332: Barbara Masoner on Growing Food Locally.

Caring about local communities and their vegetable gardens.

Barbara’s background is in environmental studies.  Her first garden was a 4-H project in 5th grade. Thanks to her many gardening mentors, including her great grandfather, she has found gardening rewarding, fun and inspirational.  In 2009 she was one of the founders of Grow Local Colorado (GLC).

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Since then GLC has grown over 23,000 pounds of fresh produce for dozens of Denver’s communities in need.  Each grow season Barbara oversees some 400 volunteers in ten garden sites, many of those volunteers are young people.  Her goal is to see as many vegetable gardens in Denver as there were Victory Gardens during WWII.

In This Podcast:

Looking for a group to join so she could make a difference in her community, Barbara Masoner found a local group that wanted to start a garden project in the state capital.  Readjusting their focus after getting turned down, they got support from the mayor and started a project that is still making a difference more than ten years later. The simple idea now has a team of 400 volunteers all working to help feed food pantries and better their community.

Listen in and learn about:

  • Her undergraduate work in environmental studies and how that eventually led her to law school
  • Getting to work with S.P.R.O.U.T.S. – Sustainable People Reaching Out for Urban Transition
  • The concept behind Grow Local Colorado and how it can be recreated anywhere
  • An EPIC moment that she remembers when two kids came to learn that carrots grow in the dirt
  • Some of the benefits of local food
  • How Denver is the most food insecure large city in the nation
  • The taste difference with home grown foods
  • The gardens of Grow Local Colorado
  • How much she appreciates the 400 people that help make the program work
  • Dropping off food at local food pantries

As well as:

  • Her failure – A great idea to have a garden at a youth shelter without listening to the needs of the residents
  • Her success – Reaching the ten-year milestone and still going strong, and making good friends
  • Her drive – First it was environmental concerns, now she loves the feedback
  • Her advice – Know your talents and gifts, and find a way to share it with your community

Barb’s Book recommendations:   

Novella Carpenter – Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

How to reach Barb:

Website: GrowLocalColorado.org


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