Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Please visit our website at to learn what GreenLeaf is up to and all about!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

2011 Farm Stand Now Open!

We'll be selling fresh veggies beginning August 6th:
25th and Arapahoe, 10 a.m. to Noon
Every Saturday August 6th through October 22nd
Name your own price for produce! Help GreenLeaf Grow and thrive! Take home fresh organically grown veggies!

This week we'll have lots of lettuce, basil, zucchini and summer squash, kohlrabi, beans,  peppers, and more!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Re(posting): Re(doing) Food Justice

 Tomas, Andrew, and Mohamed weighing produce in Summer '10

I love this piece by Leticia Garcia, about (re)defining Food Justice in terms that celebrate the complexity of urban life and communities, and acknowledge the vital leadership coming from communities of people who are most impacted by poverty, racism, and food injustice.

Garcia challenges us to move beyond the "framework that defines 'healthy food' in proximity to euro-centric food values. Such race and class-blind projects encourage dependency on the dominant culture, rather than revolutionizing food access for communities on their own cultural terms."

It's an applied project, and requires more than just thinking about food and food access from the dominant perspective. In fact, as so often, operating from the dominant perspective won't result in the kinds of action or make the kinds of changes that are needed, because of the inherent bias and blindness that reinforces dominance. So working on Food Justice must be a community project:

"Changing how we perceive poverty can revolutionize how we approach food justice. It can change how activists (re)do food justice as a form of social justice. This (re)doing of food justice emphasizes two things: first, that food justice is an action or a form of social activism rather than just an idea; second, that being critical activists affords us an opportunity to call for a “redo” and change how food justice is done."

Check it out!

And let us know how YOU are (re)thinking and (re)doing food justice.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wanna help GreenLeaf? Start the new year with a donation!

Happy New Year, everyone!

We're excited to make 2011 a very GreenLeaf-y year, and need your help to do it. Youth Agri/Cultural intern and GreenLeaf board member Grecia Saenz wrote this letter, asking for your support:

Dear friend,
I come from a family of cultivators. My mom started working the fields at age 8. She planted corn, beans and pumpkins. Over the course of her teenage years, her family depended on her and her smaller sisters to work in harsh fields with no shoes or tools.
While my mom grew up in an environment with little but organic food, I was raised in a fast food metropolis. The meals were made fast and cost so little. My mother wasn’t accustomed to that food so she avoided going to restaurants. She was, however, animated about so much food available anytime of the year and for so little.
In 10th grade, I watched Food Inc. Learning where my food came from and who made it angered me. The produce is genetically engineered and the farm animals are raised in their own waste. But what hurt me the most was to see how the undocumented immigrants were treated. My mother worked in a farm where pesticides were used. The company would spray them while the immigrants worked. Many of the workers (including my mom) got sick. That this abuse was being practiced in the United States was wicked.
I wanted to fight this injustice but didn’t know how. In early weeks of June 2010 I was told that GreenLeaf was accepting new people. I was thrilled at the opportunity to join and spent a few days volunteering at GreenLeaf. I was an official employee a week later. Since then I have made new friends and learned more about food justice. I changed my eating habits and started educating my family about where the food we eat comes from.
I am ecstatic that GreenLeaf is expanding and creating a relationship with the communities around it. Being an important element in its success gives me something to be proud of. I hope that it grows into something much bigger escalating to different states and eventually to different countries. GreenLeaf reaches out to the youth in low-income neighborhoods. We educate people about the food they are eating and what they can do to eat healthier. We have participated with other organizations like Seed to Seed and taught them about the farm.
Building a relationship with our community and others allows us to expand. Our goal is to help people have access to healthy and organic food. To keep our little organization up and running we need donations. Please contribute to our farm and the youth in it and become a fighter against food injustice.

                  Grecia Saenz

Please donate to GreenLeaf today! We don't have web contributions set up yet, so please contact us at  to learn how.

Monday, November 29, 2010

GreenLeaf - Growing Strong!

I hope this snowy November morning finds everyone well - winter feels like it's been a long time coming, and we need the frozen water!

