by Donna Baker-Breningstall
An innovative one-acre farm has
taken root on the grounds of one of Denver Public Schools most innovative
YOUTHFUL SPROUT CITY SHAREHOLDER anticipates weekly produce pick-up.
The Denver Green School, located at 6700 E. Virginia Ave. in the Winston Downs neighborhood, has the largest urban
farm project on school property.
The Denver Green School
Community Farm is run by Sprout City Farms, an urban agricultural non-profit
that was brought to fruition by several young progressive urban farmers. James
Hale, Meg Caley and Chad Hagedorn decided they wanted to bring organic fresh
veggies and herbs into local school cafeterias and to surrounding communities;
they collaborate with groups such as Denver Urban Gardens to foster educational
programs for both kids and adults and facilitate an intern program for city
dwellers to learn about small scale urban farming.
well-educated farmers just kicked off Sprout City Farms’ inaugural Community
Supported Agriculture program – also called CSA. Thirty-six families who
became shareholders come to the farm each Wednesday afternoon to pick up their
share of the food just harvested that morning. You don’t get much fresher than
that! All the shareholders are parents, teachers and neighbors of the school
and six are refugee families with either children at the school or are residing
in the neighborhood.
One of Sprout City Farms’
aims is for everyone to know where their food comes from, as well as to have
opportunities to learn how to produce food themselves. Currently there are almost
30 volunteers and interns who help at the farm. They tend the lettuce, peas,
bok choy, tomatoes and 70 other varieties of vegetables and herbs. Another
mission of the farm is to use sustainable practices, which will help reduce
energy consumption through organic farming methods such as composting, seed
saving and shunning petroleum-based pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.
Collaborating with the
Denver Green School, Sprout City Farms will in the near future install a large
26-foot-diameter geodesic dome greenhouse, which will enable them to start
seeds, grow food year round and conduct classes. Another groundbreaking project
slated for the fall: a solar powered henhouse which
will house up to 25 happy hens.
Visitors are welcome to
check out all that is growing and happening at Sprout City Farms, located on
the southeast corner of the Denver Green School grounds. For more information
or to find out about volunteer days, go to sproutcityfarms.org.
Learn more about the Denver Green School: visit denvergreenschool.org
or call 720-424-7480.