Voice of the Land

Farming by Design…Right in Your Own Backyard!

Sustainable urban agriculture has taken on many forms during its recent resurgence and growth. Communities and cultures around the world sense the value in maximizing small parcel land use and food freshness.

In this country, farmers’ markets have never been more popular, at least since the time there was no other alternative. Increasingly, smaller growers and even urban growers are bringing goods to market to sell and share.

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This Community Garden in Downtown Denver provides seasonal food for hundreds of city residents…with a little bit of work!

And, of course, not everyone has their own space for a garden. Community gardens have sprung up throughout the city, where sometimes hundreds of individual plots can be planted and maintained. These often tend to become social centers as gardeners gather for the latest planting tips, pest controls, or community gossip. Occasionally, these gardens are uprooted or displaced, though, by development. Then the search for new ground is on.

But, for those with active yards of their own (or, inactive yards for that matter), great pleasure and probable food cost savings are available right outside the window. Backyard farming has established its roots!

And, when you decide to get your hands dirty, know where to turn for help and information. Here are a few starters. The Colorado State University Extension website has myriads of information regarding Colorado home farming and gardens. There, you can find publications on plants and vegetables suited for our state, how to deal with our soil, and climate and disease issues. Click here for a look at this resource. Both the Denver Botanical Garden and most public libraries have plenty of help and information for you. And, this organization, denverurbanhomesteading.com, holds classes and hosts an indoor farmers’ market year round on South Santa Fe Drive.

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Corn is one of the many crops that grows well in a Colorado backyard

PlantTalk Colorado is one area you’ll find at the CSU Extension site. That wealth of forums and information is sponsored by the Extension, Denver’s Botanical Garden, and Green Industries of Colorado, an organization that includes professional landscape designers.

Keep in mind that Colorado’s soil is mostly clay and that it needs organic material added. The obvious source for organic material for a home farm, of course, is the compost pile. Kitchen waste, grass clippings, leaves…and, coffee grinds…make great organic compost for adding to your soil

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When you think of anything better than a great ripe red tomato out of your own backyard…let us know!

When you are doing your research, you’ll find out that many great food crops do well in Colorado. Imagine going into your yard through the season and bringing in baskets, large or small, filled with sweet corn, watermelon, eggplant, cilantro, lettuce, radishes, peas, peppers, kale and more. Add a chicken or two, and collect the eggs, too.

You can work your soil at ground level. Or, you can build your farm in raised structures. Either can be incorporated into the design of your landscape, and, they can be designed and installed by your professional Landscape Designer, Art of the Land. Call and be surprised with all the ways they can help plan your own personal backyard farm.

Design a backyard farm today and get growing! Art of the Land is ready to help.



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