Agriculture for everyone – Berthoud Local educates community through events

By Amber McIver-Traywick

The Surveyor

Courtesy photo – Volunteers help cultivate the community garden in Pioneer Park.

Having a connection and a real understanding of the food we eat, how it’s produced, and where it comes from has become a rarity in modern society. To help combat that disconnect in our own community Berthoud Local, a nonprofit organization, has not only been actively providing access to locally grown food, they have also been offering educational opportunities about farming, gardening, the environment, humane and healthy farm animal treatment, and many other related topics to the people of Berthoud since 2013.

To get an idea of just how disconnected from our food we are as a culture, in a survey conducted by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy last year, researchers found nearly seven percent of American adults actually believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows. That’s almost 16.4 million very confused people. Research conducted by the University of California, Davis found more than half of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders they surveyed didn’t know pickles were cucumbers, or that onions and lettuce were plants. Four in 10 didn’t know hamburgers came from cows. And three in 10 didn’t know cheese is made from milk.

Berthoud Local is doing its part to provide a variety of ways for young and old alike to understand and connect with where their food comes from. The group sponsors the farmers’ market every Saturday throughout the summer in Fickel Park, which allows local growers to sell fresh, whole foods, and oversees the volunteer-run community garden located in Pioneer Park. Vickie McLane, the current president of Berthoud Local, said in a recent interview that the members of the organization saw a need for growing and strengthening the community through educating and empowering the people of Berthoud to get involved with the food they consume. “Everything we do is to get people educated about the importance of agriculture and buying local food,” she said.

This year the group has expanded their community efforts by offering free farm and agriculture-related documentary viewings. The highly-acclaimed documentaries being shown center on the state of farming in the U.S. today. The next film, entitled “Inhabit,” introduces the concept of permaculture, a holistic system of agriculture that offers an ecological lens for solving issues related to farming, economics and governance. The documentary highlights a variety of projects, concepts, and people that are involved in permaculture and, according to the film’s website, “…it will be a reminder that humans are capable of being planetary healing forces.” The event will take place, fittingly, on a farm southeast of Berthoud, Saturday, May 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. at The Farmer and Adele, located at 19417 County Road 3. When speaking on the free event McLane said, “It’s a fun idea to also get people educated – this year I just wanted it to be a gift to the community.”

When asked who might be a good fit for getting involved with the organization McLane said, “Anybody in the community who is interested, whether it’s gardening or agriculture – anyone can be educated about what’s going on in the farming community.” Other upcoming events for the organization include the late planting at the community garden on May 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. and the opening day of the farmers’ market season which will take place on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning June 23 through Sept. 29. If you are interested in participating in the community garden or any of the other Berthoud Local events visit berthoudlocal.org.

 

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