2016: A New Year, a New Messy Kitchen

WereGrowing

The beginning of 2016 has brought about some great changes for me. We recently moved into a beautiful new condo right on the bike path and golf course with views off the deck of the mountains we love to camp in. We got very lucky in finding this place. We had searched for homes for quite a while (the Denver market is INSANE) and this was almost the one that we let slip by. Thankfully we worked with a GREAT realtor George Martin and he, and his wife Tami, helped get us into our first real home. It’s very exciting and, even if the boxes still aren’t all unpacked, it feels right. And did I mention the kitchen is AWESOME?? I’m spoiled.

Along with getting married last fall and starting our lives in a new home, I’ve decided to start on a new personal adventure, one inspired by my volunteer work in food access. For the last year I’ve been volunteering with Denver’s Sustainable Food Policy Council (SFPC). The council’s focus is on improving healthy food access in Denver and pulling together the right hearts and minds to carry that out. I’ve loved this work and loved learning from the brightest leaders in Denver who are focused on creating a better community for all of us. They’re an inspiring group of people and the work is impossible not to feel passionate about. My work with the SFPC has opened my eyes to what else is going on in our community, where help is needed and what I could do.

In meeting folks involved with the SFPC I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about urban agriculture and learn more about the homegrown industries surrounding it. One of the more exciting opportunities is with cottage foods. Colorado has a Cottage Food Law that allows home producers to sell veggies and a handful of homemade goods to local customers; and here’s where I want to take Messy Kitchen Happy Belly. I’d like to leverage the support you all have given me into a small cottage food organization that uses science, cooking and community to create something really special. I’ve put a lot of thought into this, hassled my husband, my mom and my friends and I am blessed to say I’ve received nothing but support and love. So with that, let’s do this friends!

I hope you’ll join me on this adventure. I plan to really write about what I’m working on-the good, bad and ugly. In the past I’ve only shown you all a piece of the puzzle but let’s dive deeper. Let’s talk about food policy in Denver as it unfolds, let’s talk about community needs, let’s talk about great recipes with ugly produce, let’s talk about water quality and soil temperatures, and most of all-let’s build this together.

This will be a new challenge for me and one I’m excited to embark on. Like the (72) seedlings I have growing on my porch, I’m excited and filled with hope for this season. In the past year I’ve lost both my grandmothers, watched family grow ill and seen some great people let wonderful opportunities slip away because they were too scared to see where they might go. This life is short and it’s a blessing, let’s celebrate it every day.

I’m looking forward to see what comes and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. Cause if your dreams don’t scare you, they ain’t big enough…

 

 

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