Urban Farming at Denver Public Schools

Last Saturday I spent a morning helping Groundwork Denver and Produce Denver prepare two large plots at McGlone Elementary School. Denver Public Schools contracted with Produce Denver to grow produce at several schools and use it in the school lunch program. Although the three schools now participating do not provide enough produce for the entire lunch program, DPS has made a good start. Groundwork Denver, a nonprofit, helps for-profit Produce Denver fulfill its contract by providing volunteers and members of the Green Team to do the farm work.

The volunteers scattered fertilizer, raked it into the soil, and did some weeding around the edges of the property. In the picture above, I am raking one of the large plots; the girls on the right are wearing masks to keep from inhaling too much of the fertilizer, made from alfalfa.

The next step is to build beds, which I think will be done primarily by Groundwork Denver’s Green Team, a group of young people who help Groundwork carry out its mission to encourage local governments, businesses, nonprofits, and residents collaborate to improve their neighborhoods in Denver and foster environmental justice. One of the staff from Produce Denver told me they had thousands of vegetables to plant in the next few weeks, so they will be busy.