The Urbavore's Dilemma: Getting down and dirty with Denver's backyard farmers

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Something strange is going on around Denver. Home owners are replacing sod with vegetable beds and building chicken coops by their garages. A power player is turning prime downtown real estate into a miniature farm, and a developer is planning a subdivision based around farmer's markets. Citizens are fighting for their right to raise honey bees, hens, dwarf goats and pot-bellied pigs. The urban homesteading movement is re-imagining, yard by yard and meal by meal what it's like to live in Denver -- not just to save money but to help the environment and enrich the country's food-production system.

Over the next few months, Westword writer Joel Warner will get his own hands dirty with backyard chickens, front lawn gardens, greenhouses, co-ops and food-sharing. In the process he'll look at what the movement says about shifting concepts of urban living, sustainability, self-sufficiency and dinner-table politics. Scroll down to find links to his stories and other urban homesteading resources.

Urbavore's Dilemma: The Map

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This week's story: -Final harvest, September 1, 2009

Previous stories: -EarthLinks helps the displaced set down roots, August 25, 2009 -Fort owner Holly Arnold Kinney uses her garden to dig into her past, August 18, 2009 -Breaking Ground is putting down roots in vacant lots, August 11, 2009 -Blue and Yellow Logic hopes to mix up a new form of green, August 4, 2009 -Class is in session at Denver's new urban farming school, July 28, 2009 -Taking a spin with compost king Mike Haynes, July 14, 2009 -Extreme Makeover, chicken coop edition, July 7, 2009 -Where's the beef? At the Green Fooder's house, June 30, 2009 -Separating the natives from the non-natives at local farmer's markets, June 23, 2009 -Growing weird with Russ Dale's mystic space garden, June 17, 2009 -Lifestyles of the cooped and feathered -- a slideshow, June 9, 2009 -Introducing Heirloom Gardens, your friendly neighborhood farm, June 2, 2009 -Agriburbia's putting the herbs back in burbs, May 26, 2009 -Making urban greenhouses as hip as coffee shops, May 19, 2009 -Denver's convoluted livestock laws lead to renegade chickens, May 12, 2009 -Grow Local plans to inspire 2009 new gardens in 2009, May 5, 2009. -Christie Isenberg aims to till the asphalt jungle, April 29, 2009 -Denver's Urban Gardeners are Digging Their Backyard Farms, April 29, 2009

Related links: Community Denver Urban Homesteaders Group Grow Local Colorado Denver Backyard Farms Transition Denver Slow Food Denver Home Grown Colorado

Education Living Earth Center Denver Urban Gardens Denver Botanic Gardens The Urban Farm

Business and development Feed Denver Agriburbia

Farms and food Heirloom Gardens Sense of Colorado Produce Denver Local Harvest Denver Beekeepers Association Find a Colorado Farmers' Market

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.