We are working to create a community where everyone has access to local & healthy food. Our goal is to revive a sense of self-sustainability throughout the community by teaching the benefits of buying and producing local food.
Our urban farming initiatives are fueled by our passion for focusing on the root causes of the issues that lead to hunger and inequitable food systems. While our Food Bag Program provides immediate hunger relief to people in the community, our urban farming efforts carry Casper toward long-term, sustainable solutions to hunger and access to affordable, local, and healthy food.
Impact of Urban Farming:
Boosts local economy
Improves access to affordable, local, and healthy food for all
Fosters a sense of community
Positively impacts the environment
Promotes a healthy community
and so much more...
OUR URBAN FARMING INITIATIVES
Food is Free Gardens
In May of 2013, we decided to throw out a few seeds and stick a "Food is Free Community Garden" sign in the dilapidated flower bed in front of our old office space in the former Hillcrest Water Building. We heard concerns around like, "What happens if people take the food?!" But is it considered stealing if the food is free?
That summer, plants were watered, weeds were pulled and produce was picked...by who, we're not entirely sure, but it felt like a success to us.
Wyoming Food for Thought Project now manages three Food is Free garden areas in Casper where we simply plant gardens and encourage people to pick the produce from them for free, no questions asked. Everyone deserves fair access to local, healthy food.
We grow an abundance of produce in a variety of gardening structures including raised garden beds, three hoop houses, 1 dome, and a four-season greenhouse, all filled with compost that we collect at our program center. We use these areas to teach garden education programs and sell fresh, local produce at community markets in Casper.
Our variety of food production methods helps to create a resilient, sustainable food system where local and healthy food is provided for all. Growing food locally also tastes better, has a positive impact on the environment, reduces food waste, promotes community, helps people connect to the soil, and more.
We have a lot of love for our 5 urban chickens at our program center. We sell these lovely ladies' fresh, nutritious eggs at community markets. We also use their help to teach children and other visitors about urban farming beyond growing plants.
We offer a seed library at our program center that is available for anyone to access for free. The concept is exactly that from renting a book out at the library, in that, you rent it out and return the book when you're finished. With a seed library, anyone can “borrow” seeds from the library at planting time. At the end of the growing season, they save seeds from the plants and return a portion of the seeds to the library.
We participate in composting to help us further sustain our urban farm. Vermicompost is a process of decomposing organic matter with the help of red wiggler worms. Vermicompost is like Super Compost. It contains water-soluble nutrients and is an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. Kitchen scraps and other food waste turns into rich, dark soil that smells like earth and fills our garden beds with nutrients that feed the plants we grow.
Good, hearty soil is the key to growing healthy plants. By growing our own soil, not only will we cut down on the costs of purchasing soil, but our plants will produce better, and we may hopefully one day create an income from selling the Super Soil we make.
Garden Education Programs
The Wyoming Food for Thought Project Garden Education Program encourages students to learn life skills in the areas of nutrition, cooking, leadership, agriculture, community empowerment and entrepreneurial endeavors. Our curriculum is tailored to the needs of the specific child, group or organization we are working with. We teach our students the importance of where food comes from, our relationship to the soil, nutrition, cooking, service learning, leadership, cooperation volunteerism, food security, and the community-youth connection.
Wyoming Food for Thought Project works with different businesses and organizations throughout Casper to get them set up with their own private community garden spaces for use from their customers or residents.
These gardens are a great example of how we partner with others in our community to provide access to locally grown produce, and that together we can break down barriers to access and eradicate hunger once and for all.
To see some examples of the projects we have worked on in the past, click the link below. If you are interested in getting set up with your own personal community garden, reach out to us today.
We are always exploring creative, innovative, and modern solutions to roadblocks presented by Wyoming’s climate and short growing season. That's why we now grow produce in hydroponic vertical gardens in addition to the other variety of ways we grow food at Wyoming Food For Thought Project. Hydroponic vertical gardens present a way of growing plants without soil, where nutrients are provided through water. Hydroponics make it possible for us to grow and share local, healthy food year-round for everyone to access.
Our Curbside Compost program is an effort to gather more people in Casper to collect their compost instead of throwing it away. We provide buckets to participating people in the community and then pick them up once per month. We then combine the compost with our own at our program center to create nutrient-rich soil that we use in our garden beds, greenhouse, hoop houses, community gardens, and more.
Over 60 billion pounds of mineral-rich food materials unnecessarily go to landfills in the U.S. each year. That's why we partner with people and businesses in Casper to transform compostable items into healthy soil to grow local food.
This program is coming soon, so stay tuned.