The Village Farm had an incredibly productive and exciting 2023. Committed to providing our community with culturally appropriate food, the farm hosted focus groups with community leaders to identify the produce items most desired by their communities. We used that information to develop our crop plan and expand our offering of culturally appropriate crops such as bitter melon, collard greens, and gandana leeks.
Our Urban Farming Immersion program graduated 7 participants, all refugees from Iraq, Burma, Thailand, and Ethiopia. Participants participated in the program for 22-weeks and received training on sustainable agriculture practices and workforce development through a combination of hands-on work on the farm, a formalized workforce training curriculum,field trips to local businesses and organizations in the agriculture sector, and participating in outreach events.
Committed to being a convener of the community, the farm purchased a trailer to serve as our farm office space, a classroom for the Urban Farming Immersion program, and host community events. This season, we brought together and celebrated the community through workshops, farm dinners, and volunteer sessions.
VEC launched the Farm during the pandemic to promote economic development while tackling food insecurity. Located on a two-acre site a mile from our building, the Farm is a green jewel in urban Aurora. Situated atop a “brownfield” (a former industrial site where future use is affected by environmental contamination), the above-ground garden beds provide space where Aurora’s immigrant and refugee communities can grow food and community.
VEC believes that food and farming can be vehicles for social change. The Village Farm increases access to fresh and culturally-relevant produce while serving as a gathering space for cultural exchange, education, and celebration. The Farm transcends socio-economic, geographic, and cultural differences to connect diverse communities to each other and the natural environment while promoting food security for refugees in northwest Aurora.
Our Urban Farming Immersion program teaches refugees, immigrants, and residents of NW Aurora how to grow food using regenerative practices. The program focuses on the importance of building community and participants complete the Roots of Success environmental literacy and job training program.
Qualifying Gifts to Village Farm are Eligible for a
Generous Tax Credit
Our Village Farm is part of an Enterprise Zone, designated by the State of Colorado to encourage economic growth. Colorado residents who make qualifying gifts to VEC are eligible for a generous tax credit of up to 25% to use against their state income tax if giving an outright gift of cash, or 12.5% for gifts of appreciated assets, such as stocks and securities.
Working to reduce food insecurity, the Farm grows culturally-appropriate produce for refugee and immigrant communities. The Farm creates a space for youth and adult learning that bridges communities in a welcoming outdoor space.
- Distributes 50% of its produce to the Village Pantry; the remainder is distributed equally among partner organizations and small businesses
- Grew 2,500 pounds of produce in 2022
- Cultivates 7 distinct types of chiles, representing 4 countries’ cuisines
- Houses 30,000 honeybees in two new beehives