Sproutin' Up improves the health and wellness of under-resourced families in northern Colorado by providing access to fresh produce while educating youth on healthy lifestyles and sustainable agricultural practices.
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, 18.3% of Fort Collins residents live in poverty. Since 2000, Larimer County's childhood poverty rate increased 1.9 times faster than the state of Colorado and 6.8 times faster than the nation.
According to the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 75.2% of adults in Colorado consumed fruits and vegetables less than the recommended 5 times a day.
The CDC also identifies access to fresh fruits and vegetables through farmers' markets as playing an important role in reducing obesity.
In 2004 I took a job as a Community Health Educator. As part of my job, I went into mobile home communities and met kids after school. I would play active games with them, teach them a nutrition lesson and feed them a healthy snack. It was always my goal to give them a great experience and also give them a chance to try new foods. Over several years of teaching kids the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and having them respond with, “My mom won’t buy that” or “That’s too expensive,” I wanted to do something about it. Even though that was frustrating to me, I understood. Think about it – if you can buy a box or bag of something that won’t go bad over fresh produce that might last a week, what are you going to buy when you’re stretching every dollar? I began wondering what would happen if I was able to take away every barrier to eating fresh produce.
So, that first year I started growing a garden in my backyard. I didn’t really have any formal gardening experience, but really believed I could do this. I put out notes to my friends and neighbors and asked them to donate any extra produce. After work, once a week, I would go to the same neighborhood where I had been educating for years and set up a farmers market. The residents were awesome! They were grateful (even when I had only 15 snap peas) and even brought plastic bags to share with others. Partway into that first year, I received a $300 grant and built four new beds in my backyard.
Well, we’ve grown! Since that first year, we’ve donated more than 4,500 pounds of produce to an average of 45 families per week! Now we’re getting even bigger and my hope now is to teach kids about gardening and food. To connect kids to the world around them and help people eat healthier.
- Poudre Valley Mobile Home Park
- Collins Aire Mobile Home Park
- Salud Family Health Center
- Wellington Middle School
- Lucille Erwin Middle School
- Lesher Middle School
Our 2017 Youth-Run CSA Farm Memberships are now on sale! What is a Youth-Run CSA Farm? We've been working with youth for nearly a decade and we're finally able to give them an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of running a farm. Our youth will be involved with every aspect of the farm - planting, tending, harvesting, and running our market. The kids who work on our farm earn a wage and learn both farming and social skills.
What can you expect? Tasty, wonderful produce and the chance to support Youth Development. Our youth will work side by side with farmers to learn the ropes while providing our customers with great service and even better produce!
Although there are unlimited combinations of what you could get each week, here are some samples:
- Mini Share (spend about $12.50 per week): 1 head lettuce, 1 bunch carrots, 1 pound beans, 2 cucumbers
- Full Family & Working Shares (spend about $22.50 per week): 2 heads lettuce, 1 bunch carrots, 1 pound beans, 1 pound snap peas, 1 pound tomatoes, 1 head cabbage.
There are several options for your 2017 Membership.
Choose the size of membership you want. Our Mini Share provides enough produce for an individual or couple. Our Full Memberships are sized for a family. If you choose a Working Membership, your account will have the balance of a Full Membership and you'll be expected to work at least 20 hours during the growing season (May-October) to make up the difference in cost. This membership saves you money and helps our farm function better.
Choose your pick up/delivery option. If you live in Bucking Horse, you can choose to have your produce delivered to you on a weekly basis. If you choose this option, there will be a $20 fee (for the whole season) and the produce will be selected by the farmer, packaged, and delivered to your doorstep.
If you would like to set up a payment plan for 2017, please contact Anne at 970-391-2613. We offer monthly options for Working and Full Memberships.
Tell your friends!
If you're interested in purchasing a CSA Share for your restaurant, click here.
We are so excited to offer Nature Explorer summer camps in 2017! These half day weekly camps will bring your little one closer to nature and all it has to explore.
All of our camps will be held at the beautiful Colorado Youth Outdoors, located at 4927 Cty. Road 36, Fort Collins, CO. All camps will be offered from 9:00-1:00 and will feature outdoor activities, a nature craft, and a cooking experience. All children should bring a lunch to enjoy with the special treat we make together.
Ages 3-5 (must be toilet trained to attend camp)
July 31 - August 4
August 7- August 11
August 14 - August 18
After June 1, 2017 no refunds will be given for camps. However, we are happy to fit your child into another session, if possible, in the event that you cannot attend the one you registered for.