In March, Feed Denver was invited to speak to Denver city officials about Urban Agriculture. Although it was impromptu it is now being referred to as "The Summit." We pulled together a number of people and organizations already active in food production in the city to show how it looks and why it's needed.
Among those present were Denver Public Health, Denver Urban Gardens, and Heirloom Gardens. We spoke to individuals from community sustainability, community planning and development, zoning, environmental health, animal control, Greenprint Denver and Denver Water. (We were later invited to speak to the Mayor's Office of Economic Development.)
The reaction was mighty!
We communicated how urban agriculture is very different from the image we all have of large, industrial ag in rural areas. Urban ag is limited by land availability and the closeness to residences and businesses. This will make urban agriculture unique in its look and production methods. It will also create a completely new industry in the city of locally produced food and food products.
- The carbon footprint will be close to zero as distribution needs drop due to proximity.
- In limited space agriculture goes bio-intensive and vertical, using every inch of space available.
- The only way to do this is to use organic techniques.
- Year round production in enclosed spaces will be a key to our sustainability.
- We will need to grow an abundance of food inside to be protected from weather.
- We will need to develop appropriate sized food producing animals to serve our protein needs.