Before Paul Fleischer’s Lakewood farm was a farm, it was a vacant lot that sat at 2005 S. Zephyr Court for over 30 years. Fleischer, who moved to the farm four years ago, had the property’s soil …
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Before Paul Fleischer’s Lakewood farm was a farm, it was a vacant lot that sat at 2005 S. Zephyr Court for over 30 years. Fleischer, who moved to the farm four years ago, had the property’s soil tested and found that it wasn’t as organic as he wanted it to be.
After Fleischer had a conversation with Lakewood resident Dale Trone, the two realized it was beneficial for the Southern Gables Neighborhood in Lakewood to bring its leaves to Fleischer to use for his soil instead of sending them to the commercial compositing facility. On Nov. 9, residents in the neighborhood near Fleischer’s farm collected over 800 bags of leaves from homes to donate to Fleischer.
“When we opened up the farm stand to the community, we knew we were in the right place for our business, because people care about environmental issues. (The leaf gathering is) a perfect example of what this community is like and what we can do when we all come together,” said Fleischer.
The farm offers agricultural classes and produce to the Lakewood community. Fleischer and his wife have taught agricultural classes to at-risk youth and orphaned children around the country.
“It was full circle on those leaves. They started in the neighborhood, and ended up in the farm and then have produce coming back,” said Trone. “It’s neat.”
The leaf gathering event was a project created by the Sustainable Southern Gables Neighborhood group in partnership with the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association. Lakewood’s Sustainable Neighborhood Program gives residents a chance to make the city a more sustainable community. Among those who attended the leaf gathering were Tyler Amidon, middle school principal of Denver Christian School, Rick Schmitz, the pastor of Westwoods Community Church, Lakewood City Councilmember Dana Gutwein and more.
“This is a great event for our neighborhood. We are proud that we can help seniors rake their yards, that we can help reduce waste going in the landfill and that we can bring together terrific partners in our neighborhood like Fleischer Family Farm, Westwoods Community Church, kids and families from Denver Christian School and Sustainable Southern Gables,” said Doug Whitten, the president of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association.
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