Fun at the Urban Farming Symposium
Guest Blog Post by Beth Partin, Beth at Home and Abroad (Read about it here).
Guest Blog Post by Beth Partin, Beth at Home and Abroad (Read about it here).
The 2015 Grow Food Symposium was a great success! Sign up for our Newsletter or follow us on Social Media to get information on next year's symposium and other future events.
March 20 & 21, 2015 - has ended and was a great success!
An Exploration of Soil Regenerative Farming: Building Local Urban Farming Economies
at the Highland Event Center, 2945 Julian Street, Denver, CO
A Symposium for Urban Farmers by Urban Farmers. Please join us for Feed Denver's Grow Food Symposium. This event is packed full of insightful speakers that are bringing critical topics about urban farming to the forefront. This is a great opportunity for you to share your own personal experiences, struggles, successes in urban farming and to meet other aspiring farmers.
Below is the working program. Panelists subject to change.
FRIDAY EVENING, MAR 20, 5-9 pm
Doors open 5pm. Keynote 6pm. Panel 7pm.
Keynote Speaker: NOVELLA CARPENTER
Panel One: FEEDING A CITY
Around the world women have stepped into leadership roles in urban agriculture. Denver follows this trend. Novella will join panelist in exploring the drive many feel to feed our communities.
SATURDAY, MAR 21, 8 am - 4:30 pm
Doors open 8am. Programming 9am.
Panel Two: FARMING IN THE CITY
Why would a person choose to be a farmer in the city - especially those choosing soil regenerative, deeper than organic, nutrition building techniques. We'll explore the good, the bad, and (what makes it worth it!) the tasty.
Panel Three: CAN URBAN FARMING BE A CAREER?
What does an urban farmer look like? Do we all have to do the same thing? There are a lot of opportunities in urban farming. Carving out a niche is the entrepreneurial thing to do. Explore until you find what you love. Our panelists loves range from tomatoes to waste, dairy to eggs, creative consulting to micro-distribution.
Panel Four: SUPPORTING URBAN FARMING
The largest barrier to success is our community. Not our customers (they're great!) but the towns and cities we live in and the assumptions we make collectively about how things are done. Access to land, policy & law, HOAs(!), distribution and more. What supports do we need to build a successful and sustainable urban farming industry - from the farmer up!
Followed by an end of day mixer!
Our Grow Food Keynote Speaker:
Thank you to our Sponsors, Vendors, and Tablers for their Support and Encouragement!
Sundari Kraft is the author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading” and the founder of Heirloom Gardens, LLC. For four years Heirloom Gardens operated a multi-plot urban farm in northwest Denver. Sundari is also the founder and organizer of Sustainable Food Denver, an advocacy group. Sustainable Food Denver was instrumental in passing a new Food Producing Animals (chickens, ducks, and dwarf goats) ordinance for Denver. She was also the urban homesteading columnist for MaryJanesFarm magazine.
Sundari was the founding co-chair of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council and teaches classes on a variety of urban homesteading topics. She lives in Wheat Ridge with her husband Brian, their daughter Ela, and their chickens, dwarf goats, two cats, and a chihuahua.
Dan was introduced to all things organic farming from Gathering Together Farm in Philomath, OR in 2009. He gained experience not only in daily field work but also from working farmers markets in Portland on the weekends. Upon returning to the 303 in 2010 he began working for Grower's Organic, Colorado's only 100% organic produce distributer. He would meet his wife Christa at Growers and in 2013 they, along with two other friends Adam Slack and Shannon Dils, would start True Roots Farm, a 1/3 acre urban market garden in lovely downtown Wheat Ridge. In 2015 Adam, Christa, and Dan will be relocating the farm to East Golden where they will produce vegetables, herbs and fruit for sale at the Old Town Arvada Farmers Market.
Learn about Dan and Christa Graeve and True Roots Farm in this story in The Atlantic blog City Lab: Why a Denver Suburb Has Gone All-In for Farming Want to start an urban farm without permitting hassles? Dreaming of dwarf goats in your yard? Move to Wheat Ridge, Colorado. By ANNA BERGREN MILLER Read more.
Mike Miller grows some of the best tomatoes in Denver! Read about him here in an article by John Broening in the Denver Post:
Home gardener helps chef John Broening discover true heirloom tomato taste
Mike Miller stopped by one of my restaurants a few weeks ago bringing a Tupperware container filled with his first tomatoes of the year: Red Kuraliks the size of gooseberries, yellowish oval Tangellas, a single Green Zebra, all of them in pristine condition except for a few Black Cherries that he'd cut in half and meticulously de-seeded with a teaspoon. Miller has made me rethink what a good heirloom tomato is. Read more
Sarah works as a Director of Conservation for Colorado Open Lands, a statewide land trust committed to preserving Colorado’s natural heritage. Sarah worked to create a legal assistance program for Hispano farmers in the San Luis Valley to help protect their water rights. Sarah has a passion for restoring and enhancing the connection between people and place that stems from her background growing up as the sixth generation on a family cattle ranch. She was fortunate enough to see the transformative power of community action through the founding and continued success of the Malpai Borderlands Group, a collaborative conservation group that her parents helped to establish. Sarah is President of the Board of Directors of Re:vision, a nonprofit working to cultivate a local food system in Southwest Denver. Her newest challenge is keeping up with her toddler.
