Feb 21, 2018

Spring Building

Hello Donors and Friends, 

Despite the snowfall, we know spring is fast approaching. We are excited to announce we are launching 3 new neighborhoods: Miller St in lakewood, 40 west arts district, and Dam East in Aurora. If you live in these areas we would love to have you join us as a garden host. 

We have a large group of volunteers scheduled for the 2nd week of March and we will be building all our new beds for 2018 and making some repairs and aesthetic improvements to our existing ones. 

We fell dramatically short of our 2017 December Fundraising goal and if you or anyone you know can make a contribution to continue the growth of food access and garden education in Colorado we would really appreciate it. 

Your donations support families like Susan's, a 64 year old woman who is plauged by poverty in her neighborhood. She sees food banks closing, food stamp regulations tightening, and so many families with no where to go. She donated 2 large garden beds on the corner of her property to Jovial to provide food to anyone in need in the neighborhood. She and her partner put up a large sign and invites anyone who passes by to enjoy some fresh, organic produce! 

Your donations also support the development of our new space at 1st and Sheridan that hosts a commercial kitchen and farmers market styled grocery store with affordable pricing for those who need it most. For more information visit: www.thecoopat1st.com and we sincerely thank you for all you do. 

p.s. We are looking for spring volunteers for numerous projects indoors and out. Please contact info@jovialconcepts.org to get involved. 

Jan 11, 2018

A Growing Culture

Most children don't know what they want to be when they grow up. Not Fatima. At the tender age of 10, she knows she is destined to be a dentist. She already has looked into how many years of college education it would take, and the amount of debt she would incur throughout the process. Fully aware of the struggle it would be to complete this goal from her modest upbringing, Fatima forges ahead undeterred. Participating in an afterschool gardening program is just one of the beginning steps in her mind. How better to look after her teeth, than to learn about the food she has to eat everyday of her life for years to come? It just "makes sense" she says, after detailing her lifelong ambitions. Unbeknownst to her, the wisdom behind that simple statement is exactly what we hope to cultivate in our garden classrooms.

This Spring at Eagleton Elementary we will manage a greenhouse and several raised beds in order to produce herbs, greens, and spices to be used in their school lunches. While we will be growing several different crops and flowers, the true focus will be growing a culture of youth who are not only informed about their local food system but actively participating in it. We need more boys and girls like Fatima who are invested in making better choices regarding food on a daily basis. Who know that this is not just about 2 hours of afterschool programming, but about building a foundation for a wholesome lifestyle. 

What is most important is the fact that we involve these youth in our food system and give them the sense that they can be active participants in our society. With every tomato that these students plant, nurture, harvest, and then transport to their school cafeteria we are not only simultaneously improving their health, physically and mentally, but empowering them to take a stand in their community. We want our students to know that they can provide for themselves, their family, and their peers. With your support we can continue to make that a reality for students like Fatima throughout Denver and Jefferson County.

Nov 22, 2017

Winter is a time of heath and home

Movement Studio
Movement Studio

Hello Everyone and thank you for your support,

As we journey into the holiday season, we are happy to report that we have successfully put 75 gardens to bed for the winter. We are incredibly grateful to all the volunteers who came out this year and made our projects a success. We had over 730 volunteers that contributed over 4,670 volunteer hours! We truly could not succeed without you! We grew just over 5,000 lbs of produce this very short season and hope to blow that number out of the water next year. 

As we retreat into our homes to enjoy family and friends this winter, so does Jovial. Our goal is to remodel our new office and have the commercial kitchen and grocery store up and ready before spring. Here we will create a much needed space of nourishing and commitment to the highest standard of self care. 

We are excited to offer cooking classes, affordable healthy food, nutrition, wellness, and movement classes in our community space. This has been a huge undertaking of remodeling a 7,500 sq ft building located at 1st and Sheridan. However, we KNOW this is something our community needs. 

In 1946, Rose Gates began a journey of dedicating her life to helping those in need. She created a community for the underserved families in the Barnum neighborhood offering them resources for food, clothing, and economic growth. In 2016, Jovial Concepts bought the building that housed her efforts since 1979 with the goal to continue in honoring her mission. We could not be happier to call this space our home and hope you will join us in continuing the evolution of full body health and wellness in west Denver. 

This building has been a tremendous step for Jovial and is represenative of our growth over the last 8 years. From the garden we build our connection to the environment, we learn what belongs in our soil, our water, and our air. We learn about the nutritious value of the fruits and vegitables that grow up from our garden and become inspired to bring these into our kitchen. At our new location, The Co-op at 1st, we invite you to come and learn how to incorporate the things we grow into delicious healthy meals for your family.  One thing our neighbors have asked for most are more economic opportunities. The store will be open to anyone interested in selling their wares. We hope to offer everything from art, jewelry, books, to home grown produce and healthy snacks,

In line with mission of Jovial Conccepts, The Co-op at 1st is committed to the highest levels of sustainability. We aim to be a zero waste facility and package free grocery store. We hope to serve as an example of urban sustainability and are enjoying new partnerships with BikeDenver, GRID, Denver Green Roofs, and so many more.

We look forward to seeing you in the spring for another garden season and for the emergance of our new space as The Co-op at 1st. 



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