Monday, September 13, 2010

Cool nights and labor day barbecues mark the end of summer's raging heat, and the beginning of sweater season. It is not too late to plant though! Now is the time to plant late summer crops like deep greens; spinach, lettuce, broccoli, and root vegetables- beets, radishes, winter carrots, and turnips. You can always extend the growing season by creating a glass, fabric, or plastic cover; something that holds the heat in during the early freezes. Here at the Feed Denver Farm in Stapleton we have the benefit of a hoop house that can regulate the temperature through thermal mass in order to grow all winter long. We are also planting outdoors with the help of some fabric covers. We will have fresh organic produce available all year round!

A large part of our winter growing season preparation success is due to a refugee program we started a few months ago. The "New Americans" program provides agricultural training and potential job opportunities to eight adult Bhutanese refugees. While the language barrier has been frustrating at times, the work accomplished by and the camaraderie built between new americans and staff has been profound. Currently we are making ready the greenhouse to accommodate fall and winter crops, starts have sprouted, and the outside beds are being plied with vermicompost and bhutanese songs. Feed Denver gives shares of our vegetables to our New American workers, and they teach us about squash leaf soup. It is a good exchange.

We are hoping to continue to provide learning experiences and a chance for a better life to these New Americans. As part of that goal we are trying to raise money for winter clothes like hats and gloves, as well as support for our winter crop operation. We have currently become part of a global giving campaign in order to accomplish these goals. Consider being a part of our continuing effort to grow communities along with local food! Visit this link in order to find out more and contribute.