Santiago Giraldo Anduaga
Deep in Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, nestled between highways, industrial facilities, and historic family homes; an urban farm, food justice education center, and community hub known as The GrowHaus has sown its roots and has rapidly become an integral part of the food culture in this historically underprivileged area.
The GrowHaus functions as a Hydroponic and Aquaponic farm that focuses majorly on food production, food education, and food distribution as a means of fostering community and culture around local economy and food. By engaging with the community as a partner, The GrowHaus is able to provide education through gardening, cooking, nutrition, and fitness classes; access to healthy food through food distribution programing; and economic opportunity through business development programing around urban agriculture.
“We are here to support our residents” says Denver native and Operations Director of the GrowHaus Adam Brock. Brock, along with longtime friend and Executive Director Coby Gould, have been an integral part of the GrowHaus and the organizations development as a community and food centered non-profit. They have both watched the organization evolve from an idea into a reality, with high hopes for the future. “We are finding ways to involve people from the community in every different aspect of the organization from the board members all the way down to the farmers in training”.
For the rest of Colorado from the mountains to the plains, The GrowHaus stands a symbol for true food justice and aims to be a community partner that engages the regional foodshed as well as the immediate community. “Any food system is necessarily a regional thing. It takes the involvement of people in the city and outside the city. In the city and in the mountains, there is this urban agriculture movement that we are a part of. We’re always going to need to work with people from all different parts of our environment”.
The GrowHaus mission is to “create a community driven, neighborhood food system by serving as a hub for urban agriculture, education, business development, and job training.” This mission statement doesn’t only support the local community, but embodies the crucial importance of the local region as a key factor in moving forward with local and regional economic independence.
As Adam Brock puts it: “By understanding the dynamics that people do face in neighborhoods like the one the GrowHaus is in; and educating each other and ourselves about issues of oppression, injustice, and food justice; we can begin to build real communities of real people”.
The GrowHaus offers many different ways to get involved. From monthly workshops in everything from Aquaponic to Permaculture Design and environmental justice, to organic food boxes sold at competitive prices that support local agriculture, The GrowHaus serves as a way to bring people together and promote a revolutionary way of building community around food. “We thrive on volunteers working directly with our space, as well as communities in our region that help support our mission by buying our lettuce at places that we sell it, attending our classes such as our permaculture design course, and donating on our website”.
Information about The GrowHaus programs, Permaculture Design Courses, Gardening and farming classes, and many other ways to get involved can be found at www.thegrowhaus.com. It’s time to put food back in the hands of the people. Let’s come together and make a difference!