Dig In

Roasted Garlic Spread

Roasted Garlic Spread
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Bon Appétit)
Pumpkin Soup with Colorado Honey and Allspice

No doubt you have seen the vegetable patches that dot the metropolitan landscape. On any given day during the spring, summer or fall, you may witness urban warriors carefully tending to their small plots of precious soil.

Come early summer, small green shoots peek from the ground. By mid-summer, the bounty of zucchini, squash, beans, early tomatoes and lettuce is ripe for picking. As September rolls around, harvest season is in full swing, bringing an abundance of healthy, organic produce to the gardeners and their lucky friends and neighbors.

Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) is the driving force behind these little parcels of culinary paradise. With more than 60 metro-area community gardens and small parks, DUG’s goal is to serve low-to-moderate-income populations in urban neighborhoods and provide opportunities for participants to supplement their diets with produce grown in nearby gardens. These gardens serve as places of refuge and learning, and for many, offer hope and beauty in neighborhoods that were once weary and weathered.

Those who participate in the program assume the responsibility to improve their community, initiate a sense of pride in their surroundings, and improve their nutritional status through healthy, fresh food. Denver Urban Gardens, (303) 292-9900, dug.org

A sampling of what DUG offers to its 22,000 participants:

 – Nontraditional training and education of gardeners, and community-based programs for youth and adults

 – Recruitment and coordination of volunteer labor teams

 – Free vegetable seeds and transplants to more than 5,000 people each year

 – Planning, design and construction of garden and farm sites with ongoing improvements

How you can contribute:

 – Make a financial donation  Money is a critical component to this nonprofit organization. Contributions go to the creation and maintenance of community gardens and programs. Go to the AOL Foundation’s helping.org and click on “Donate Now.”

 – Help build a garden  DUG is always in need of volunteers to build community plots.

 – Donate supplies and professional services  Building a garden takes not only dirt, but also lumber, nails, screws, stone, paint, fencing and other supplies. Donated supplies are tax-deductible.

 – Spread the word  Share with others the information you receive about community gardens. 

Categories: Entertaining, Landscaping & Gardening, Recipes