Growing Fresh Food in Colorado
Aubrey Blood knew exactly what she wanted to do for her Silver Award project. “There was way too much junk food in our town, especially at school,” she says. “I wanted something fresher.”
Aubrey decided to try and bring the freshest food possible to her town of Ellicott, Colorado–food that she had grown herself, in a community garden, with help from local volunteers. “I wanted to give it to the school, the food bank, and the people who volunteered to help.” So she set up a booth at a local community event, with a sign-up sheet. About ten people volunteered . . . but none of them actually showed up to help. And then the plan to grow the garden behind her school was rejected, due to legal issues.
“Most kids would have quit,” said Marty Lockhart, Prgram Services Manage at the Girl Scouts of Colorado. “She is tenacious.”
Despite the challenges, Aubrey pushed forward. She found a new location for her garden and planted a 100 x 16 foot patch with peas, radishes, tomatoes, cabbage, cantaloupe, and watermelon. And help came from some suprising places. “My brother helped,” Aubrey says. “I wasn’t expecting that.” In the garden’s first year, she found that some crops did well and some didn’t–but a bumper crop of radishes provided her with seeds to donate.
She will not get a chance to replant the garden a second time, because she has now moved to the Colorado Springs area. But Aubrey plans to go for her Gold Award next, and hopes she can use her knowledge to take on another community-oriented project. “I’m trying to figure out what the needs are in my new area,” she says. And no doubt, Aubrey is ready to take on the challenges she’ll face in the process.