Downtown Denver farm producing food for convention center

DENVER — There’s something new outside the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. There’s a farm there now.

“Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten!” said Kristin Batalucco.

She was one of many who came to the ‘first harvest’ at the Colorado Convention Center’s Blue Bear Farm located at Champa St. and Speer Blvd., right next to the light rail tracks.

This farm is designed to grow up to 5,000 pounds of fruits, vegetables and herbs, food  that will be used by chefs at the eateries inside the convention center.

“We just think this farm-to-table concept of providing fresh produce is one that works,” said Chef Carmen Callo. “Our cooks walk about 200 feet outside the kitchen, pick their produce, take it back in and use it to serve all of our varied guests.”

The idea comes from a unique partnership between Centerplate — hospitality partners with the CCC, Produce Denver and the City of Denver.

“Our goal is to use the Blue Bear Farm and another farm at the city-owned Cableland facility on Colorado and Alameda, to grow bumper crops of food for both visitors to Denver and for young people who participate in planting, caring for and the harvest of the food grown in the plots,” said Mayor Mike Hancock.

Centerplate delivers food at 250 entertainment sports and convention venues across North America serving more than more than 100 million guests.

The downtown project is expected to grow 1,800 pounds of food in the first year and more than 5,000 pounds by year five.

Everything from basil to zucchini will grow in the city gardens. The hope is more in metro will get on the grow your own wagon, while trying to bring good food to their kitchen table