Greenhouses and Gardens by micaela enger

As an intern for the farmers’ market, I am working to support and encourage backyard growers to bring their produce to the market co-op since Woodland Park is not located near many farms.  Most of the farmers at the market commute from Fountain or Pueblo.  Because of this, it is important to bolster anyone in the community that has a garden and can contribute to the market.  The Harvest Center is a non-profit organization that believes in a similar mission.  They provide produce for the local community cupboard.  I’ve been volunteering with the director of the Harvest Center, and he has taught me how the greenhouse they use works, the importance of renewable energy, and the importance of educating the public on how to sustain a healthy lifestyle, despite income and access.  I haven’t finished my full ten hours of volunteering; however, so far, I have helped harvest the produce in the greenhouse.  I’ve also better educated myself on how the greenhouse works.  The Harvest Center’s greenhouse operates completely off the grid, so there are a lot of special aspects, including solar panels that provide energy for the irrigation and air circulation systems.  By educating myself further, I can help promote the concept at the market.  The director is also in charge of finding and providing produce for Mountain Naturals, the local health foods store in Woodland Park.  While the community market does receive produce from a number of family growers and small local gardens, the market is always looking to receive more produce that is organic, local, and cost conscious.  One of the director’s main goals and interests is finding and maintaining more backyard growers that can provide and sustain a relationship with the health foods store.  By connecting the community market, Harvest Center, and the farmers’ market, community members have a better opportunity to take advantage of local organic produce.

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