A vision of community food resiliency that we’ve cultivated for several years came to exciting fruition in 2011 with the launch of our new Grow Food Everywhere for Health and Justice initiative. Our community suffers from hunger, childhood obesity and economic despair. In uplifting response and towards wellness for all, we create raised bed gardens that provide nutrition education and real food for anyone in need at our local community health center.
In 2012 gardens are being implemented at the Orange Innovation Center, a converted factory, and will be cared for by tenants including a food coop and CHD, a social service agency, with food nourishing clients and the Orange Food Pantry. By the end of 2012, twenty low-income families will have received raised beds that by season’s end burst with salad greens, tomatoes, cukes and beans. Fresh food for all, one household at a time.
Each family’s garden journey begins with the arrival of community resources: locally milled lumber, a truck filled with rich soil from Clearview Compost, and a crew of enthusiastic Seeds of Solidarity staff and youth leaders from our SOL Garden program. Families share successes and challenges with each other, and Seeds of Solidarity staff and youth leaders visit through the season. Grow Food Everywhere beds include a “mini-hoophouse” to extend abundant crops and much-needed nourishment of their family well into the winter, and enable an early start to fresh salads come spring.
“I’m diabetic, my 14 year old son is pre-diabetic, and my 9 year old daughter is gluten free…being able to provide a variety of fresh vegetables to both my children is not only a benefit financially but helps me meet my personal goal of opening the door to the wonderful world of fresh, clean foods to my children.”
“I don’t have the money to buy fresh foods…a great benefit of the garden is having fresh foods for my children that are not filled with chemicals from mass producers.”
“Patients were really thrilled to have the opportunity to pick their vegetables right after seeing a doctor or nutritionist. I’d often take them out to the gardens with a bag, and off they’d go. We have a lot of folks with great need and they were very happy to be able to get some extra food…and I was happy to be able to give them vegetables rather than pop-tarts.”Mary Sieruta MS, Registered Dietician, Community Health Center of Franklin County
” I know I have the skill set from SOL Garden to help my community grow food, and I plan to do so in the future.” Cassandra, Youth Leader
We are happy to share our Grow Food Everywhere Care Guide that we provide to the families that receive gardens, with ideas to support your 3 season and abundant gardening efforts.