Bees collect pollen from sunflowers planted at the Village Farms at Stanley. The farms house approximately 30,000 bees in two hives. Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

AURORA | The Village Farms at Stanley serve more than just one purpose when it comes to opportunity in providing for the community. 

Following the Roots of Success curriculum, the farms provides a workforce development training program to refugees in the metro area. Splitting class time and real life experience working on the farm, the class provides education to the students on best practices for growing food in the region’s dry climate. 

Sydney Quynn, left, and Mikhaela Mullins pick green beans from the Village Garden at Stanley, Aug. 7. They harvest vegetable from the gardens every Monday during growing season. Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

“Most of our students come from an agricultural background,” said Mikhaela Mullins, Senior Manager at Village Gardens, “but they’re learning about growing in more arid climates.” Thirty people graduated from the program in 2022. 

Village Farm Program Assistant Sydney Quynn, harvests some green beans, Aug. 7, at the Village Farms at Stanley. The farms work as an active garden where not only is produce grown for the food pantry at the Village Exchange center, but serves as an opportunity to teach immigrants about farming in the arid Colorado climate. Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

The farms grew and distributed 2,500 pounds of produce in 2022. They give half of the grown produce to the Village Exchange Center food pantry, the Village Pantry, and equally distribute the other half to partner
organizations and area small businesses. 

From left, Amber Aljadie, Lydia Poe and Sufrya Luge work in the gardens at Village Farms at Stanley, Aug. 11. The Village Farms provides learning opportunities on how to grow in the Colorado climate to refugees who now live in the United States. Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

Photo Essay by Sentinel Colorado Photo Editor Philip B. Poston

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