2022 has been an extraordinary year for the Homestead – extraordinary in the challenges we have faced with staffing, supply chain, and event venues; and extraordinary in how we have proved our resilience as an organization.
I am so proud of what we have built from the ground up, with bare bones resources, and a lot of chutzpah. Since 2013 (believe it or not!) The Holistic Homestead has been improving health and wellness in our community through education, outreach and advocacy, and we are finishing our 9th year of service to the Peak to Peak Mountain Communities with hope for a brighter future.
I also wanted to share with you that I have faced some extraordinary personal challenges in 2022 – including chronic health issues and becoming a single mom to two young boys – that have made it especially challenging to give my full heart and mind to the Homestead as I have for the past 9 years. Despite my personal challenges this year, the Homestead endures, as it is built on a solid foundation, with a truly sustainable model for growth and resilience that will see this nonprofit through any challenge!
WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED
The Holistic Homestead is proud to have become a true FOOD HUB for the Peak to Peak region as we actively manage the aggregation, distribution and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers in order to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand. (definition from healthyfoodaccess.org)
In 2022, we:
- directly supported 15 local farms, and
- distributed fresh produce not only to our membership and community from our Market, but made weekly deliveries to 5 households in Gilpin county,
- catered events at Phuntsok Choling Retreat Center in Ward,
- served 12 healthy, plant-based meals a day 3 days a week January through December through our Pay-What-You -Can Farm-to-Table Cafe,
- donated several hundreds of pounds of produce to Eagles Nest Early Learning Center and the Food Pantry in Gilpin,
- as well as preparing and delivering healthy snacks to the Gilpin Parks and Recreation after-school Youth Program and Summer Camp.
Food Hubs play a critical role in building sustainable food systems, which means the Homestead is poised to turn the tables of rural food acquisition from commuting to giant supermarkets to accessing small-scale biodynamic farming operations.
WHERE WE ARE HEADED
The fact that The Holistic Homestead still stands is a testament to our resilience as an organization – that we have hit upon the right business model at the right time, and in the right place. We will continue to advocate for greater self reliance when it comes to health care – empowering YOU to take charge of your health – and for building healthier, more sustainable communities!
For us at the Homestead, all of this comes down to the choices that individuals make around the foods that we eat. Where did that food come from? How was it grown? How was it prepared? And how does that food nourish your body, heart and mind? All of these factors are interconnected, and the Homestead is dedicated to pursuing integrity in sustainability every step of the way.
In 2023 we plan to expand our Pay-What-You-Can & Farm-to-Table Cafe to serve fresh & healthy meals 6 days a week, and to offering catering and meal delivery services. We will focus on solidifying our Community Food Share program, making it affordable and accessible for as many people in the community as possible. Our Farmers Markets are the cornerstone of how we engage the community, and we plan to ramp up our Farmers Markets events to once a month throughout the Summer!
I invite you to join us in making 2023, our 10th year since we started in 2013, the most successful yet! You can help us start the new year off in the best way by making an end-of-year tax deductible donation TODAY! We have $2,000 left to fundraise by midnight on New Years Eve to reach our goal of $9,000 raised in December – please click here to make your donation in any amount now!
We truly can’t do this without you, and we absolutely rely on volunteers, grant funding and private donations to keep the Homestead going and growing. Why? Because we are not just a nonprofit, we are a community trust – an investment in health and wellness of, by and for the community.
Here’s to your health! Warmly, Arwen Ek, Founding Director