In Colorado Springs, many local farms are providing people the chance to take activism to the next level. As the sustainable agriculture movement continues to sweep across the country people are looking for more ways to support it. It’s long been a tradition of these supporters to shop at their local farmers’ markets and directly support their favorite farms by purchasing directly from the farmer. Others are advocating for the sustainable farmer by speaking out against big agribusiness, teaching people about the positive effects of sustainable agriculture, and writing their legislative representatives to voice their opinion about promoting sustainable agriculture practices.
For some though, they need more. People are now striving to get to the core of this movement by finding out what it’s really about. They want to know what its like to walk a mile in the farmer’s boots. So people are now choosing to support the sustainable farmer by volunteering to go out on the farm and share in the very same work the farmer has been doing for years. They are going into the fields to get their hands dirty, to pull weeds, harvest vegetables, collect eggs, and experience the core of what the sustainable agriculture movement is all about.
A large number of sustainable farmers are welcoming these enthusiastic volunteers with welcome arms, because the secret to success in sustainable agriculture today is innovation and these volunteers are the next innovative wave that is promoting their work. When the deck is stacked against them any chance to increase their support while growing awareness of their movement is a win for them.
The Pikes Peak Community Foundation in Colorado Springs seems to have fully grasped this concept. They have partnered with four local farms that are now allowing people to come experience a taste of farm life right along side the farmers themselves. Two of these farms, Venetucci Farms and Pinello Ranch, offer volunteer programs that allow people to participate in day-to-day farm activities. The other two, the Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and Aspen Valley Ranch, offer educational farming classes and workshops that teach people about specific aspects of farming that participants can take home and try on their own (note: Venetucci Farms offers many educational farming classes as well).
The Pikes Peak Community Foundation and these farms are shining examples of innovation in agriculture. They’re fighting the good fight by being stewards of our environment and bringing good food to the people of Colorado Springs. Buying from the local farmers’ markets and writing your senator are always encouraged, but these farms realize some people need even more agriculture in their lives. They understand the passion that comes with farming and they’ve found a way to bring that passion to people in Colorado Springs.
I encourage all of you to check out the Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s website here to see how you can get involved and take your support to the next level.