Local food production is a vital component of sustainability. It gives the community access to healthy eating options, improves a community’s self reliance, can create new jobs, invigorates local food choices and allows the community a closer relationship to the food it consumes.
Harvest Mountain Farm Gardens is an example of a local, nonprofit food producer with a greenhouse, farm, farm stand and is capable of growing produce throughout the year. In addition to offering local food, Harvest Mountain Farm Gardens offers the Junior Master Gardener Program. The program teaches kids in grades 4 through 8 the principles and foundations of gardening and is a great way for kids to learn more about the food they eat.
Local Food Production in Lakewood
The City of Lakewood’s current zoning code allows for food production in three residentially zoned districts. The code is currently in the process of being updated, which proposes agricultural uses in three new residential zones. For more information about the update process, please visit PlayYourPart.org.
Currently, rural and large lot residential zoning districts R1A and RR allow farming, apiary uses (beekeeping), animal and poultry husbandry, unlimited poultry, rabbits, pigeons and chinchillas and a limited number of cattle, horses goats, sheep and llamas (depending on lot size). Medium density residential zone district 1-R allows for unlimited poultry, rabbits, pigeons and chinchillas and a limited number of cattle, horses goats, sheep and llamas (depending on lot size).
The proposed updates to the zoning code would allow the aforementioned zones to keep all of the allowances listed. It would also seek to allow a limited number of food producing animals (chickens, ducks, dwarf goats, and beehives) on smaller-lot residential and duplex residential zoning districts 2-R and 3-R. The updated zoning code would also include a new residential area allowing agricultural uses. The updated zoning code would allow a larger portion of the community to produce food locally and create a more sustainable and vibrant Lakewood.