BRIGHTON — After three years of providing fresh produce to food banks, homeless shelters and area non-profits, Happy Belly Farms continues to grow.
When Happy Belly Farms started in 2010, owner and farmer Bill Peters knew he wanted to grow chemical free vegetables and donate them to people in need. He had never farmed before but using his own money he started growing vegetables in a small area on his farm.
“In 2011, it got a little bigger and then last year, it took a huge jump,” he said.
In 2012, Peters expanded the garden to include a western portion of his property and installed an irrigation system. The non-profit organization generated four tons of produce to non-profit organizations around the Denver metro area.
According to Peters, the farm has been “prolific” and “satisfying” and that he enjoys being able to give back to the community.
“Any way I can help them — whether it’s migrant workers (or) people who just don’t have much — is a real blessing. It’s a blessing for me and that’s why I do it,” he said.
He also said doing the work such as picking beans for 8 hours in the hot sun gives you an appreciation of those who do the job for a living.
This year, the farm continued to expand, and Peters is anticipating 12 tons of produce will be harvested from his garden. Additionally, a number of animals joined Peters on the farm. He added about 20 chickens to his property and is able to include about 10 dozen eggs a week to the organizations who need them. He also entered into an agreement with an Adams County 4-H member where he allowed her to raiser her cow on the farm if half of the beef could be donated to those in need.
The addition of livestock has encouraged Peters to expand the operations even further. He would like to add even more chickens to the property as the coup is able to hold nearly 50 of them.
He is also looking to add a number of pigs to the property and is in the process of building a a shelter for them. Adding pigs to the operation would allow Peters to donate pork to the food banks and non-profit organizations as well. He said he would like to complete the shelter and get the pigs this fall.
For more information or to donate to Happy Belly Farms, call Peters at 303-916-3088 or visit www.happybellyfarm.org.