Castle Valley Comments

The DayStar Adventist Academy has been in existence in Castle Valley for at least 46 years, ever since a board of directors bought the property of two old ranches along the Castleton Road a few years before.

The local staff has been good neighbors to the rest of the valley ever since the school began and continues to offer friendship and good-neighbor opportunities all year long. We became acquainted with the staff and students just after we moved here 41 years ago and we were invited to many of their various functions, including the annual Thanksgiving feast when they invited the whole valley to a delicious spread in the old auto shop that was converted into a dining hall for the occasion.

The Seventh-day Adventist academy and the local branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have invited each other to social events and dinners from the beginning of their existence in the valley.

I recently read an article that I wrote 40 years ago this week in “Castle Valley Comments” about a series of “home nursing remedies” classes that were sponsored by the Castle Valley Institute (now the DayStar Academy) and was available to everyone in the valley. The classes featured natural remedies and were well received by Castle Valley residents at the time. After a song by the school orchestra, a film was presented on sugar, a lecture on sleep and another on remedies for colds in that first class. The series continued for several more days.

Thirty-five years ago this week, the Castle Valley Institute was again featured in this column. I wrote: “A two-day community garden class, sponsored by the Castle Valley Institute, was held at the LDS Chapel in Castle Valley. The coordinator of the free classes is Dave Seibert.” Seibert taught basic gardening techniques, soil and soil life, irrigation, plant food, insect control and methods of extending both ends of the season.

So along with this same theme, I was made aware of another event sponsored by the academy that is happening this Sunday evening. The event is an International Food Fair and Student Art Display. Their brochure announcing the program reads, “The students and staff at DayStar Academy would like to invite you to come out and sample some delicious ethnic foods and see the artwork they have created over the last several months. This is a free event, but donations will be accepted to help cover some of the food expenses.” This most recent event will occur at 6 p.m. this Sunday, April 7 at the DayStar Academy and Castle Valley Farms Cafeteria.

There has been little talk around the valley during the past couple of weeks, either good or bad, about the phone service in and around Castle Valley. During a call to Town Clerk Jocelyn Buck Monday morning, she indicated that she also has not heard anything about the phones and said her personal experience about the phone and internet was positive.

I reached out to Frontier Communication’s Regional Manager Mike Giles, who responded by email and stated that the radio was changed out on March 20 and 21 and since that time “we’ve had no issues that you were experiencing before. I’m still working with the ranches (Sorrel and Red Cliffs) but their services are much more stable and we believe the radio is solid. I’ve spoken with many customers, and the services appear to be stable again.

The unusually wet winter has soaked the western states with rain and is producing an array of wildflowers that are not usually seen except for these rare circumstances. We were at Lake Perris in Southern California a couple of weeks ago and the plants were already blanketing the mountains in vivid colors. Just a few miles away at Lake Elsinore the California wild poppies and a few other wildflowers were in full bloom on the mountains and in the canyons, and visitors were creating traffic jams to the point that the state had to limit access. Poppies are also prolific in Arizona and New Mexico.

Here in Castle Valley there are no signs of poppies but we have noticed that some of the fields are nearly completely covered with a carpet of the little purple mustard flowers. Each year seems to produce a different variety of colorful wildflowers. Of particular concern is the over abundance of a little yellow flowering plant called the Bur Buttercup, which is blooming right now. At maturity, each blossom develops into a bur, which dries and turns brown. It is considered highly toxic, poisonous to animals and should be properly disposed of.