Denver Joining Food Revolution, Front-Yard Stands Pop Up Following Progressive Urban Farming Program

Dawn Papple

In the national food revolution, some municipalities, like Denver, are joining the urban farm movement. Denver, Colorado, has implemented a new city urban farming program which was authorized by the council last year and allows its residents to not only have urban farms, but to sell their home-grown produce and some cottage foods in own front-yard stands.

Deb Neeley reportedly planned to launch her front-yard produce stand, Green Gate Urban Farm and Gardens, this spring. Neeley told the Denver Post that her green grape vines produced 100 pounds of fruit last year. She also will sell apples, elderberry, pear, currant, and other fruits and vegetables directly to her Denver neighbors from her front yard.

“Our goal is to provide the most vibrant and healthful organic produce, eggs and wellness products from a residential farm and branch locations in NW Denver. While adding to the sacred living food chain, we utilize best practices that honor the earth. We aim to empower the community to take control of their own food through education and inspiration via hyperlocal outlets. Our actions are geared toward the greater good and the betterment of the whole.”

Neeley’s chickens meander about her backyard and provide farm fresh eggs.

“Everybody should have access to nutritious, organic food, and it should be affordable,” Neeley told the Denver Post. “A lot of what I’m trying to do is set an example here to inspire people to grow their own food as well — I don’t want to be the only one doing this.”

Denver’s urban farming rules allow residents to sell anytime between 8 a.m. and dusk. Denver residents can sell raw, uncut produce for a one-time fee of only 20 dollars, and cottage foods, which requires an additional permit.

Denver also features Denver Urban Gardens (D.U.G), which operates over 135 community gardens around Denver, including 40 gardens that are based at local schools.

The city is also the headquarters for Veterans to Farmers which is currently training veterans at “dirtless farms” in Denver.

Urban farms are popping up across the nation. Last year, the S.F. Gate announced that urban farmers in San Francisco would be the first in the nation to receive tax breaks for operating an urban garden out of wasted land. Meanwhile, other areas of the nation are falling behind. In Michigan, which is rich with available land for local gardens and farms, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development actually cracked down on small farmers last year, as Inquisitr previously reported. Last week, the owners of Sweet Peas Farms in Michigan announced that they lost their appeal in their Right-to-Farm case. Though the U.N. reportedly announced that a shift towards local small-scale farmers and food systems is the only way to feed the world, some states and municipalities in the U.S. are still resisting the urban farming movement.

What’s your community like? Is it moving forward with new initiatives in urban and small farming like Denver, or is it fighting community gardens and local food sales at every turn?

[Photo via Downtown Denver/Facebook]