2020 Regenerate SpeakersResilience in times of uncertainty
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While a grad student at MIT in the Art, Culture, and Technology program, Roberto was inspired by student projects addressing food production in urban landscapes. His career quickly transitioned from the arts to agriculture, with a focus on food access. After a hiatus working on farms and observing problems in our food systems, Roberto moved to Colorado with childhood friend Dave Demerling, and they started their own farm. On a mission to cultivate, heal, and transform communities with access to fresh food, Roberto cofounded Emerald Gardens in 2017. Using passive solar greenhouse design Emerald Gardens grows, harvests, and distributes microgreens and edible flowers year-round to restaurants, grocery stores, food pantries, and individual residents in the Denver/Boulder area. They currently occupy 35 acres in Bennett, Colorado, and operate sustainably using geothermal and passive-solar energy. In 2020, Roberto co-founded the East Denver Food Hub, which works to create an equitable, sustainable, and resilient food system that meets the needs of communities and rural food producers. In partnership with Front Range producers, High Plains Food Co-op, Bondadosa, and nonprofits, the EDFH promotes equity and inclusion in our food system and expands access to fresh and ethically-produced food. Roberto is a member of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, a board member of the National Young Farmers Coalition, and on the leadership team for Mile High Farmers.
Community Resilience in Agriculture During Uncertain Times