Just a quick note to let you know what GreenLeaf is up to:

The GreenLeaf youth crew (now up to 16 awesome high school students) recently made a group consensus decision on our their top priorities for learning about food justice and taking action for food justice. These priorities will guide GreenLeaf's work in the coming year, and we're building curriculum for our after school and summer program around them:

1) About basic food justice by watching Food, Inc. and using other useful resources
2) About nutrition, healthy eating, and cooking
3) About obstacles people face in accessing healthy, fresh, food
4) About the food system and how to become better farmers
5) About other sustainable technologies

Take Action:
1) Hold events to inform others about food justice, sustainability, and GreenLeaf's work. Collaborate with other organizations like Seed to Seed to do this!
2) Teach others farming skills and about nutrition and food justice, especially other young people and kids
3) Help more low-income people get access to healthy fresh food and sustainable technologies
4) Expand the farm and GreenLeaf's organic veggie distribution
5) Make a music video on youtube all about food justice

We're also in the process of expanding to our second farm site in Denver: at 25th and Arapahoe. The Denver Housing Authority is developing about a third of a vacant block for GreenLeaf, Produce Denver, and Granata Farms to grow food and house our programming. This truly amazing opportunity is well under way - we hope to have the final structures (sheds, a bathroom, and a market stand) on site by December 13th! Just imagine what this vacant lot will look like as a beautiful, vibrant farm:

The new site will expand GreenLeaf's farming capacity to nearly 10,000 square feet under cultivation. We're excited for the challenge and all the fresh food we'll be growing for people in the neighborhood!

Our summer 2011 season will also include an exciting collaboration with the Seed to Seed program (via the GrowHaus). We’ll be bringing the youth from both programs together for collaborative learning, building a strong network of urban youth taking action for food justice in their communities.

Finally (for your moment of zen?) here's an article about a great city program in NE Portland, putting vacant land to use growing food!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hey folks!

GreenLeaf is part of an exciting partnership called the Urban Farmers Collaborative with Produce Denver and Granata Farms. And Denver Housing Authority is developing part of a vacant block as an urban farm for the three organizations. The project is truly amazing. Here's a chance to help out:

Young Leaders Group Community Outreach
Join us to build the state's largest urban garden @ DHA's Sustainability Park (2501 Arapahoe Street, Denver, CO)

Join your fellow ULI Young Leaders on Thursday, October 21 for a great community outreach project – help plant perennials at Denver’s new Sustainability Park.

Denver Housing Authority (DHA) is using 2.4 acres it owns in the Curtis Park neighborhood to demonstrate today’s most cutting edge sustainability practices in an urban setting. The focus of Sustainability Park is on renewable energy, energy efficiency, local food production, water management, and developing quantifiable metrics for these new cutting edge sustainability products/practices.

DHA has offered ULI the opportunity to work alongside the Curtis Park community to transplant perennials from DHA's Westwood Homes rehab project. So bring your work clothes and get ready to get your hands dirty! 50 volunteers are needed - so bring a friend!

The event will kick off with a presentation where you will have the opportunity to learn about the work of the Denver Housing Authority (DHA), the Urban Farmers Collaborative and Colorado Renewable Energy Society.

After the community service project is complete, attendees will walk to GreenSpaces for a complimentary social where donations may be accepted to benefit GreenLeaf. If you register to participate in the community service project, you will automatically be registered for the reception.

Register online by Monday, October 18. The event is free to attend, but you must register. Please invite colleagues and anyone else you think may be interested.

Questions? Contact Judd Robertson ( or Chris Spelke (

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer with greenleaf

Hola,im Indira and im a part of greenleaf.This summer i spent Two months on a farm planting and harvesting vegetable.It was really fun and i learned a lot about how to plant watermelon,basil, sunflowers, tomatoes, and many other veggies,also i learned about health,and many other things. :D

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Announcing our Farmer's Market!

GreenLeaf is proud to announce our new farm stand!

Opening Saturday, August 14th the farm stand will operate every Saturday morning from 9 - 11 a.m. at our farm, Mini Eden/Many Eatin', located at 38th and Williams St. in Denver.

You asked for it and we now have it. Our very own farm stand is NOW OPEN!! Come and check out what we hope will be on your dinner plates. Fresh, healthy, organic vegetables for you and your family. Unique prices and unique savings.

