5th Annual Denver Chicken Coop Tour - Don't miss this self-guided tour if you want to learn about chickens, coops and urban homesteading right from the backyards and gardens of area urban homesteaders! Saturday, October 4, 2014. Buy tickets now. See button above and to the right. $20 for a single or group up to 4. (above)
60lb honey pails available. This is local, never-heated, unfiltered raw honey from one of our bee farmers north of Denver. It doesn't get any better than this. $240 festival price
Why we DO NOT support the GMO initiative, called the "Right to Know Colorado" law. Obviously Denver Urban Homesteading and its farmers do not support the use of genetically modified food. And we support the concept of labeling. However, this law has no exception for small markets. We will have to follow the same rules as multi-billion dollar supermarket corporations what with labeling, keeping affidavits, etc. AND WE CANNOT DO IT! Anyone who has come into our market knows we operate on a shoestring, and we fear that the shoestring will break if we are forced to hire another person to make sure we comply with this law. Or maybe we should just give up the free Chicken Swaps, Honey Festival, etc. so I can spend my time labeling instead. Additionally, a violation is a criminal offense. That's a lot of risk for a husband-wife team. Those who have followed our travails know that we challenge government over raw milk issues, re-use of egg carton issues, and now (for the last four years) intellectual property issues, and we do it to benefit our customers and to benefit society. But this law will give a vengeful bureaucrat one more tool in his or her arsenal to use against us when our next challenge comes up.
BTW, I have spoken to the owners of several small ethnic markets where we shop who are opposed to this law. Obamacare doesn't kick in until you have 50 employees, and the ADA until you have 15. But this initiative will require labeling by every blessed soul who sells food in this state. Maybe it is time to come up with a labeling law that will not crush the many small markets in this state, otherwise we risk driving markets like ours out of business leaving us to rely even more on giant supermarkets and big agriculture. My Russian wife, who was born and raised in the USSR, told me that even the Communists didn't try to regulate farmers markets. - James Bertini
PS An attorney named Trey Rogers who is a partner in a giant law firm who claims he helped write the initiative attacked my position in the Denver Post. Mr. Rogers says it is really no big deal to find out which foods need labeling, which foods actually have GMOs, to keep track of all of them and then to do the labeling, including labeling of vegetables. So would Mr. Rogers donate a few hours a week to do all this at our small market so we don't have to hire another worker to do it? We think not. Mr. Rogers says that we don't have to worry because we can rely on manufacturers and distributors for GMO information. But the law says retailers are responsible. I think Mr. Rogers is full of organic manure.
Denver Urban Homesteading (DUH) is dedicated to promoting local agriculture, good food and nutrition and self-sufficiency in the backyard and garden. It is comprised of local farmers and food-preparers and organized by James and Irina Bertini. Irina moved to the United States from Central Asia and was dismayed by the quality of many of the processed foods eaten here. Thus she and James decided to make a contribution to local society by bringing all these farmers together and offering classes on topics such as gardening, beekeeping, raising chickens and goats, and by selling products to facilitate these activities. This was inspired in part by Michael Pollan's book "The Omnivore's Dilemma," along with films like "Food, Inc." and "Corn King," all of which we recommend reading and viewing if you want to learn more about our food systems.
"People are fed by the food industry which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry which pays no attention to food." Wendell Barry
Irina grew up in the Soviet Union, where Walmart and Home Depot didn't exist. It was necessary to save everything in case it could be used for something else later. It was the antithesis of our consumer throw-away culture. This background made Irina determined to challenge our materialistic attitudes and so together with James, DUH also offers used furniture and other products for sale; Irina even teaches a class in how to restore your old wood furniture (and save a tree). This is part of the new DIY culture. We believe that if we produce more on our own, reuse and re-adapt and conserve what we already have, we can reduce environmental degradation, energy use and the negative balance of trade.
James and Irina are social entrepreneurs. According to Wikipedia, "A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur assesses success in terms of the impact s/he has on society as well as in profit and return. While social entrepreneurs often work through nonprofits and citizen groups, many now are working in the private and governmental sectors and making important impacts on society."
We don't sit at the computer all day mindlessly espousing the latest trends in food culture, we just do things.
Do we do charitable works? One of the many pleasures we get out of life is helping others who need our help. However, we do these things from our hearts and not because we want to use them as a marketing tool so we don't list those activities here although some of them are obvious, like the monthly Chicken Swaps and the Seed Swaps and the Bee Festivals we host, free for the public.
Contact us at email@example.com
The DUH classroom is a place to learn things about urban agriculture, food and other sustainable activities that are practiced far too uncommonly in this era.
The DUH market is a place to sell and buy locally-produced agriculture and to learn about healthy alternatives to the supermarket.
Denver Urban Homesteading was created in response to the growing awareness that our industrial food production and delivery systems are not meeting many of our needs. We intend to provide an alternative.
PHOTO ESSAY OF THE MARKET BY PHOTOJOURNALIST SHAUNA INTELLISANO
Shauna Intelisano’s photo blog March 14, 2010
LOCAL AND NATIONAL FEATURES ABOUT OUR WORK
Backyard Farming Boom: Denver Urban Homesteading
Confluence Denver, May 1, 2013
Washington Park Profile November 2009
The Atlantic Monthly feature, The Future of the City, May 21, 2010
Chicken Swap slideshow, Westword, August 6, 2011
EFFORTS TO HARM OUR MARKET BY A FAMILY RELIGIOUS GROUP AND OTHERS (For too many people the phrase "building community" is meaningless jargon, which is the reason we don't use it)
Note: the trademark litigation referred to in the next two stories is ongoing
Online ire comes to terms with “urban homesteading”
Denver Post, March 31, 2011 article about trademark issue regarding our name
A Fight Over “Urban Homesteading” could wipe city farmers off Facebook
February 22, 2011 Westword article about trademark issue regarding our name
January 20, 2011
Face the State article about a City of Denver committee that discussed chicken law reforms keeping their deliberations
secret sundari kraft
No Room in the Coop for Denver’s Backyard Chicken Champion
Award given to us April 26, 2013 by the U.S. Green Building Council