The onset of the economic downturn may have proven to be a blessing in disguise for one of Denver, Colorado’s poorest inner city neighborhoods. Like so many other accomplished professionals, JD Sawyer was laid off from his job as the Director of Operations for Johnson & Wales University Denver campus in 2009. With extra time on his hands and a desire to teach his three children sustainable farming techniques, JD read an article in the local newspaper about a low income neighborhood in the middle of Denver where people had very limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables – a right JD believes everyone should have.Watercress

“The article made me realize I had an opportunity to help teach people how to take charge of their own food production,” said JD Sawyer. “I realized we had the opportunity to grow food in our backyard where people needed it most.”

Using the article and his family as a source of inspiration, JD made the decision to take on a whole new career path. Together, with his wife Tawnya, the Sawyer’s started Colorado Aquaponics in late 2009. Colorado Aquaponics, now the Aquaponic Source, is a Denver-based urban farming business that designs and builds aquaponic food systems for families and communities.