We are incredibly excited here at Comrade Co-op to announce our biggest project of the upcoming year, the Gardener’s Market! It didn’t even take us half a year of food distribution to recognize that the need for fresh, quality produce is high for unhoused and housed folks alike. North Denver specifically is one of the most diverse areas in the city, and uncoincidentally, it is also a sprawling food desert. We plan on changing that, and it doesn’t involve capitalist non-solutions like a new Sprouts or a farmer’s market that sells CBD infused iced tea and boutique clothing.
Food and shelter for all are the foundations of a dignified society. When it comes to providing these basic necessities for its residents, the City of Denver has clearly let us down. But a better world is possible. We believe that we can take care of one another when we come together in community. In the middle of a food desert, that looks like neighbors donating their overflowing garden produce to folks who may not have the time, yard space, or other resources to grow their own food. As people of varying means come to the Gardener’s Market, they can pay what they’re willing for the produce that they want. All proceeds from the Saturday market will go back into our fund to provide food and emergency resources to Denver’s unhoused community!
To ensure that each garden has the chance to thrive, we will have seedling trays and seed packs available for gardeners. Seedling trays and seeds will be available free of cost to anyone who wants them, with donations being encouraged for those who are able. Monetary donations will go towards maintaining the Gardener’s Market and the purchase of additional ingredients to support meals for the unhoused. We will provide gardening literature with the seedlings, as well as host monthly gardening workshops throughout the season ranging from the history and current ways BIPOC are shaping agriculture as we know it, to tips on gardening in the Denver climate, co-planting, using proper harvesting practices, long-term vegetable storage and canning in the fall, and more.
The only way we can make this project happen is with a massive community effort. Food deserts should not exist in a city as wealthy as Denver, and together we can provide what the City won’t. The amount of people we can feed together begins with some seeds.
To order your seeds on our Open Collective, click here.
If you're interested in volunteering with us, specifically regarding the Gardener's Market, click here.