Trio of events in Steamboat focus on homegrown food | SteamboatToday.com

Trio of events in Steamboat focus on homegrown food

Zach Fridell

A guided urban garden tour Saturday morning will include a stop at the downtown community garden.

Steamboat Springs — Even if there isn’t an economic collapse, or even if the local grocery stores don’t run out of food, there are many reasons why a self-sustaining economy in Steamboat Springs is desirable, Transition Steamboat organizer Paul Potyen said. — Even if there isn't an economic collapse, or even if the local grocery stores don't run out of food, there are many reasons why a self-sustaining economy in Steamboat Springs is desirable, Transition Steamboat organizer Paul Potyen said.

— Even if there isn't an economic collapse, or even if the local grocery stores don't run out of food, there are many reasons why a self-sustaining economy in Steamboat Springs is desirable, Transition Steamboat organizer Paul Potyen said.

The group, along with Deep Roots, will host a series of events at the end of the week to promote economic and ecologically sustainable cultures in Steamboat.

The goal is to "figure out how we can design our future, sort of how we can modify our behavior and the way we live our lives so we are a more resilient local economy," Potyen said.

Eventually, Potyen would like the Transition Steamboat group — part of a worldwide, United Kingdom-based Transition Net­­work — to develop teams to come up with sustainable ideas for transportation, energy and economy.

But first, this weekend, the group will focus on food production in the mountains.

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"In particular this weekend, we're talking about food and how we can grow local food in this kind of climate," he said.

Yes, there are long winters and yes, the growing season is short, but Potyen said he hopes a walking tour of five successful, sustainable downtown gardens will encourage people to try it themselves.

"If we can make ourselves more independent locally on food, then we don't have to worry about if City Market runs out of food because there's either a blizzard or an economic collapse or who knows what," he said. "Even if none of those scenarios come to be, I think it's still a good idea."

He said the Transition group isn't focusing on the what-ifs, or a bleak future, but on the importance of sustainability.

In a talk on Saturday, Den­ver-based aquaponics expert JD Sawyer will teach the audience how to use an aquaponics system to grow vegetables and herbs. Aqua­ponics is a system that grows aquatic animals –— usually fish — alongside the greens. The waste from the animals is used to nourish the plants, and the plants in turn provide some nutrients to the fish.

Potyen said he hopes the events will pique the interest of people and encourage them to join the local group's Thursday lunch meetings at Bamboo Mar­­ket and use some of the methods in their own lives.

"I think they can find out some surprising things about people who are actually doing this," he said.

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