We are in our 5th year, and excited about where we're headed!
Eileen O’Rourke founded GoFarm in 2014 after traveling the country researching local food systems and forming the GoFarm model along the way. It was with her passion to build a robust local food system that secures fair prices for farmers AND makes sustainably-grown food affordable and accessible to everyone, that GoFarm was born. She gathered support from many people in the community to make her passion a reality - and GoFarm was underway!
2014 - GoFarm Founded
The Local Food Share program is where participants receive a share of local, fresh food each week, from June to October. The first location where we placed the first GoFarm refrigerated shipping container, was at the Historic Golden Mill in Downtown Golden. This program helps connect the community to their local food source since all of the produce is sourced from local, sustainable farmers. We had under 100 shareholders that first season and it was wonderful start!
The Community Access program also launched, and focused on increasing access and affordability of fresh produce among segments of the population at risk for hunger and food insecurity; low-income families with young children, and low-income seniors. The two initiatives aimed at helping these populations were GoFarm to Families and GoFarm to Seniors, where we partnered with senior centers, Head Starts, and other pre-schools in Jefferson County.
2015 - Local Food Share and Community Access Programs Launches
The local food share was doing so well that we expanded to another location! We opened our second shipping container in the Centura Health parking lot (750 Warner Dr.) in Golden.
2016 - Local Food Share Opens Second Distribution in Golden
After much planning and research, we launched our farmer incubator pilot program! The pilot involved 1 beginning farmer and 1 plot of land, and worked to mentor the beginning farmer and break down their barriers of entry into the farming industry.
2017 - GoFarm Incubator Pilot Program Launched
With much support from the community, and with a grant awarded to us by the USDA, we opened a third Local Food Share location in West Arvada on another Centura Health Property. We LOVE all of our wonderful Arvada shareholders and being part of the Arvada community!
We also grew our Community Access program from offering affordable food shares at 4 preschools, to operating 8 markets across Jefferson County. Each market is structured differently to accommodate the specific needs of each community. Our largest market is held weekly at the Arvada Head Start.
2018 - Local Food Share opens in Arvada ; Community Access Markets Expand
After being awarded a grant from the USDA, we expanded our GoFarm Incubator program in partnership with CSU Extension, Jefferson Conservation District, and Denver Botanic Gardens. We hired 3 farmer apprentices, 3 externs, and 2 Summer interns and provided them with farm plots, farming resources, on-site training and related coursework. The incubator program is a kick-starter for beginning farmers to help them create and operate sustainable farming businesses of their own.
2018 - GoFarm Incubator Program Expands
The Local Food Share opened in Evergreen, where the community is both welcoming and appreciative of GoFarm bringing local food into the mountains!
We were awarded a couple grants from the Colorado Health Foundation and the USDA to help us grow our Community Access programs with the help of our wonderful community partners. We now have weekly markets at 3 locations within Jefferson County, collaborate with multiple partners every week for food donations, share purchases at discounted prices, and education programming. We placed a refrigerated shipping container at the Arvada Head Start container to help us conduct our weekly markets.
We also made our Local Food Share program more affordable to more community members by working with more SNAP, DUFB, WIC, and discount share shareholders.
2019 - Local Food Share opens in Evergreen; Community Access Program Expands