8 Nonprofits Growing Our Future Gardeners: A Salute
Plant a tomato from seed, pluck an apricot from a tree or smell freshly harvested rosemary—nothing tastes as wonderful as hands-on edible education. Unforgettable learning moments are formed when children propagate a green garlic seed from its flowering bud, churn milk into cheese, or gather blue eggs from a chicken coop.
During this season, we celebrate our local non-profit organizations and tireless community volunteers who provide edible education to our kids and community. Take a look at some of the change-making work of our Bay Area valley and hill communities across the Peninsula and South Bay.
Collective Roots – East Palo Alto
Collective Roots gives local residents gardening resources, workshops and access to fresh-picked food through their Collective Gardening Network—a network of home backyard gardens and community gardens. Among its many programs, Collective Roots offers a garden tool lending library and seed exchange for home and community gardens, and also facilitates the East Palo Alto Community Farmers Market.
Common Ground Garden – Palo Alto
Common Ground Garden provides education and resources to support the local community. Classes are offered to adults and youth, teaching lessons on growing gardens sustainably, thus increasing the community’s knowledge and access to fresh, nutritious food.
Deer Hollow Farm – Cupertino
Deer Hollow Farm is a non-profit teaching farm that welcomes over 100,000 visitors and thousands of students annually. They maintain an organic orchard and garden, as well as a lively barnyard filled with cows, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and pigs.
Emma Putsch Farm Park – San Jose
Emma Putsch Farm Park is a volunteer planted cornucopia of 17 garden plots dedicated to edible heirloom crops, and a small orchard that includes apple, pear and cherry trees along with the Imperial Prune. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to come and learn about agriculture. Farm volunteer workdays and hands-on youth programs are offered through a cooperative on eight of the acres with Veggielution.
The HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Learning) Project – El Granada / Half Moon Bay
The HEAL Project provides hands-on learning opportunities at the two-acre San Mateo County School Farm through school garden classroom experiences and camps. Produce grown at the farm is consumed by students and sold to local restaurants or at the Coastside Farmers Market. In a typical year, about 3,000 students grow, harvest and consume over 75 varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs.
Hidden Villa Farm – Los Altos Hills
As a working farm, education centre and CSA that remains true to the original mission of sustainable land stewardship of its first owners, the Duveneck family, Hidden Villa Farm is a pioneer of edible education. Their long history of sustainable agricultural practices and stewardship unites their community of loyal customers, volunteers, farm tour visitors and school-aged campers.
Living Classroom – Los Altos / Mountain View / Palo Alto
Living Classroom is a docent-led seasonal program for children, tied to math and science curriculums in school. Volunteer educators partner with school districts and teachers to create lessons in their own school gardens. Planting, growing, harvesting and preparing ingredients are tied together with lessons in plant science and nutrition. In 2015, Living Classroom taught over 1,400 lessons and supported 286 teachers serving 8,000 school children.
Veggielution – San Jose
Veggielution offers classes and volunteer programs to grow fresh produce for the neighbors in the South Bay that need it most. Veggielution works to unite South Bay residents across all generations, incomes and cultures.