You can’t be the least bit lazy and you need to be self motivated,” she said. “You had better be on the stick and go do it frame of mind to be successful in farming.” She enjoys assisting in the evening feeding of cows with her son John. They name them and she finds them to be “extra cute.” John tags his newborn calves within three days; otherwise they will outrun him. A good sense of humor has blessed them both.
Zweck is appreciative of the agreement that was made between the Zwecks and Boulder County three years ago giving them the opportunity to stay farming on their land. “It’s been pretty good, no complaints,” she said. “It’s been a good life here.”
Each month this column will feature stories about people, businesses and happenings in Hygiene. If you want to contribute information about Hygiene please contact Mary Magdalena, at 303-652-4004 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to Top