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community outreach farm

  • Subject: [cg] community outreach farm
  • From: "Susan Bruckner" sjbruckner@hotmail.com
  • Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 14:45:11 -0600


Hi. I am starting a not-for-profit community outreach farm in the Durango, CO area. (The article below is going out in our Farmer's Market newsletter and is gives an idea of what my vision is). I have been a member of this list serve for months now and have been extremely impressed with how helpful everyone is. It is really beautiful. Anyway, to make my dream a reality, there is one thing that would really be of help . . . land! Since I will be a non-profit I am looking for land donation or funding to acquire it. I am putting the word out in my amazing community as well as researching various avenues such as land trusts, open space conservancy, and so forth. I would be extremely grateful for any comments or suggestions on how to get land! Thanks so much.

Sue Bruckner (sjbruckner@hotmail.com)

Gardens not only grow food, they grow community.
By Sue Bruckner and Stephanie Mackley

There is an intimate connection between food, land and people. Yet many of the connections between communities and their local food sources have been disrupted or forgotten. Our goal is to strengthen these connections by creating a not-for-profit community outreach farm that will strive to create gardening experiences and education for people of all ages and backgrounds.

The farm will be dedicated to forging connections between residents of the Four Corners and their sustainable local food sources. We hope to do this through networking and promoting all sustainable food producers in this region. One route towards this goal is creating and distributing a directory of all local, sustainable growers.

Beyond working closely with and promoting existing local farmers, we will establish a demonstrational farm site composed of multiple gardens, showing various sustainable gardening techniques. These gardens will teach and experiment with different sustainable methods aimed at growing high yields with minimal resources. More specifically, demo gardens will provide education on topics such as drought resistant crops, gardening in small spaces and four-season gardening.

It is also our goal to demonstrate ways that gardening can be made accessible to all populations, including people with economic, physical or mental limitations. For example, we will create a wheelchair-accessible “enabling garden,” and use adapted tools that break down barriers between physical limitations and gardening.

Because local food security issues are important to the mission of this farm, nearly everything grown on the site will be donated to local shelters and soup kitchens. We are also interested in exploring ways to 1) insure that local, sustainably-grown food is accessible to all, particularly lower income families and 2) promote the inclusion of these foods in institutions such as schools.

To turn this vision into a reality we are currently researching potential land donors, grant sources, existing farms with similar missions and are looking for people interested in contributing time, energy and ideas to this project. We are particularly interested in how members of the local sustainable farming community feel about our vision. For more information or to share your ideas and comments, please contact Sue Bruckner via email: sjbruckner@hotmail.com. Sue is currently the distribution and outreach coordinator at Beneficial Farm in Santa Fe and plans to return to Durango in September to throw herself into this project head-first.





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