By: Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan here! I’m very happy to introduce everyone to Denver’s Summer of Solutions! First, let me say that I wish I could write this introduction using the “we” pronoun, but I’m still looking for team leaders! Feel free to send any connections my way! Feel like coming to Denver? Email me!
So here’s the idea. Let’s find some people who really care about growing, eating, and cooking food in the city, and we’ll live and learn together! What if we produce not only food to eat, but solutionaries to lead in this new, green economy? I’m confident that the handful of people who will come out for the summer of 2012 in Denver will finish as competent gardeners, if not entrepreneurs and advocates for urban agriculture and food justice in Denver. One of the best parts about this is that there are so many options in Denver to accomplish it! I have been lucky enough to connect with a number of great organizations to work in partnership with! I would love to tell you about a few of them! All of them influence me in some way when envisioning this summer! [I’m going to try to let them use their own words as much as I can.]
Greenleaf engages youth in urban agriculture, farming on available lots in neighborhoods that don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. At GreenLeaf young people ages 14 – 18 earn a fair wage while they grow food for their communities and explore issues of health, nutrition, and social justice. The diverse crew of youth interns drives GreenLeaf’s innovative and project-based curriculum of intensive leadership development and asset-based community building. The young people also grow, challenging themselves and each other in an environment that creates lasting, just, and sustainable social change.
Slow Food Denver’s Seed To Table School Food Program creates meaningful relationships between young people and food in order to transform the school food system. By placing an emphasis on hands-on experiences, community interaction, and the pleasures of the table, SFD-STT projects help to strengthen the food communities of tomorrow by engaging youth today.
The GrowHaus is a non-profit urban farm and market in northeast Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood. Their mission is to grow healthy community through food access,production and education.
Cooking Matters empowers families with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to prepare healthy and affordable meals.
All of these programs and more inspire me to help contribute to solutions in our community. I have made several contacts with people to work in gardens, provide grocery store tours, and learn the skills around urban farming. I look forward to solidifying a program [or two] with the coming team leaders who will jump on board!
I grew up in Denver, went to college in Minnesota, and am currently part of the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers. I started traveling in 2005, and since then, I have been to El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, U.A.E, and (Oh!) Canada. My degree is in peace studies, and I see food as a building block for all kinds of justice near and far! I love to cook anything you put in my fridge or pantry. I have had the best conversations while weeding in the garden. I’m trying to be a disciple of Jesus, which has a lot to do with where I’m trying to go with life. In May 2011, I gave a report to my Peace Studies department from the year 2041 about how I contributed to world peace by helping each yard in the United States to produce food. I want to talk with you. One of my favorite things is listening.
Please, let me know what you think! My email works great! firstname.lastname@example.org
I see some other programs I want to connect with across the country, and I’m looking forward to talking with those people very soon! Stay tuned for more exciting action from Denver, Colorado! [the only SoS in Mountain Standard Time! “the new frontier”]