Sprout City Farms (SCF) was approached throughout 2009 by a number of community groups interested in urban farming and its potential role in education, food justice and access, economic development, sustainability, community building, and health. While community and school gardens tend to focus more on education and community building, urban farms are unique in their ability to scale up food production and distribution methods to support larger community institutions and whole neighborhoods.
It became apparent that an independent non-profit that could work with many diverse stakeholders was needed to develop a sustainable and replicable model for farming underutilized land across the city. Thus, in response to the growing enthusiasm around farming in public spaces and providing access to healthy food, a group of farmers, researchers, teachers, community members, and business leaders began working together to establish Sprout City Farms in January of 2010.
Since 2010, SCF has built four community farms in the Denver-metro area:
- Denver Green School Community Farm, a 1-acre organic vegetable farm started in 2011 in partnership with Denver Public Schools
- Mountair Park Community Farm, a 1.5-acre organic vegetable farm started in 2014 in partnership with the City of Lakewood,
- Dahlia Campus Farm, a 1-acre vegetable farm established in 2016 in partnership with Mental Health Center of Denver (now run by MHCD/WellPower),
- the farm at Jack's Solar Garden, a 5-acre agrivoltaics site that broke ground in April 2021 in Longmont, where we are growing produce under solar panels and working with researchers to study the results. Preliminary findings show that when using agrivoltaics, plants photosynthesize more efficiently, water evaporation is reduced, and solar power is generated more efficiently. We plan to share our findings widely so that more farms can adopt these practices and harvest both crops and the sun as sources of revenue.
Each farm is a platform for community building and learning, hosting thousands of youth and adults throughout the year for programs that connect them to nature, gardening, healthy eating, active living, and each other. Each farm produces over 10,000 pounds of healthy food each year, over 55% of which is distributed at no-cost to families experiencing food insecurity in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding our farms.
Read more about our farms under the "Programs" section below!