Archive for the ‘Community Supported Agriculture’ tag
Summer is here! Over the weekend, the rain stayed away, the sun kept shining, and at the Taste of Fort Collins, the list of possible food choices seemed to never end! Brazilian, Cuban, and Mexican food; barbeque, fondue, gelato, pizza, fresh fruit and juice were just a few of the possibilities. Artists, craft vendors, and Sugar Ray and Gin Blossoms rounded out the experience of celebrating summer—together outdoors. Gathering with neighbors and friends and meeting new people is an integral part of the summer fun of festivals, food, and performances in Northern Colorado. There’s also a lot you can sink your teeth into to keep your “taste” of Fort Collins going all season long. Since food, culture, and community are so interconnected, we’d love to hear how you “taste” Fort Collins all summer long!
Whether you gather at a local restaurant, visit a farmers’ market, support local agriculture, or grow some of your own food, there are many ways to think about making meals with the bounty of summer. People all over Fort Collins are connecting with each other at regularly scheduled markets to buy fresh and locally grown produce. If you planned ahead, you may be enjoying shares from one of our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms, which is one option. In Larimer County, there are at least six separate farmers’ markets. The Colorado Agricultural Marketing Cooperative offers three markets to local growers and consumers (produce is restricted to Larimer, Morgan, Boulder or Weld Counties, with the exception of Western Slope fruit). The County of Larimer offers its own market which is run by its Master Gardener volunteers on Saturday mornings at the Larimer County Courthouse Parking Lot (north side of Oak Street between Mason and Howes Streets in Fort Collins). There’s also the Drake Road Farmers’ Market on Saturday, and on Fridays out on South Shields, you’ll find the Gulley Greenhouse & Garden Center Market. If you know of other Fort Collins farmers’ markets, let us know!
Or perhaps you have joined the growing number of Americans who have planted food in your own backyard! According to the National Garden Association, 43 million Americans planned to grow food in their backyards this year—that’s up 19% from last year. Even Michelle Obama has joined in and organized a “recession garden.” She’s not the first First Lady to implement a garden at the White House. During World War I and World War II, in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany, people planted gardens at private residences to reduce the demand on the public food supply and support the war effort. Eleanor Roosevelt placed her “victory garden” on the White House lawn in 1943—although the Agriculture Department objected—and by the end of the war, 40% of the country’s food was grown in community gardens and backyards. These gardens were considered civil “morale boosters,” since they could help gardeners feel empowered and rewarded by the produce they grew. Today more Americans live in urban and suburban areas, so community and container gardening is growing in popularity—even in a small space, you can grow something. In Fort Collins, you can see community gardens and gardeners at work and get composting information and tips at The Gardens on Spring Creek. Fort Collins has a worm exchange (for composting) and a plant exchange as well. There are plans for even more community gardens around the city next year. Home Grown Food is based in Fort Collins, and has evolved in association with Grow Food Not Lawns, and you can find out more about edible landscapes at Northern Colorado Gardenscapes.
If you’d rather just eat fresh local food than grow your own, you can always join in and declare July 4 as Food Independence Day along with the non-profit group Kitchen Gardeners International. The group promotes the ideas that local foods are patriotic (either grown in your area or by you), and that they’re good for our local farmers, our economies, our health, and our planet. You can plan a holiday menu of local produce and foods, or declare a different independence day to coincide with celebrations in another part of the world! However you choose to enjoy local produce this Summer, we hope you’ll savor the taste of food from our community. I can smell fresh basil just thinking about it!
Take time to stop and smell the tomatoes!
Thanks for the photos gregor_y.