Community Grown is a cooperative initiative aimed at growing the volunteer base in community garden networks through outreach to young people.
As garden networks grow, they increase their ability to
- Create social capital
- Improve access to affordable organic produce
- Facilitate cross-generational learning
- Crate food security and food sovereignty
- 1/5th of land in American Cities is classified as vacant.
- Low income communities have high rates of food insecurity and limited access to grocery stores.
- The most common limiting factor for community garden networks surveyed is funding. Networks could expand in spite of this with broader volunteer bases but their outreach models have limited reach. They rely largely on coalitions with organizations such as community centers and schools, and can't reach the vast populations who are not engaged in these networks.
- Current outreach methods are more catered to older engaged members of the community; community gardeners over 65 outnumber gardeners under 35 2:1 nationally.
- Create an events-based outreach coalition of community organizations aimed at reaching young people, the future leaders of these community garden networks.
- The biggest draws for young people, according to our surveys, are access to organic produce and events.
Through word of mouth, a Facebook invite, or a produce and recipe card gift from a friend, people find out about Community Grown.
People come to an event, visit a farm to learn how to grow their own food, and engage with the Seattle's community garden network.
Through involvement in the design of gardens, the planning of events, and the social bonds forged, people become invested!
People bring their friends in to the mix by telling them about upcoming events, sharing on social media, and giving small gifts of produce.
Apply some of the Community Grown strategy to your own community garden! Who knows, the people may come flocking! Below are variety of open source resources that you can easily use to create your own event, engagement installation, and recipe card!
Bring Community Grown events to your own neighborhood with the help of these templates. Add in your own text to alter dates and content. The templates includes layers labeled “Your photo goes here”. Double click the icon next to that label and place your own photo within the given area. Save and your own community photos will be on the posters!
Produce is amazing, but sometimes we don’t know what to do with it. Allow individuals in your community to share their favorite recipes and get excited about the things they can create with fresh ingredients.
Use our nature inspired patterns in other ways! Change the color and apply them to your other material.