THE SCOOP: Talk about hyper-local. By next year, Ranch Foods Direct could be selling food items grown just a short walk away on a once-vacant plot nearby, the first of many such micro-farms that might eventually sprout city-wide.
Pikes Peak Small Farms, a new branch of Pikes Peak Urban Gardens (itself under the auspices of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation) is launching a plan to use a series of “tiny houses” – those small eco-cabins that have become increasingly trendy – combined with mobile chicken coops and low-cost but durable greenhouses to create a portable farm that can be dropped on any piece of land and “be up and producing within 30 days,” according to project leader Craig McHugh (pictured, right)
“I think it’s a great idea,” says Ranch Foods Direct owner Mike Callicrate. “The current system of food production has failed. We have to do this, we have no choice. And we need to invest in this kind of concept, rather than putting our money on Wall Street. We’ve become too dependent on financial advisers to tell us what to do.”
Several properties have already been identified where the first prototypes could emerge, including a patch of land north of Ranch Foods Direct on North Prospect.
“This could happen very quickly,” says Larry Stebbins, pictured left, who is director of Pikes Peak Urban Gardens. “We could use that first location as a training center. We could have students living out there. Then eventually we could move that whole project and that idea to another farm.”
The two think they will need to raise roughly $30,000 to launch their first model, but are looking into a number of different financial models.
CLICK HERE for their presentation and many more “Food Talks”; Colorado Springs Public Market coverage of 2014’s LOCAL FOOD WEEK