Our garden and nutrition program is nearly 12 years old. That is ancient in school garden years. Often what happens at schools is that a garden springs up due to the excitement and energy of a “champion” or a group of “champions.” The garden flourishes for a couple years but then the champion moves on (usually because her/his kids graduate the school.) It happens a lot.
Not us! In our twelve years, we have never really lost momentum. The volunteers and staff have changed, priorities have shifted, some projects have come and gone and been replaced by new ones, but the garden has never stopped being a fruitful, exciting space with lots of children learning.
Now we are at a crossroads.
We are in our fifth and final (glorious) year of partnership with FoodCorps. We have already been fortunate to have some of the big funding grants like Sage Garden and USDA Farm to School. We’ve received many of the smaller grants out there, and we will continue looking for those. A common issue with these grants is that the orgnazation like to fund stuff, and although stuff is good, what we really need is funding for a garden educator.
You can have all the seeds and tools and raised beds in the world, and all the good things that happen in school garden won’t happen without a teacher. We have seen firstthand how importat a dedicated garden teacher is to plan lessons, teach, maintain the garden, recruit volunteers, inform the school and community, and on and on and on. To be clear, this will not be me but someone else! (I have my eye on someone specific, and very amazing, for sure!)
So we’re hard at work on a plan to fund this position.
In upcoming posts you will see more amazing garden merchandise we are creating to sell at Julian Pathways and in local stores. (See the last post about our Julian pride sweatshirts.) We are planning some sort of gala event. And we are introducing a donor program.
Would you consider becoming a donor at one of the following levels?
Coulter Pine: $500
Live Oak: $1000
You can donate using the PayPal button and specifying “garden program.” One time or recurring monthly or annual gifts are deeply appreciated! We’ve copied the link here: https://www.julianpathways.org/home/gardennutrition Look for the Paypal button to the left bottom of the green box and use pull down menu to find garden program.