Colorado Food Resilience Highlight: CSU Grow & Give and Online Vegetable Course

Spring is HERE, and with it, so is another very exciting growing season! However, growing food in Colorado is challenging! Our weather is “complicated” to say the least. We can go from 80 degrees in the afternoon to 20 degrees at night, encountering all forms of challenging obstacles along the way, including hail, heat waves, late freezes, dry spells, and even flash floods. 

When it comes to gardening, all of this might lead one to throw their hands up in the air and simply give up or not even try at all. Luckily, Colorado has an abundance of resources and networks of professionals due to its rich agricultural history. Lessons have been learned the hard way, and that knowledge is now a boon to anyone who wants to start growing their own veggies. 

Big Green Colorado has been working to create a simple and approachable method for our school partners to be successful in growing their own food, while increasing knowledge, access, and preference for fruits and vegetables with students and school communities all across the state and the nation. One of our amazing partners in this endeavor is Colorado State University. Their resources are free and their knowledge is vast; AND they want to share that knowledge with all of us! 

One such program is a response to the current times we find ourselves in. It’s called the GROW & GIVE Program. The program is offered through the CSU Extension office and is a call to arms around supporting our community through food resilience. If you are familiar with Victory Gardens, then this will resonate. The Grow & Give program offers advice and tutorials on everything you need to know to get growing, from just getting started, to laying out plans for your site, what type of wood to use for raised beds, what to plant when, and everything in between. Videos and resources are updated on a weekly basis to reflect the season. The goal is to create local production of food on a larger scale, allowing us all to donate more of what we grow and ultimately provide more food security and long term resilience in Colorado. 

You can also increase your current gardening knowledge by signing up for CSU’s Vegetable Online Course. Registration for this certified gardener program starts May 1st. The course is normally $60, but CSU is waiving the fee as a positive response to the current situation we are all finding ourselves in.

Please reach out to us at Big Green and check back weekly as we will be highlighting organizations that are creating solutions and working to increase food resilience in Colorado. Happy growing!