Residents of the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood north of I-70 near York Street are miles away from the nearest grocery store, which is on the other side of U.S. 270 in Commerce City. It’s a logistical problem that prompted Denver natives Adam Brock and Coby Gould to take action. In fall 2009, the pair helped start a nonprofit urban farm called Growhaus inside a tattered gray building in the area to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the neighborhood.
Growhaus has flourished since its inception. The nonprofit started by producing lettuce, which is sold locally and distributed to organic grocers, and is in the process of expanding the greenhouse to include strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. The indoor farm also doubles as an education center, where Brock teaches classes on the benefits of a healthy diet and the basics of aquaponics and permaculture farming. “Some people don’t have a choice when it comes to what they eat,” Brock says. “They know certain food is bad, but they don’t have money, time, or choices.”