Ustedes lo pidieron y ahora lo tenemos. Nuestra propia verduleria ya esta abierta!! Vengan a ver lo que esperamos ven en sus platillos. Verduras frescas, saludables, y organicos para usted y su familia. Precios unicos y ahorros unicos.

Here's what the farm looks like, about to explode into full bloom:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hope and Health

We are past the halfway mark of our summer program, and it is a bittersweet time. The farm looks beautiful! The plants are all flourishing: our squash and tomatillos have flowered, signaling they are almost ready to produce fruit, and our tomatoes have already produced little green tomatoes. We worked hard this week staking the tomatoes with scavenged lumber for stakes and colorful yarn for supports, and hay has been spread as mulch over the beds. We have also scavenged some new installations for Mini Eden, including an empty media center stand for storing large items like tools and buckets and a beautiful old dresser for storing smaller things like hand shovels and gloves. The space is now looking very neat and tidy! Canʻt believe we only have two weeks left...

Amadou standing by his creation: tomato stakes with yarn supports

GreenLeaf has also had time to discuss fascinating and inspiring ideas about the themes of the week. The theme for week five was hope, and the following quote by an anonymous source led to great thoughts: “Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.” Amadou provided some excellent insight into this quote, by reflecting that, “As you work towards a goal, the closer you get to achieving that goal the more tired and discouraged you will get. But if you keep going you will achieve a great accomplishment.” Andrew added his thoughts, “When you lose hope, you become a shadow of your former self. That is why you must always keep hope.” This week we have been discussing health, how we define health, and how GreenLeaf can help make our communities and ourselves healthy. We are also tracking all of the food we eat this week by keeping a food journal.

Tomas staying healthy and enjoying some fresh-picked greens from our very own Mini Eden!

Interns also had the opportunity to visit students in the Seed-to-Seed program, an organization run out of GrowHaus that works with youth to promote food justice awareness. They gave GreenLeaf a tour of the GrowHaus greenhouse, taught us about vermaculture, and showed us how to make seed bombs! We also invited Seed-to-Seed to come to Mini Eden to see how we transformed a vacant lot into a food-producing urban garden. GreenLeaf interns Andrew, Tomas and Jorge led the group in games, a tour of the farm, and great discussion about urban farming. It was a great experience, and GreenLeaf is grateful to have this great community connection with amazing youth and an awesome organization dedicated to food justice!

Goofing around with Seed-to-Seed

And after all of this hard work, it was time to play hard in the waters of Platt River! Jason led GreenLeaf on an outdoor adventure to go rafting in the shallow rapids of the Platt on Friday for an exciting break from farm work. As you can tell, we had a great time.

Emanuel enjoying paddling in the duckie!

A bunch of us on the raft, guided by Jason

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Our finished sign, painted by GreenLeaf!

The third week of the summer program focused on the theme of justice. In-between weeding, watering, and fertilizing the farm, the GreenLeaf crew discussed how to address justice issues, especially food justice. The excellent facilitators of the week Amadou and Andrew led us in discussion of GreenLeafʻs role in creating more just and equitable access to fresh produce, and how the philosophy of the organization is shaped by our commitment to justice.

We also had an opportunity to share new insights and stories in a special activity: a mini hunger banquet during snack
time. GreenLeaf interns and staff became symbols of global food and income distribution, with most of the crew only receiving rice for snack, few receiving rice and nuts, and one lucky person receiving a deli sandwich and strawberries. Each group represented a slice of the world: rice eaters were low-income, rice and nuts eaters were middle-income, and the sandwich eater was high income. As the snack was passed out and the meaning of the different groups explained, students shared their experiences and knowledge of global and local hunger and need. It was incredible to hear the backgrounds and histories of GreenLeaf individuals and their families, many of whom have endured great struggles that include hunger. In sharing the group became stronger, as we now understand each other a little more than before. Many thanks to all the brave GreenLeaf interns and staff who took a risk and willingly participated in this experience.

Working on the farm as Bryant Terry arrives!

