CSU Extension’s Spring Soil Health Awareness Campaign

What is CSU Extension’s Spring Soil Health Awareness Campaign?

During the spring of 2015, a host of partner organizations throughout Denver will be take part in CSU Extension’s Soil Health Awareness Campaign to increase public awareness around the importance of good soil health for growing plants and food. To help accomplish this, CSU will provide 150 free soil test kits and free analysis for residents who are interested in determining their soil health for home gardening. These 150 free soil test kits will be available at 7 locations throughout Denver for pick-up and drop off. Once the free soil test kits are committed, CSU Extension will continue distributing soil test kits for the standard fee of $35 for routine garden and landscape testing. Additional testing for soil amendments, sodium, chromium, molybdenum, cadmium and lead has an additional fee.  These kits and the analysis have been donated by the CSU Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.

Additional to the free soil test kits, CSU Extension will provide a series of activities and programs this spring to educate Denver residents about not only soil health, but also establishing a front yard farm stand, selling Cottage Foods, nutrition education, healthy and low-cost recipes, cooking demonstrations, and food safety. Programs will be conducted throughout Denver at some of our partner organizations’ locations. The Spring Soil Health Awareness Campaign partners include The Growhaus, Colorado Aquaponics, ReVision, Focus Points, Groundwork Denver, Livewell, Denver Urban Gardens, the CSU Soil & Crop Sciences Department, and Denver City Council Members Robin Kniech, Deborah Ortega, and Judy Montero.

Focus of programming and events will align with Extension research-based Best Practices. Efforts will be complimentary to the Denver Food Ordinance that now allows backyard vegetable producers to sell home produce and cottage foods at a front yard farm stand. This is a strategy that should create local economic activity, promote some local food sourcing, and allow Denver residents to have a better connection with where their food comes from. Most or all of CSU Extension’s programming will be made available in Spanish as well as English.

The Goals for CSU Extension’s Spring Soil Health Awareness Campaign:

 To educate the Denver community regarding the importance of soil health when growing, selling or consuming fruits and vegetables from home gardens.

 To help improve the overall health of Denver residents by conducting relevant programming that encourages soil health, safe backyard gardening, Cottage Food production and sales, food safety practices, nutrition education, and front-yard farm stand sales to the public.

 To promote local economic opportunity for Denver residents by educating about the operation of a home-based front yard farm stand selling fresh produce, fruit and/or Cottage Foods.

Date TBD: Cottage Food Training specifically for Spanish speaking microfarmer promontoras from Revision – (12 to 20 kits) – Karin Neidfeldt and Kristin Lacy.

Date(s) TBD: Microfarmer Promontora Training for ReVision, titled “Plant Families and Companion Planting in a 20×20 Garden.” Kristin Lacy from ReVision, Dan Goldhamer, Karin Niedfeldt and Rusty Collins will organize a special Horticulture and Food Safety program for the 25 participants in the Westwood community Microfarmer project through ReVision. Extension will distribute (25) soil test kits to program participants.

May 16th & 17th (Saturday and Sunday): Denver Master Gardeners Plant Sale, 8:00am – 3:00pm. Located at Harvard Gulch Park, 888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver 80210. Soil test kits will be made available for plant sale shoppers. This event is on Saturday from 8:00am-3:00pm and Sunday from 10:00am-3:00pm.

May 30th (Saturday): CSU Alumni and Denver Extension Urban Ag Bus Tour and Farm-to-Table Chef Catered Event featuring locally grown food and a chef presentation. The CSU Alumni Association is offering an Urban Ag Bus Tour and Farm to Table dinner for $50, reserved to the first 50 participants. To register follow this link https://advancing.colostate.edu/EVENTS/FARMTOTABLE

For more information, please contact the CSU Denver Extension Office at 720-913-5270.

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