My name is… Paul Fleischer

Owner of The Fleischer Family Farm and teacher at Alameda International Junior/Senior High School

Joseph Rios
jrios@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/25/20

About me My wife and I have traveled all over the world. We lived in the United Kingdom as students for a while. Then I was an English teacher in South Korea, and then I did some backpacking around …

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My name is… Paul Fleischer

Owner of The Fleischer Family Farm and teacher at Alameda International Junior/Senior High School

Posted

About me

My wife and I have traveled all over the world. We lived in the United Kingdom as students for a while. Then I was an English teacher in South Korea, and then I did some backpacking around Southeast Asia.

We even lived for a little over a year in Tanzania where we helped at an orphanage and lived with families who were suffering from HIV and AIDS.

We both love to travel and both love working with children and young people, so that was amazing. The people there were nothing but welcoming, and we loved our time. But as time went on, my wife and I decided we wanted to start a family of our own and decided we were coming back to the states.

From Pennsylvania to Colorado

We were from Pennsylvania, but we were gone for so long that we didn't have that many ties to the state anymore. Colorado was a good place to move to. It's been a little over 10 years that we've been here, and this is definitely home.

It is kind of funny. My wife was raised on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, and she married me, the city boy from Pittsburgh. She thought she had got away from the farm lifestyle, but in my early years teaching, I didn't know what to do with myself in the summer — so I started gardening in my backyard.

We lived in Denver, and I was teaching at the Denver Green School. My garden started with a few garden beds, and then those turned into more. Before we had left our Denver home, our backyard was completely covered in garden beds. We also had six chickens and a few beehives.

That was the point where people started stopping at my house and asking if they could buy produce and eggs from us. That kind of pushed the idea, and in 2015 we started our business — The Fleischer Family Farm.

It just so happened around that same time our family was growing. My wife was pregnant with our son, so we needed a bigger lot. We found the one here in Lakewood at 2005 S. Zephyr Court, and we've lived in the city ever since.

Teaching and feeding Lakewood

When we knew we were going to have kids, it was important that we taught our children the importance of hard work. We wanted them to eat high quality food, so it started off with that. It has since grown to the business we are now where we are supporting close to 90 families with food in the Lakewood community. We grow and provide fresh produce, eggs, honey and more.

We do farm to table dinners, and we have a community supported agriculture program. We also teach beekeeping basics, chicken keeping, how to preserve food and how to make soap at our farm through our Urban Homesteading class series.

Last year, we were fortunate enough to receive a Sustainability Award from the city of Lakewood. It's been cool being so involved in the community.

Preparing the next generation of farmers

I was a special education teacher for about 10 years, and I was going to leave the profession of teaching. Alameda International Junior/Senior High School had the idea of me opening up my own agriculture program at the school. It reinvigorated me in teaching, and I'm appreciative of the school.

I teach agricultural education at Alameda International Junior/Senior High School for grades seven through 12. It is a career pathways program. We focus on teaching young people the life cycles of their food as well as agricultural careers that may not be common when you think of agriculture — like mechanics and agricultural scientists.

When I moved to Lakewood, it was important for me to teach in the community where my family lives at. I just think community is an important thing a lot of people are forgetting about, especially in the profession of educators. I felt like I wanted to improve the community where my family lives. It was important for me to be part of the positive change in Lakewood and Alameda.

If you have a suggestion for someone to be featured in My Name Is... contact Joseph Rios at jrios@coloradocommunitymedia.com

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