The city of Arvada has always been known for a vibrant agricultural community. Shortly after the first discovery of gold in Colorado by Lewis Ralston in 1850, prospectors and dreamers of land and home filled this once little town. It was not gold they were seeking, but rich fertile soil. At one point the city was deemed the title “celery capitol of the world.”
I say all this because my family has in a sense struck gold. This is our first year vegetable gardening, my husband and three young boys are renting a plot at the Andres’ Community Garden( associated with the Arvada Community Garden.) I am continually amazed by the beautiful acreage, fertile soil, and the view of the mountains.
Dean and Suzi are the owners of this abundant garden. They carry a passion for sustainability, teaching others, and sharing the joys of growing food. As you can see, after years of their own countless hours and thoughts- they have created quite the piece of land. They also have a long history and connection to this city.
I am tremendously grateful for their generosity of allowing others to sow seeds and reap the harvest. When my family first started this journey, we didn’t even know how to plant a seed. With a tremendous amount of patience- we are being taught many things. And experiencing the basics of life right before our very own eyes. Learning the benefits of composting, sustainable practices, how a plant grows. These skills are not only benefiting myself, but each individual in my family. My three boys cherish the garden, and the tasty food we create together from it! And watching the satisfaction of my husband providing wholeness to his family.
I am struck with something that will carry with me in the future. Seeing photographs of historical people, who have no relation to me except we have all worked in this land. Mothers and fathers with a baby in their sight- toiling under the sun. Being refreshed by the sweetness of a sugar snap pea. The city of Arvada has always had a heart for agriculture. To me, renting this plot of land is a way in honoring the process that so many others went through.
A motto was created by a group of woman from Arvada in 1937, “Strive to develop the beauties of our town.” The ladies met to discuss the process of life in plants and flowers. And I guess that is what we are doing as a community of gardeners. With six other plots mapped out for renters of all ages, different backgrounds, life experiences, and journeys- we can come together and discuss plants. Growing our own food. Share our harvest with each other. Digging back into our roots, and living in the heart of what this city stands for.
Even though I am so new to all of this, the idea of conserving and sustainability has begun to inch its way into my daily choices. And with the help of people like Dean and Suzi, my family can take the necessary steps to living consciously. Most importantly, my family can understand to live content in the simplicities of life. To realize that this journey we are on, matters. Although our story will one day be forgotten, it is this time that stands.
I strive to live the vision that those ladies sought for in 1937. The honor the beauties of this town and to realize what the land holds is so vast.
Sources and Related Links: