Last Monday, the AMB3R team got the opportunity to volunteer at The GrowHaus, a non-profit indoor farm that we partner with here in Denver. Their mantra, “Healthy food is a right, not a privilege” is one that we can really get behind and a mindset that has the power to change communities living in food deserts. In their words, the vision of The GrowHaus is, “to catalyze a neighborhood-based food system in [their] community that is healthy, equitable, and resident-driven.” This vision is achieved through a commitment to excellence and equity in food production, food distribution, and food education.
Founded by local Denver real estate guru Paul Tamburello in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, The GrowHaus produces fresh produce year round using their hydroponic farm, aquaponics farm, and “growasis permaculture farm”. The food they grow is available for sale at prices the community can afford in their Mercado de al Lado (Daily Market), and through food boxes that anyone can buy! Additionally, The GrowHaus offers education for people of all ages and backgrounds around nutrition, gardening, cooking, and other essential skills for building healthy communities.
Our morning started off with a tour of the farm, and gosh was it something to see! When you first walk in, you walk by the Mercado de al Lado and are greeted by colorful fruits and veggies that are organic and locally sourced. Past the market is a large kitchen, filled with people and laughter—truly a vision of controlled chaos. What’s amazing is that all of these people (volunteers, staff, and community members alike) are working together to cook a gorgeous meal for the people who come that day to The GrowHaus. The chef curates the dishes based on what is available, in season, and fresh! We got to help cook and had a blast doing it. To the left of the kitchen you walk into a large open space, where volunteers are sorting food into boxes for community members, and there is a Zumba class underway (of course we had to jump in for a little dancing to get our blood moving). Surrounding this open area is the hydroponics farm, the aquaponics farm, and a mushroom farm. The GrowHaus is an oasis of love and safety—a place where community members can come, rest, and be taken care of, away from the sights, smells, and all-around chaos of the outside world. The GrowHaus has become home to hundreds of people living in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood and is continuing to spread hope and light, one food box at a time.
To find out more about The GrowHaus or learn how to volunteer, visit their website at www.thegrowhaus.org!
We can’t wait to go back!