2018 has been such an amazing year and it could not have happened with out your support.
This Year with Your Help We Acomplished:
City of Lakewood Earth Day Event Built a Farmers Market and Grocery store in our Community Center - The Co-op at 1st We hope to Complete Construction Next Week. With the Support of the Wolcott Family and in Partnership with Plant the Seed Project we hosted our first summer camp with 12 students! We sustained 67 gardens in Metro-Denver We hosted 739 volunteers at the Co-op and the Gardens We added a garden neighborhood in Aurora We clocked 3,620 volunteer hours 320 volunteer hours were adults with disabilities We donated 5,021 lbs of produce We partnered with The City of Lakewood to host several beer gardens and a party on the plaza. We were awarded a Denver Foundation Grant to increase economic opportunity in Barnum. We were nominated and are a finalist for Ewining's Water and Sustainability Innovation Award We hosted our first Free Community Clinic- offering Chiropractic, Dental, Ayurvedic, Acupuncture, and Holistic Wellness to 30 community members and will continue to hold Clinics on 1st Sundays each month. We partnered with Energy Outreach Colorado to make The Co-op at 1st as sustainable as possible. We've hosted 2 community meals. And we are looking forward to next year when we can provide cooking, canning, freezing, and dehydrating classes in our new kitchen!
What we failed to do this year was very much fundraising, with Earth Day being snowed out and all the construction taking up so much of our time and resources, we are way below our goal for individual donations this year. Please consider donating today to help us continue the great work we are doing building gardens, feeding families and creating a community wellness center. Thanks for all your support and all you do.
We wish you the Happiest of Holidays!
Sep 14, 2018
Back to our Roots
By Kristina Welch - Executive Director
This has been a fantastic year at Jovial. The rainy weather has given us beautiful high yields of produce and we couldnt have harvested it all with out the numerous volunteer groups that have come out each week. We have been donating an average of 250 pounds each weekend to local food banks and Elementary Schools and hosting about 80 volunteers each month.
Several months ago when I brought our weekly produce to the Denver Indian Center (a food bank and community resource center for Native Americans and the Alaska Native Community) I met a fantastic woman in her late 60s. We chatted a bit about soil ammendments and found out that Jovial Concepts uses severeal Native Americal gardening techniques.
The following week I received a call from a group of nutritionists. They said i spoke to their mother at the Denver Indian Center and that they wanted to use our commercial kitchen to do cooking classes with Native American recipes for their community at The Co-op at 1st.
We are so excited to house these beautiful connections and collaborations in our community. Jovial Concepts has offered to donate the produce for their cooking classes and we hope to see these wonderful chefs in our gardens soon!
Our Grand Opening for The Co-op is scheduled for Oct 20th and we hope to see you there from 2-6pm. Yard games, live music, and demonstrations from our vendors and tenants. At 6pm in collaboration with UpRoot Colorado and Plant the Seed Project we will host a gleaned (rescued produce that would otherwise go in landfills) meal for 100 people.
If you are interested in gleaning produce, growing produce, or supporting cooking classes for families in need please email email@example.com.
Aug 20, 2018
By Mike Spade - Schools Programs Manager
Last year was our first offering our Plant The Seed Project programming. When we finished the school year, we realized there was an opportunity to create a year round gardening program with the addition of a summer camp. We tried to raise funds to offer a Plant The Seed Project Summer Camp via Kickstarter but were unsucessful in our campaign. With that in mind, we went into 2018 looking to secure funds to do what we couldn't previously. The Wolcott Family Foundation supported our vision with grant funding and we were able to offer a 6-week camp for 40 students at no cost this past summer.
During that time, our youth from a variety of local schools participated in the City of Denver's Youth One Book One Denver program and read the novel "Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus". This narrative about a young girl living with limb disorder provided a sturdy backbone for us, as it introduces several new characters, environments and situations as material for programming. For example, on day one each student made terrariums complete with cacti which they were able to nurture and take home on the last day of camp, inspired of course by the book's name. To gain a deeper understanding of our main character Aven's lifestyle, we had a visit from the City of Denver Office of Adaptive Recreation and participated in an obstacle course where each station replicated a different impairment or disability.
We didn't stop there. Our characters played the ukele, so we had Swallow Hill come and teach us a few songs. The folks from the Butterfly Pavilion came and let us play with tarantulas, cockroaches, and other animals we might see in the desert setting of our book. All while teaching us about the adaptations needed to survive in that rugged climate.
Last but certainly not least, we loaded up the school bus and trekked down to the Civic Center to meet the author Dusti Bowling in person. There she explained how losing a close relative who had a limb disorder and having a husband and children with tic disorders led her to write a book about characters that reflected their realities. After signing our books, and letting us take some time to ask questions, we headed back home. Hopefully with new perspectives on people, plants and animals alike. With your help, we can do it again.