Growing Spaces is pleased to announce a partnership with GoFarm, a Colorado-based local agriculture non-profit.
GoFarm Farmer Incubator Program
Growing Spaces has donated the use of a 26′ Growing Dome Greenhouse for GoFarm’s Farmer Incubator Program. The project is centered around spreading the importance of urban agriculture, providing fresh, local food to the community, and supporting local, sustainable farmers through training and mentorship. The construction of the greenhouse was finished in August 2019 by a wonderful group of local volunteers. The greenhouse uses sustainable and renewable energy technologies and helps extend the short Colorado growing season and provide fresh produce for the community year-round.
The Growing Dome will be managed by Colorado-born farmer, Shannon Harker, who is part of the GoFarm Incubator – a GoFarm program that trains and supports the next generation of farmers. The Greenhouse dome will expand Shannon’s growing season and amplify her education in urban farming through the incubator program. The greenhouse will also act as a source of fresh, local food for the Golden community and surrounding areas, as it will supply food to partnering food organizations, local restaurants, community residents, and other food hubs.
Visit the Dome
Customers in the Front Range also now have an opportunity to visit a local Growing Dome. You can make an appointment to visit the 26′ Growing Dome Greenhouse by contacting Growing Spaces at 970-731-2120. We will also be co-hosting an Open House on May 9th that will include free gardening classes, seed exchange, food from local farm-to-table restaurants, and local craft beer. RSVP on our Growing Spaces Events page!
Update 3-23-2020: The Open House and Personal Tours are on hold until further notice.
The land for the Growing Dome was donated by Golden resident Tim Blum and is located in Golden’s historic Goosetown district near the Tucker Gulch trail and the American Mountaineering Museum.
In Colorado, the amount of small-scale, biodiverse farmland is declining, and around 50% of farmers are predicted to retire within the next 10 years. Because of this, GoFarm works to support the next generation of beginning farmers and build up local, sustainable agriculture. The greenhouse also helps new farmers experience the differences between greenhouse farming and farming outside.
The goal of the GoFarm Incubator is to increase the number of sustainable farms in Colorado by training and mentoring aspiring farmers and breaking down the barriers of entry into the agriculture field. They provide access to land and water, greenhouses, provide technical assistance, offer classroom curriculum and in-field workshops, and offer year-round advisement and support. The program has 3 tracks: Apprenticeship (2 years), Internship (1 summer), and Externship (1 year). In Sept. 2019, the inaugural class of externs and interns graduated from the incubator, and 3 farmer apprentices continued on for their second year. They welcomed 4 new apprentices and 11 new externs into the incubator, including Shannon, and on-boarded 8 experienced farmers to offer mentorship and guidance for each apprentice.
GoFarm also offers local food shares and Community Food Access. They were awarded the 2019 City of Golden Sustainability Award for their efforts in advancing sustainable agriculture, offering local, sustainably-grown food options to Golden residents, and offering compost and waste-reduction education.
Local Food Shares
Most people today do not know where or how their food is grown, but GoFarm is trying to change this. They provide participants (shareholders) with 20 weeks of fresh, sustainably-grown produce that they aggregate from local farmers. The farmers benefit from this reliable wholesale market where they set the prices and reach a new audience.
Community Food Access
1 out of 11 Coloradans still do not know where or when their next meal will be. This is why GoFarm works to make fresh, healthy, local food more accessible and affordable to under-resourced communities. This program tackles food insecurity at a systems level, and makes purchasing and cooking healthy food easy and routine for more families.
“We are thankful for Growing Spaces’ for donating the use of this greenhouse to GoFarm. We are dedicated to training the next generation of farmers and this greenhouse is a wonderful opportunity to expand that training and mentorship ” –Eileen O’Rourke, GoFarm Founder
A Future Hub For Urban Agriculture, Greenhouse Farming & Education In Golden, CO
Over time, we would like to expand the project to include outdoor community gardens, interactive walking paths, additional greenhouse farms, and possibly even an outdoor events center. We have dubbed the project TurnTable gardens, after a railroad turntable that was located in this historic district at the turn of the 20th century. The area was originally home to working-class immigrants from Germany, Sweden, Poland and England, and once bustled with homes, a hotel, restaurants, a bar, and a gas station. At the time there were also many small farms that supplied food to the local community.
GoFarm is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission to increase the supply of and access to affordable, fresh, healthy, local food in Colorado. GoFarm supports and mentors beginning and aspiring farmers, connects the community with where their food comes from and makes healthy food more affordable and accessible to under-resourced communities. GoFarm operates a systems-based approach to strengthening our local food system. Everyone is invited to get involved by signing up for food through the GoFarm Local Food Share, or through volunteering and donating. Gofarmcoop.org
We hope to see you at the May 9th event! As always we are available to schedule a personal tour, answer any questions you might have about Growing Dome ownership and other upcoming events. You can contact us at [email protected] or (970) 731-2120.