Local food everywhere (as it should be)

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I consider it a good week when my inbox contains multiple emails pertaining to local food — especially when the respective initiatives and events pertain to what could be major change for our (previously underserved) town.

Leading with the most ambitious of the batch, The Colorado Springs Public Market folks (an Indy Give! beneficiary) announced a new community forum, Public Circle, "to connect and engage our southern Colorado community in the business of true 'food shift' toward a local food economy ... provid[ing] a framework for community awareness and engagement, aligning producers, consumers and distributors to build the foundation for a robust food system where demand prefers the local, and supply can readily meet that demand."

Despite a stiff website design that features U.S. currency overlaid or posed with foodstuffs (such that you feel like you accidentally clicked on a financial page of some sort), the underlying vision is clear, and outlined at length on an initial, footnoted blog posting by area business leader and one-time congressional hopeful Dave Anderson

The group is seeking community partners (businesses), including inside of a Public Circle Forkholder Discount Card Program

An abundance of locally grown food can't come too early in the Springs' future. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • An abundance of locally grown food can't come too early in the Springs' future.
Next up, to this prior list of 2014 farmers markets we rounded up in April, add the Sunday Market Downtown in Acacia Park. It's being managed by the Ivywild School's Hunt or Gather, meaning the food offerings will primarily come from AVOG, but also some of your neighbors too, potentially. 

Hunt or Gather will sell goods from urban gardeners who follow AVOG's standards (shared by project consultant CFAM), meaning uncertified organic practices (non-GMO, pesticide, etc.), for a very fair 10-percent take of the sale. Interested backyard growers need to fill out this application. Those same local growers can also participate in a cool Saturday pop-up market from noon to 3 at Hunt or Gather's storefront inside the Ivywild School, which functions in the same manner sale-wise. 

All of these efforts are a step in the direction that City Councilor Jill Gaebler would have us go in the near future, as we reported back in March about her sustainability-minded call for a "food policy commission" after a move to allow goats in the city

In next week's Side Dish, I'll report on another very exciting and ambitious local food initiative that's about to take shape in partnership with (another Indy Give! beneficiary) Pikes Peak Urban Gardens

Until then, one last related note to a local food business that's close to the heart of many area chefs: Black Forest's Naturescape Microgreens. Owner Dione Sears and her husband David recently put the business up for sale, as they plan to retire, while still remaining "involved in consulting, food security issues and plant science research focusing on urban growers."

Here's a description: 
Well established, profitable local indoor speciality Micro green growing business for sale. Fourteen years with solid Colorado customer base and successful business model. Growing sales yearly. Need to have your own building site and commitment to produce year round.
Says Sears: "Our hope is to be able to pass our success and knowledge forward within our community. For those who have limited knowledge of these growing techniques we intend to offer training to ensure owner(s) success. I have helped develop, train and consult other Micro green businesses that are successful," such as Bloom Microgreens, who "had limited growing experience [but is] in the process of moving into a 9000 sq. foot greenhouse in Los Osos CA."



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