An increasing interest in purchasing food locally is changing the local food culture in the Fort Collins area. For the first time ever, the city has been able to host a farmer’s market at least once every month year-round, including the winter months.
Colorado State University’s Division of Continuing Education and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute are offering local citizens a course on the basics of buying local, covering topics such as why it is important and where to go to buy locally. The course is being organized by Be Local Northern Colorado and the Northern Colorado Food Incubator.
The course, Local Food – A Sustainable Menu for the Future, will be held from 1 – 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, April 22 – May 13 at College America, 4601 Mason Street, Ft. Collins, Colo.
Members of OLLI enjoy a variety of class offerings throughout the year, with course subjects from memoir writing to current business topics. The institute is a unique learning community for older adults that offers classes with no prerequisites, tests or degree requirements. It is one of 119 membership-based institutes nationwide.
"There is a lot going on in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado centered on local food," said Hill Grimmett, co-director of Be Local Northern Colorado. "We have new farmers, new producers and a great deal of support in the community for eating local. We think this is a great time and place for this course and for residents to be educated about buying locally."
Increased interest in local food has allowed the development of several new small scale farms, giving interested community members the opportunity to try farming. These small scale farmers are able to more easily adapt sustainable practices like watershed preservation, ecosystem diversity, native species preservation, and growing food organically.
Buying local is not an all or nothing decision and small changes can make a difference. It is important to approach the seasonality of different foods from a menu perspective. Buying locally can introduce citizens to new varieties of seasonal foods as well as open up possibilities for restaurants and supermarkets.
The Division of Continuing Education has offered distance education to students for over forty years. The DCE offers degrees, online credit and noncredit courses, certificate programs and custom training for businesses and industry throughout Northern Colorado, Denver, at business sites and distance education through a variety of delivery methods. The programs are not subsidized by the state of Colorado and serve approximately 13,000 students a year.
For more information, visit http://www.learn.colostate.edu/osher or call (303) 573-6318 or (877) 491-4336