Milk and Honey Farm: Living Values, Creating Community and Awakening Minds

Located on the 10-acre campus of the Jewish Community Center in Boulder, the Milk and Honey Farm is a shining example of building a more resilient community through local organic farming. 

The Boulder JCC is a 501c(3) who’s mission is to provide programs and services based in Jewish values and traditions in a place where people of all ages and backgrounds gather to connect, exchange ideas, learn, and grow together.

The Milk and Honey Farm is a 2+ acre educational sustainable farm that brings the greater community together via experiential programs and activities designed to ignite wonder and discovery, grounded in vast Jewish heritage, tradition, and values. It provides a place for individuals to connect on the simplest level with soil, plants, animals, and people, for the health and well-being of themselves and the larger community.

Last winter we visited with Butch Weaver and Becca Gan-Levy.  In this 2-part video series, Butch and Becca tell us about how their 42-foot Growing Dome supports local sustainable agriculture, charitable giving, Jewish traditions and early childhood education.

The Milk and Honey Farm at the J has three core values they exemplify at the Farm, Living Values, Creating Community and Awakening Minds.  In Part 1, Becca discusses how the Community Center and Farm instill these values through their year-round programming.

Living Values

The Milk and Honey Farm was built on sustainable living practices.  The Growing Dome gives the farm the ability to grow food year-round, without additional heat.

It also enables the farm to donate food year-round to people who need food assistance, and they provide 1 ton of food every year to the Boulder Food Rescue.

“It’s the end of November and our cucumbers are still rocking it!”

Creating Community

Communities have always been built around the food that they eat.  The community gardens at the JCC provide a means to connect back to Jewish traditions through their harvest.  

Pomegranate

Zaatar

The Growing Dome also gives them the ability to grow plants that they couldn’t outside.  Figs, pomegranate, olives, dwarf date palms all thrive in the greenhouse.  They also grow zaatar, which is a tender perennial that grows wild in the Judean hills.  This has been especially popular at local farm-to-table restaurants, and with the increased popularity of Israeli cuisine.

“As an organization it makes so much sense to have a Growing Dome because of the benefit of the space inside it creates.”

Awakening Minds

The JCC’s Early Childhood Center uses the Growing Dome as a place to form connections of ‘where food comes from’.  The space inside the dome creates a wonderful year-round teaching center where the kids are constantly learning (and tasting) new things.  The farm houses chickens, goats and bees.  But the fish that live in the Growing Dome’s water tank are always a big hit!

Koi in the above ground pond

Feeding the Fish!

 

Kids also experience the passive solar design of the Growing Dome, and are amazed how warm and pleasant it is inside in the middle of a cold winter without additional heat.  It gives people a better understanding of new ways to live sustainably.  

“What made you say WOW today?”

 

 

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