Five Fridges Farm Promotes Sustainable Grazing at the farm and in the Wheat Ridge Community: A few years ago, the farm worked with the city to test weather or not goats could be used to mow invasive weeds in the right- of ways bordering the farm. The the terrain was difficult for city mowering machines and the farm did not want pesticide sprayed so close to thegrazing and growing areas at the farm. Our 'live mowers" worked out so well that the the city and the farm expanded the grazing weed management to other parts of the city. After three years of rotational grazing the invasive weeds are down and native grass communities have returned in all of the grazed areas. The farm uses the research and help of both CSU Extension ( which periodically does grazing workshops at the farm) as well as the research of Allan Savory. For more information on the benefits of sustainable rotational grazing please see Allan Savory's TED talk and his other research
Sustainable Growing Projects at the farm: From the chickens and the goats to vegetables and grains all of the projects at the farm are meant to refine research how communities can grow sustainably with the water and soil
Tap to Feed Recycling Program: The farm a has wonderful partnership with Colorado Plus Brewery in Wheat Ridge . Spent grain from the brew process is donated to feed animals rather than going into the waste stream. Each week the farm picks up about 200 pounds of wet grain. The goats and chickens love it. Please support businesses such as CO Plus that make the effort allow farmers access to food waste that can go to feed animals. CO Plus Brew Pub
History: Five Fridges Farm was originally known as Red Wing Ranch. Earnestine and Walt Williams owned this acreage from the 1930’s to the mid 1990’s where they raised steer, hogs, chickens, and later goats.
Amanda Weaver, urban agricultural researcher and instructor of geography at UC Denver, bought the land from Louise Turner, a long-time Wheat Ridge resident and farm neighbor. Louise raised generations of milk goats on the farm from the Earnestine’s original herd. Amanda started working with Louise and her goats in early 2010. She is currently living in the renovated farm home and adopted the new name after being warned that goat’s milk will require a lot of refrigeration as refrigerators of all ages and sizes were removed from the house during the renovation.
Since Earnestine’s time at the farm, city has grown up around it, creating a truly unique opportunity for “urban agriculture” as apartments, houses, condos and a school surround the farm. There is a pond, a year-round creek, and fields with beautiful views of the mountains. Earnestine called it her “heaven on earth.” We couldn’t agree more. There is healthy space for animals to graze, plants to grow, water to run, and wildlife to roam and fly.
Urban Bee Project at Five Fridges Farm: Bees are a very important part of agriculture as they pollinate about 30% of all of the crops we eat. The CU Urban Bee Project are group of researchers from CU who are studying new and old techniques beekeeping to find methods of hive maintenance and honey harvesting that are less invasive for bees. Since bees are having having a tough time globally, we hope to find ways to make it our urban environment a little easier on them. 9 News story on the project
Five Fridges Farm is a Conservation Easement: Managed by Colorado Open Lands, the farm is protected for agriculture use forever. The cannot be subdivided or built upon outside of the envelope of currently existing buildings. Though it is privately owned, it is monitored every year to ensure that the conservation values are maintained. The farm works closely with Colorado Open Lands to promote information about conserved lands by holding events at the farm as well as participating in Conserved Colorado-- a website listing products and services available at locally conserved farms. For more information on privately conserved land, please see the Colorado Open Lands website.