Groundwork Greens is a unique social enterprise greenhouse that will provide meaningful job training to low-income Denver youth while producing 10,000 pounds of food per year. Groundwork Greens will provide healthy food for low-income families as well as veggies for local neighbors and businesses. Our 1,800 square foot greenhouse has just been built and is almost ready to go. With your help, we will raise the final dollars we need to buy the last pieces of equipment, get the plants growing, the job training started, and the social enterprise off the ground!
Youth employed at Groundwork Greens will be trained in hydroponic growing systems, food distribution, and marketing. Our youth come from neighborhoods where unemployment rates are 2 or 3 times higher than Denver as a whole. Groundwork Greens will provide these youth with the opportunity to learn important skills for a lifetime of self-sufficiency. At the same time, Groundwork Greens will help meet the need for fresh, local produce for “food desert” neighborhoods in Denver.
Located within the Aria Denver community at West 52nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard, Groundwork Greens will be part of Cultivate Health, a collaborative effort to help support the health and wellness of residents living in the food desert neighborhoods in northwest Denver and Adams County.
With your donations, we will purchase and install the last pieces of equipment we need and hire a Greenhouse Manager to get the plants growing, the training started, and the social enterprise off the ground.
With the hydroponic systems in place, our youth will plant our first seeds to be ready for harvest 10 weeks later. With our greenhouse’s year-round growing seasons, we can’t wait to share our harvest with our neighbors this winter!
why we’re doing it
Did you know that less than 1% of the food consumed in Denver is produced within Colorado? At the same time, one out of eight Denver families is “food insecure,” meaning that they don’t have adequate access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Groundwork Greens will demonstrate a social enterprise solution that sells greens to local restaurants, groceries, and families that can afford full price in order to provide very affordable produce to food insecure families.
Traditional food production has a huge environmental footprint. Heavy use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in industrial agriculture results in air and water pollution and damage to many native plant and animal species. Much of our food is transported great distances, consuming fossil fuels and producing huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Groundwork Greens will grow food using hydroponic, soil-free systems. Hydroponic systems recycle water, resulting in 70% less water use than traditional farming. Hydroponic greenhouse growing also takes up less land per pound of vegetables produced and doesn’t require toxic pesticides. Our food will be sold locally, using bicycle delivery whenever possible.