Amanda Weaver, PhD is owner of Five Fridges Farm and general land manager. She keeps bees, gardens, tends goats, makes cheese and yogurt, and composts with a vengeance. As an “old school” foodie, she cans and freezes everything from the garden and other’s backyards in attempt to keep that harvest taste going through the winter. Her most famous quote is, “we could do that at the farm.” Her goal is to spread the word about the local bounty and encourage everyone to taste the Colorado is their food. In her free time she works as a full-time senior instructor of geography at UCDenver teaching courses in local agriculture, food systems, and GIS.
Candice Orlando serves as UrbiCulture Community Farms’ Executive Director. With a degree in Environmental Studies from Naropa University in Boulder, Candice has studied horticulture, permaculture, organic agriculture and biodynamic principles. Candice and her husband Jon, envisioned UrbiCulture Community Farms (UCF) in 2007 when they transformed their backyard into a food-producing wonderland. Their excess food began to feed their neighbors and soon began a journey to transform weed-choked lots into bountiful urban farms. The resulting healthy, locally-grown produce would be available to neighborhood residents from all levels of income. UCF became a non-profit in 2009 and Candice, with the help of the community, has now established 4 'pay what you can' farmstands throughout Denver, a school garden in which students eat produce from their garden in their school lunches and a donation program that supplies healthy food to women's shelters, food banks and other social service agencies.
DEREK & KHAMISE MULLEN
Learn more about Derek and Khamise Mullen in this great article by Melanie Warner in TakePart.
How a Young Couple Transformed an Empty Suburban Lot Into a Fantastical Food Oasis
Ensuring a green future for the last open prairie in Lakewood, Colo., won't be easy. Read more
Over the last five years Mr. Green has taken a life-long passion for local and sustainable food and converted it to a full time interest. Born into a Colorado family, now raising their fifth generation here, he carries forward their values of self-reliance, of small farms and large gardens, cooking from scratch, a do-it-yourself work ethic, and a practice of food preservation to set produce aside for the seasons. As such he has a great deal of historic and firsthand experience and information about Colorado community level food systems from the perspective of a participating food citizen. He has held key positions in several successful local food companies.
Mr. Green started Preserving Community, a company dedicated to introducing citizens to the food system and the many choices available to secure foods that are fresh, local, organic and sustainable. The vehicle for that exploration and awareness building are a workshop series in food preservation skills and pantries. Preserving Community is also a consulting firm specializing in food safety systems for farms, small food processors, as well as in developing private label brands of locally canned products. The work of PC focuses on two local food perspectives 1) household skills for seasonal food preservation and 2) adding community capacity to local food supply chains in processing and setting aside seasonal food at a commercial level. Food safety, food science, regulatory compliance, food product development, local food processing, food safety and HACCP plans.
John Paul Maxfield
John-Paul Maxfield is the Founder of Waste Farmers and Maxfield's Organics. WF has evolved into an innovator respected by leaders in the global community for developing simple solutions to the complex problems of modern agriculture and food security. The knowledge and experience behind Waste Farmers has been many years in the making as John-Paul comes from a family of agricultural leaders who have been pioneers in farming and ranching since the 19th century.
In 2007 John-Paul was selected as one of the “Fifty for the Future” by the Colorado Statesman and in 2011 was selected as one of the Denver Business Journals’ “40 Under 40”. In 2011, John-Paul was appointed by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration to serve on Denver Seeds, a strategy to support small businesses, create jobs and shift food production away from large out-of-state industrial operations toward local growers.
Chris Sramek is the VP of Consumers at High Plains Food Coop. High Plains Food Co-op was raised on the 127 year old Sramek Family Farm originally homesteaded in 1888 in far northwest Rawlins County Kansas. The Sramek Family Farm is a charter member of the High Plains Food Co-op and Chris currently is working on expanding production with other growth oriented member farmers and does strategic planning for the co-op. Chris is a consulting Ag Meteorologist and former Community Economic Development Director and now 5th generation farmer converting two 20 acre vacant homesteads into free range poultry farms that will allow multiple siblings to return to farming. With his lead, sustainable farming has played a role in reversing population decline in Rawlins County population 2,579, which has been occurring since the 1930’s. Sustainable farming is creating diversity and new economic opportunities for young farmers to return to both urban and rural food desert communities.