Dirt ‘N’ Nails Farms Inc. began as a vision. Spring 2009, our founder, Monte Pescador, was working in a community garden in Adams County, Colorado. The year before he had noticed many families that had started and ended their voluntary efforts to help in the garden for their own kitchens on the same day. The volunteers left were the ones helping to fill the local food banks.
“So what would it take to motivate people to grow their own food?” he asked himself. Education came to mind. Materials to grow vegetables. Then he saw it.
“Suddenly I was looking down from the ceiling of a greenhouse, and all around was busy with people loading up seedlings, pots, and bags of soil into a truck, the truck headed for a local food bank to teach people how to grow food indoors. Outside the greenhouse, more people worked on a small farm, picking weeds and harvesting vegetables. And I somehow knew that all of these people were from homeless families living and rehabilitating on the farm. When I told the volunteer next to me about what I saw, she just shrugged and said, “Sounds like you need to build it.” I got home and told my wife and she said the same thing.”
Since then, Monte has dedicated his life to figuring out how to build it. Along with that, he has made connections to others in other states, seeding the possibility of other sites near Portland, Oregon; San Jose, California; and even a reservation in Arizona. Still, it takes a lot to start a farm let alone a series of farms, so he waited. Board members came and board members went and he still waited.
In 2012, Monte was shown another, smaller scale possibility to the vision: helping meal centers, food banks, and shelters grow their own food. Shannon’s Hope, a maternity shelter in the Denver metro area, asked for help starting a garden. With the help of a local seed company, he helped the women there plant a garden. And with that start, he began to think of designs for indoor gardening using hydroponics for the facility.
Today, Dirt ‘N’ Nails Farms is still aiming for the farms as rehabilitation shelters for homeless families, but we are also aiming to educate and supply other shelters to grow their own food. Our goal is the self-sufficiency of families and programs helping those in need. We sow seeds of hope for the hungry and homeless. And we hope you will join us.