Growing Food, Growing Community
Updated: Jul 23
In November, SustainEd Farms took some time to step back and evaluate how well we were serving our mission and vision as an organization. We talked about Growing Food and how we could continue to improve upon our sustainable farming practices, we talked about Growing Knowledge and how our school programmings could dive deeper into topics food systems and their effect on the climate, and we talked about Growing Justice and how SustainEd Farms is making a positive impact on the communities with which we work.
In the summertime, harvest days are by far the busiest days of the week – each team member visits all of their garden sites, fully harvesting from each garden before bringing all the produce together to be sorted, weighed, and packaged for morning delivery of farm shares. Each week, a great amount of time was spent ensuring that each farm share had enough food for our paying customers, sometimes at the expense of less food going to our food donation partner organizations. As an organization with a core focus on food justice, this did not sit well with us.
When we harvest food from a school garden, it should go back to the surrounding community, or to those that resemble it closely – otherwise, it’s an extraction of resources. In previous years, the farm share program guaranteed that 20% of produce would be donated. This year, with a renewed focus on food justice, 100% of food harvested from school gardens will be donated to either Bienvenidos Food Bank, Vive Wellness’ food distribution program, Struggle of Love Food Bank, or to Huerta Urbana’s pay-what-you-can farmers market. Food justice is not just a question of getting food to people, it’s a question of people having the freedom to choose what foods they want, in ways that are culturally and personally relevant. Bringing produce to Huerta Urbana farmers market gives people the opportunity to shop for fresh foods in communities where it is often unavailable or unaffordable.
Ending the farm share program was not an easy decision, but we believe that it is the right one. We know how much people loved getting garden-fresh vegetables delivered to their doors, but we hope to see you at Huerta Urbana Farmers Market this summer, which will be taking place in the Focus Points parking lot at 2501 E 48th Ave in Denver, from 2-6pm on the following dates:
- June 9th,16th, 23rd
- July 14th, 21st, and 28th
- August 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th
- September 1st, 15th and 29th
- October 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th