Solar energy produced in the heart of Colorado
In Boulder County, off of North 95th St, over 3,200 solar panels creates a 1.2 MW community solar garden – enough to power over 300 homes. Jack’s Solar Garden will be a model for farmers along the Front Range on how to produce renewable energy while improving agricultural production via agrivoltaics.
Jack's Solar Garden is nationally significant
Agrivoltaics is the co-location of solar power and agricultural production. It is not a new idea, but is not in widespread use.
Jack's Solar Garden is the largest commercially active agrivoltaics
system researching a variety of crop and vegetation growth under solar panels not just in Colorado, but in the US!
Sprout City Farms is getting started!
Jack's Solar Garden is partnering with Sprout City Farms, an urban agriculture nonprofit, to cultivate the majority of the land under our solar panels. Our friends at Sprout City have been cultivating educational urban farms on underutilized land throughout the Denver metro area since 2010. Now they're bringing their passion for small-scale sustainable agriculture, equitable food access, and beginning farmer training to Longmont! Alongside our research partners, Sprout City Farms will be trailblazing larger scale organic crop cultivation under solar panels. They plan to share findings widely so that more farms can adopt these practices and harvest both crops and the sun as sources of revenue.
They're kicking off the inaugural year of food production by distributing farm-fresh veggies to the Longmont community through a small CSA focused on SNAP, WIC, and work/trade shares, as well as at the Longmont Farmers Market on Saturdays (June - October) where SNAP/EBT customers receive half-price.
In the coming years, Sprout City will launch an Incubator Farm Program. Access to land, capital for infrastructure, and farming networks are the biggest barriers to entry for beginning and first generation farmers new to the field. Sprout City Farms will create plots for 6-8 aspiring farmers to incubate their businesses, share resources and tools, and receive mentorship from experienced farm staff while continuing to hone their production skills. Stay tuned for more updates as the season progresses!
Meet Brittany Staie, Sprout City's Farm Manager at Jack's Solar Garden:
Brittany’s passion for farming started in 2015 working as a crew member on a family-owned, organic vegetable farm in upstate NY. After a year of farming in NY, she moved out to Colorado to become a manager at Red Wagon Organic Farm in Longmont. There she focused on soil health, irrigation, training the field crew, and touring schools and CSA members around the farm. Brittany is passionate about food and environmental justice, addressing food waste, and learning innovative and sustainable ways to farm and feed our communities. She is also currently pursuing her master’s degree in environmental policy and management with a concentration in sustainability to better learn how to address issues at the policy level. She’s excited to have joined Sprout City Farms and truly believes in their values and mission of engaging communities through the local food system.
Part solar farm, part garden, and a whole lot more
Researchers are partnering with Jack’s Solar Garden to study growing crops underneath and around our solar panels. Audubon Rockies has established a large pollinator habitat around our solar array while a local non-profit farming organization will train young farmers to cultivate crops under our solar panels. The Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Center will be inviting local schools and community groups to tour our farm to show kids the future of solar + agriculture.
Thank you to all our Residential Subscribers
All that Jack's Solar Garden is and will be is only possible through the subscriptions of numerous residential subscribers in Colorado.
Thank you so much to our residential subscribers and I hope each of you come out to our farm each year to see what your support is providing to our community.
Subscribers - always feel free to reach out with questions and requests to visit our farm.
Who is Jack?
Jack Stingerie, my grandfather, purchased our family’s 24-acre farm in Boulder County in 1972. He retired here and farmed hay and alfalfa until he passed away in 1980. Since then, the farm has passed to his daughter and my mother, Eloise Kominek. In 2018, Kurt Kominek, my father, and I founded Jack’s Solar Garden in memory of and thanks to Jack for the opportunity to do more with this land for our community.
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