That post will come... I promise, but for the moment I thought I'd give you a quick look at a few organizations on the forefront of the local foods movement here in Denver.
First up, Denver Urban Gardens.
Denver Urban Gardens, or DUG as it's known, has been a driving force in the local foods movement since 1985. They operate over 135 community gardens throughout the Denver metropolitan area, including 40 school gardens. They run a community urban farm with CSA shares available to the public, and offer a myriad of workshops and services including a composting program and free seeds for people who might not otherwise be able to afford them.
These folks do such good work in our community. They have literally changed the landscape of the metro area transforming once vacant lots into thriving gardens and teaching thousands upon thousands of people how to grow food.
Many years ago I participated in their CSA farm, but these days I have a hard time eating everything my backyard garden produces, so I just try to send them a contribution now and then when funds permit.
Next up is a new organization called Infinite Harvest
These folks are seriously on the George Jetson end of the food spectrum.
They're a relatively new company growing high tech hydroponic veggies in a warehouse powered entirely by renewable energy using special purple LED grow lights which provide just the spectrum of light that the plants need without wasting energy on the parts the plants don't use... and they wear hair nets.
They use no herbicides or pesticides, and produce veggies using only a tiny fraction of the water required for conventional agriculture. They're also developing a self-contained greenhouse system using shipping containers. I don't think this is finalized yet, but the idea is that these can be deployed anywhere in the world and produce food even in environments not otherwise conducive to farming.
I think a lot of their programs are still in the startup phase, but they recently started delivering fresh veggies to local restaurants, and the work they're doing is really exciting. It's all total gee whiz stuff and I think it's pretty cool to see technology being used this way.
And finally, we have Re:Vision.
This one holds a special place in my heart because it's located in my own neighborhood. Yup, there's actually an organization working on local food solutions right here in the barrio!
|Sorry, I couldn't resist...|
Seriously though, these guys are doing amazing work. To date they've helped over 300 families start backyard gardens...
They operate two urban farms - one an educational farm at the local middle school, and the other a CSA farm run by a group of Somali refugees...
They have a community kitchen program where they teach people skills such as preserving and nutrition. And most recently they are starting a buying club to make locally produced items like milk & eggs available in the food desert, as well as a food co-op which will convert a junkyard into a center that will bring fresh food to the neighborhood, create jobs, and even allow backyard gardeners to sell their surplus produce.
I have yet to officially participate in any of their programs, though I'm considering joining the buying club and will certainly check out the co-op when it opens. I consider their work to be nothing short of transformational, for the people, the community and the planet.
Anyhow, there are many more organizations working on the issue of local food production, these are three that I just thought were really interesting.
So tell me, what are the local food resources like in your area?