Thanks to all of the exploration and reflection on food justice, GreenLeaf was ready to welcome some very special guests to Mini Eden this past Friday. Denver YouthBiz and vegan chef Bryant Terry came to visit our farm to learn what we do and how we do it! We welcomed about 20 YouthBiz interns to learn and have fun with us, and the GreenLeaf interns led the entire group through a quote discussion, two games, and a tour of the farm. The YouthBiz students asked insightful questions about how the farm operated, and were great participants in all the awesome activities the GreenLeaf interns led. Bryant Terry also participated in the games and tour, and had some inspiring words for all the youth about the importance of taking lead and fighting for food justice everywhere. It was truly an amazing event with opportunities for GreenLeaf to grow (and show off a bit!) together.

YouthBiz, GreenLeaf and Bryant Terry

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sustainability week

The theme for week two at GreenLeaf was sustainability, and students and staff discussed defining sustainability, how we can make our organization sustainable, and how we as individuals can live in a sustainable way. One of the sustainability-themed daily quotes by Ghandi generated an interesting debate about need versus greed: “Our world has enough for each persons need, but not for his greed”. What do we each truly need, and at what point does a person become greedy? Some fascinating and thought-provoking points were raised, and I was impressed with how deeply and critically the GreenLeaf interns analyzed the quote and its connection to sustainability. Interns recognized that sustainability is not just about environment, but it’s also about how society functions, health of people, and how well we treat one another.

Keeping the theme of the week in mind, we worked hard to keep our plants happy and thriving! Lots of weeding and watering happened at GreenLeaf this week as our plants continue to grow and sprout (we saw new cucumber and sunflower sprouts this week!). We scavenged for supplies including lots of wood to build compost receptacles for waste recycling and wash stations for future harvests. One of the most exciting developments this week was completing a design for the official GreenLeaf sign to be placed outside of Mini Eden! Although still a work in progress, the sign already looks beautiful and truly captures the philosophy and essence of GreenLeaf. Images of the sign to come!

GreenLeaf also had the privilege of accepting a $2,000 grant from the Chinook Fund! Three GreenLeaf interns and one volunteer attended the Chinook Spring 2010 Grantee Awards ceremony to accept the grant and speak about their experiences at GreenLeaf. Each spoke just a sentence or two, but made a big impact on the crowd! We are so grateful and proud to accept the grant, which will help the organization sustainable itself this year!

Interns Emmanuel, Jorge and Indira, and volunteer Angie at Chinook Spring 2010 Grantee Awards

Finally, GreenLeaf had the pleasure of hiring three new enthusiastic interns for the summer program! Mohammad, Grace, and Tomas have joined the crew after volunteering for two full days on the farm and going through an application and interview process. We are so glad to have them aboard; they will certainly help shape and solidify GreenLeaf as a strong and flourishing organization. Congratulations, you three!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Phew! We have just completed our first week of GreenLeaf’s summer internship, and it feels good to have made it this far! We spent the past week double-digging beds, shoveling compost, planting seeds and seedlings, and watering. The garden has gone from empty lot to a 15-bed farm all thanks to the hard work and dedication of GreenLeaf interns and staff. Tomatoes, peas, bush beans and basil seedlings have all gone into the ground, and a great variety of seeds have also been sown into Greenleaf earth. We should have a great harvest for our first year!

Besides all of the physical labor of love going on at Mini Eden, lots of great discussion, decision-making, and games have happened this past week. We discussed the week’s theme of courage every morning, and reflected upon how much courage it took to break ground on a brand-new farm and keep working throughout the hot and sometimes difficult workdays. GreenLeaf made some tough decisions about community goals, how to sell or give away future produce, and how to navigate a system for new applicants to the summer internship program. The group was also introduced to a new aspect of the program called Straight Talk, which allows every GreenLeaf member to receive and give constructive feedback about their participation at GreenLeaf. On a lighter note, some great team-building and get-to-know-you games helped us all become a stronger and more cohesive group. We passed hula-hoops, shared our “glums and glows” from the day, and compared our musical tastes with a new boom box. The week finished off with a much-deserved break: a trip to the park and swimming pool for some Frisbee and fun!

The week has been an incredible experience. I learn something new and interesting about GreenLeaf interns and staff every day, and it’s easy to see that every young person at GreenLeaf provides an essential contribution to the organization. We have worked together very well for a very successful first week, and I cannot wait to see the things we will accomplish together this summer.