Urban Agriculture Growing Along Front Range
Urban Agriculture is popping up more and more in communities along the Front Range. KUNC gardener Tom Throgmorton has more.
A trend has been growing in our cities over the past few years. It’s agriculture in urban areas.
The oldest example I know of is Happy Heart Farm in Ft. Collins. The farm acreage is in the heart of west, central Ft. Collins. It is a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture farm. Their members buy shares of produce to be grown through the season. Being right in town, the members can bike to pick up the weekly shares of fresh produce.
The Front Range has many other CSA farms. Some are in our cities. Other farms are on the outskirts. But all offer locally grown, freshly harvested food.
Also in and around our communities are market farms. I met the owners of Native Hill Farms last week as they were planting the first seeds of the season in their greenhouse. They, like many other urban farmers, have a few acres in and around town. Some market gardens are on vacant lots in neighborhoods.
Some urban agriculture is designed as part of a community development. The High Plains Environmental Center is a designed portion of the High Plains Village neighborhood in Loveland. The Environmental Center is an active part of the community. It is an example of land stewardship and sustainable living practices.
Agriburbia is a company in Golden that brings agriculture production into communities. They develop sustainable projects that marry urban conveniences with rural production practices.
As part of their model, Agriburbia is maintaining a farm owned by WaterCourse Foods and City, O’City restaurants in the Metro area. They manage the food production on an acre plot in Lakewood. The produce is used in the restaurants. It gives the restaurant an opportunity to have produce that is hard to find and extremely fresh.
In our business, we have also seen this trend. Many folks want us to combine vegetables into their ornamental gardens. We plant more containers with bush type tomatoes or herbs combined with flowers. Recently we’ve constructed more raised beds for easier veggie growing.
While urban agriculture will never reach the magnitude of mass agricultural production, it is a trend. Fuel prices raising food prices is just one reason communities will benefit from developing local food production.