What’s Growin’ On: Accessing Healthy Food - Part II

“Food for us comes from our relatives, whether they have wings or fins or roots. That is how we consider food. Food has a culture. It has a history. It has a story. It has relationships.”
– Winona LaDuke

Hello! We are back to share more food access and gardening concepts you might have heard of, but maybe would like to know more about. For the first part of this series, check out this blog post.

Our aim is to share information and resources about growing food, saving seeds, and local food systems to help people reconnect to the earth and to food. As always, thanks for growing with DPL!

Organic Growing: 

To be considered organic, crops and food animals must be grown/raised using natural methods that follow the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) guidelines. These standards work to “promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity” while also offering alternative methods to synthetic pesticides and fertilizers used by industrial agriculture to control pests and manipulate soil fertility. Although organic growing is more labor intensive and sees smaller annual yields, studies show that compared to big agricultural, organic farming is “better able to retain soil, ecological integrity, biodiversity, and energy and material resources.” 

Dig Deeper:

Seed Saving:

Seed saving is the process of growing, harvesting, and storing seeds. Some plant varieties are easier to save than others. There are different methods for seed saving, depending on the type of crop you are harvesting from. There are countless reasons to save seeds including saving money (on seeds and produce), preserving genetic diversity of local plant varieties, plus connecting with your community and with the earth. Seed stories are the personal histories, recipes, and memories that accompany heirloom seeds. 

Dig Deeper:

CSA and Seasonal Eating: 

Community Share Agriculture (CSA) is a relationship between a local grower and people/families in need of fresh produce. Participating in a CSA is an easy and affordable way to connect with the food on your table along with the seasons and people who produce it. It works by individuals buying shares of a farm's harvest in advance and then receiving regular produce throughout the season. 

Participation in a CSA lends itself to seasonal eating, or eating produce when it is in season in your region. Choosing seasonal produce can strengthen your local food systems as it is more likely to come from local farmers and lessen the environmental impacts of travel and storage. It also is nutrient dense and not to mention delicious! 

Dig Deeper:

Participate in DPL’s Seed Library: 

We’d love to join you on your seed journey: post your garden progress on social media with the hashtag #growwithDPL—we can’t wait to see what you grow!

The Park Hill Branch Library, Ross-Broadway Branch Library, and Central Library will continue to offer seeds next season! Our seed bundle request form has closed for the rest of the growing season, but stay tuned this fall and winter for more programming and information about our seed libraries, seed saving, garden planning, and food justice. If you need any garden support or just want to stay in touch, please reach out to us at seeds@denverlibrary.org. We'd be so happy to hear from you.

-by Maddie

Written by heidi.e on August 11, 2021

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