We are concerned with the disconnect between people and between people and the planet. Without this connection, there is no way to solve the major social and environmental challenges of our time. So we help people grow food together in the neighborhood. Sounds small – and it is – but we have also discovered that digging in the dirt together and sharing produce/seeds/plants are powerful ways to connect people to each other and the environment in which we live.
Our low income neighborhood has no stores that sell healthy food within walking distance. Having healthy food easily available is an important step in supporting people in leading a healthy and happy life. We know how to grow food here and enjoy sharing knowledge, resources, and shoulder to shoulder work time with others. It is clear that working and learning together connects people to each other and to the place we live and that having sufficient income is also an important step in supporting low-income individuals. In the long term, we hope to create a network of financially viable urban farms run by low-income people and people of color.
The seed grant, most importantly, changed our thinking about our gardening work. We were sharing seeds and seedlings with neighbors, however the grant helped us to reach out to more people in the neighborhood and share trees, plants, and permaculture. We realized that plants had the capacity to bring people together and connect people to the neighborhood ecosystem. This got us thinking on a larger neighborhood scale and truly making our’s an “Edible ‘Hood.”
We now have two large neighborhood gardens and offer classes, programs, and tours. This grant will allow us to reach out to new supporters and participants through in-person visits, social media, and a farm stand at one of the gardens where neighbors walk regularly. It will also allow us to pay teachers to further develop and teach our youth gardening programs so that the programs come to speak for themselves.