Community Ag Alliance: Grow your own in 2015

Lindsey Hall/For Steamboat Today

— It’s a little early, yes, but the time to start thinking about the 2015 growing season is right around the corner.

The days are getting longer, the sun is getting stronger, and the seed catalogs are starting to show up in my mailbox. Most farmers and gardeners can probably relate to my seemingly premature excitement.

The way I see it, it is never too early to start getting inspired and motivated especially if having a garden is new to you.

We have such an abundance of resources and knowledge in our community. Many people and organizations have made it their mission to help educate about growing, distributing and consuming local food, fiber and other products in this region.

Folks are taking the Master Gardener course, the Yampatika garden education series and permaculture design courses, renting seeds from the Bud Werner Seed Library and ordering their food from the Community Ag Marketplace. Homeowners are experimenting with their spaces switching from grass to edible landscaping and investing in structures like grow towers, grow domes, greenhouses and root cellars.

As movements go, there is still work to do to continue to grow, to be creative, to educate and to share skills.

What can we do to grow more of our own food and support other local growers and food producers? Who is already growing? What sort of space is available? What can we grow? How can we make it affordable for everyone?

Getting inspired begins by having the conversation. We are lucky enough to live in a town with great resources and creative minds. I invite you to become part of this conversation with extraordinary people and organizations who are willing share their expertise, ask the hard questions, brainstorm solutions and create action. 

On Jan. 15, Bud Werner Seed Library, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and Community Agriculture Alliance are kicking off the 2015 growing season with a Talking Green Series documentary titled “Growing Cities – A Film about Urban Farming in America.” This documentary focuses on agriculture in cities — food grown for the people by the people and addresses needs of a society to simply grow more local food.

One of my favorite aspects of the film is the idea of reimagining the use of land.  Where could there be more gardens and food forests? And while we reimagine land use, we are also discover a new cultural norm in how we think about, grow and consume food — “vibrant food systems that lead to stronger and more vibrant communities.” Life changing stuff.

What a great way to open up 2015 Talking Green series. “Growing Cities” is sure to spark inspiration by taking a look at some fantastic projects across the country.

The film is free and starts at 6:30 p.m. in Library Hall. Please join us and feel free to bring any information, ideas and projects you have going on. Or, just come in to listen and learn. Everyone is welcome.

Looking forward to seeing you there! 

Lindsey Hall serves as the administrative assistant for Community Agriculture Alliance, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and MainStreet Steamboat in the shared office of these three non-profits at 141 Ninth St., downtown Steamboat.

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