Buses depart at 7:30 a.m., board in front of Marriott on California Street.
Tour two private Community Supported Agriculture farms, Revision International and Blue Bear Farm, and see their innovative and up-to-date ideas about how to run a CSA.
Revision International’s mission is to educate, inspire, connect and empower individuals and communities to achieve transformational change through locally created, scalable models that contribute to global sustainability. The community farm is located in a neighborhood that has been considered a food dessert for years. There are two locations fairly close to one another and are great examples of small scale urban agriculture while highlighting many permaculture techniques within a small city block.
They have three main strategies for creating self-sufficient communities: Establish Community Food Systems: increase neighborhood food production through backyard gardens, urban farms, and food distribution models, leading to greater access and affordability of healthy food for all residents. Resident Empowerment: empower residents to become active in their community through leadership development and a train-the-trainer approach, and employ residents as community health workers called promotoras. Economic Development: grow a local food economy that creates good paying jobs, increases economic opportunity for neighborhood enterprises, and builds community wealth through cooperative business models.
Blue Bear Farm is an innovative urban garden located in downtown Denver near the Convention Center. This unique urban farm boosts the national image of the Colorado Convention Center and fits perfectly into Denver's environmental responsibility and sustainability culture. Blue Bear Farm is used by Centerplate, who provide the event hospitality services for the Colorado Convention Center. The purpose of Blue Bear Farm is to grow food and use it as a tool to educate people about urban farming. With over 5000 square feet of growing space, the farm is a perfect setting for an urban agriculture learning site and boosts the local food production economy. In its first year of operation the farm’s estimated production was 1800 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables. Within the next four to five years the farm’s expected production should reach 5000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables per year. A total of 34 different plants are grown on the Blue Bear Farm, including eggplant, squash, tomatoes, melons, and raspberries. Produce Denver designed, built and is now maintaining the farm. The farm also conducts educational programming so youth can learn urban farming skills working on the farm. MojoGro has generously donated the organic soil being used in the garden beds, and Dutch Heritage Gardens donated many of the plants that are being grown.
Finish the morning with a walking tour of the Denver Botanic Gardens’ CSA at their Chatfield site. This tour will be led by CSA Staff Josie Hart-Gentner and Phil Cordelli. Denver Botanic Gardens and Kaiser Permanente have created a first-of-its-kind CSA program. The community farm provides fresh local produce to Colorado families and organizations that serve communities in need from the Rocky Mountain Region. In the past three years, the Chatfield CSA has grown a total of 48.5 tons (97,038 lbs.) of produce. Just under 4 tons (7,879 lbs.) has been donated to local organizations. The Chatfield CSA (now in its fourth year) offers classes, an expanded volunteer program and additional products at distribution such as locally grown honey and flower bouquets