The City of Wheat Ridge and the Jefferson Conservation District were jointly awarded an urban agriculture conservation grant through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide regenerative agricultural educational workshops and support community agricultural partnerships.
Regenerative Agriculture: What is it?
There is no single definition for regenerative agriculture. Broadly understood to mean agriculture that utilizes farming, grazing and land practices that restore organic soil matter and support healthy natural ecosystems, regenerative practices are holistic, adaptive and location-specific land management techniques. These agroecological practices include composting, no or minimal tillage, cover cropping, perennial crops, native- and multi-species planting, and rotational grazing. Regenerative techniques help sequester carbon, reduce waste, decrease chemical use and pollution, save water, increase habitat and lower ambient air temperatures while producing nutrient-rich food.
Workshops: Happiness Gardens as a Community Learning Resource
From June through October this year, Regenerate Wheat Ridge offered monthly, free, hands-on educational workshops open to the public. Each month, about 30 gardeners and growers at all levels from beginning to expert visited Happiness Gardens, Wheat Ridge’s Community Garden near 44th and Ammons, for workshops about building soil, supporting pollinators, goat grazing, seed saving, garden overwintering and more.
Celebration: Wheat Ridge Harvest Festival
During the gorgeous fall afternoon of Oct. 16, Regenerate Wheat Ridge hosted their first Harvest Festival at Anderson Park to celebrate the growing season. This family friendly zero-waste event brought together more than 150 community members, culminating in a perfect day full of music, poetry, art, seeds, food and fun!
Partnerships: Growing Community with Innovative Urban Agriculture Initiative
Regenerate Wheat Ridge hosted two working groups in November and October for community-oriented landowners, local market growers and agency partners to craft a shared vision for local food production in Wheat Ridge. During the first working group, participants discussed the needs, benefits and challenges around local food production. The second working group focused on identifying the actions, next steps and resources necessary for successful long-term partnerships. These partnerships aim to connect producers and landowners to create new regenerative farms in Wheat Ridge to expand local food availability.
Coming Up in the New Year!
Book club: Regenerate Wheat Ridge’s Overwinter Book Club, January and March
Educational workshops: Monthly workshops return, starting March or April
Technical Partnership Guide: Informed by working group conversations, February 2022)
Call for partnerships: Regenerate Wheat Ridge is actively seeking two landowner-producer partnerships for the 2022 growing season to support with technical assistance and micro-loans. If you are a landowner or producer interested in details about partnering this spring, contact Amy DePierre at firstname.lastname@example.org.