From The Ground Up Farms has established a series of community gardens in unused empty lots, residential treatment facilities, homeless shelters and even low income daycare's, beginning in our poorest neighborhoods. These immersive projects involve residents of all ethnicities and backgrounds in working with experienced farmers and educators to learn how to grow food, cook it and improve their physical/emotional/financial health through a variety of other life skills classes.
We feel that if we provide access to healthy food and education in nutrition and life skills, we can improve the lives in our community. By offering these programs our community will improve their nutrition and their health by reducing illness, reducing stress and improving financial and food security. As a by-product, these community gardens will bring neighborhoods together by building bridges between cultures as they work hand in hand to feed their families.
We are impacting thousands of households and children by offering free healthy food, nutrition and life skills education. We are supplying fresh fruits and vegetables to after school and summer lunch programs, as well as, teaching nutrition at Chico schools. We're also impacting homeless individuals by offering "work for food" programs and other opportunities.
We would like to start a produce stand at each garden and those funds raised by each garden would be used to help to offset the maintenance and material costs, as well as, throw an end of season party for the neighborhood who helped to support the gardens.
Our goal is to teach our community a better path to food security and independence from the overwhelming prices of "nutritional" food at the grocery stores. We don't believe that healthy organically grown food should be a luxury only the wealthy can afford. Our hope is that everyone plants their own garden in their own back yard and pays it forward. Please pass on the lessons and the extra food. Let's change the world!
The following goals will guide our efforts:
- To bring our community members together so that they can learn about nutrition through gardening and life skill workshops, all for free. We offer guidance and some basic assistance and tools to help install new gardens. Then we will teach your group how to maintain, harvest and cook from their new garden. Landowners of the empty, unused lots can even enjoy tax benefits that come by donating the use of lots and water on seasonal agreements.
- To provide quality workshops that will teach gardening, harvesting, cooking, preserving, nutrition, physical activity, anxiety control through breathing and even marketing their own healthy organic food, all for free. We have a wide range of professionals donating their time and experience to teach these "Life Skills" workshops, as well as, a certified kitchen to cook in.
- To help fill the gap for programs that feed our young and old alike, for example, daycare's, after school programs, summer lunch programs, nursing homes, residential rehabilitation programs and food pantries. These all struggle to obtain anything fresh and we would provide it all for free.
- Our large homeless population could learn so much from "working for food" initially at a community garden. They could learn responsibility, self reliance, improved nutrition which will reduce illness, how to grow and have fresh food (even while living homeless) by preserving and even learning marketing and social interaction from a farmers market type program. Those who earn it could work into possible paid part time positions in the future.
- Our newest programs came about as we searched for ways we could help after the 2018 Butte County Camp Fire. We acquired a mobile sawmill, backhoe tractor and a dump truck. We hire licensed, insured professionals for milling burned trees and turning them into usable lumber. We are helping our neighbors save thousands of dollars in labor and construction costs by helping to prepare areas for their licensed contractors to install septic lines. Our experts are spreading dirt around and grading to allow their contractors to install level pads for construction. Our professionals are moving rocks, dead trees and stumps for these fire families to help them rebuild. Not only do we help for free, but the community can learn new construction skills while they watch and assist. There is lots of construction jobs in the area, especially after the fire, and these are employable skills. All operators on the "From the Ground Up" equipment team, have years of experience in the safe operation of this equipment and are licensed and insured.
- Then we are offering a Community Tool Lending Library located at the Lake Concow Campground. Tools are so expensive and we all lost so many. This will allow community members to come borrow the tool that they need temporarily and not have to spend the money right now. It is being stocked with hand tools, power tools, weed eaters and anything else we think will be useful. Not all equipment is available to the general public to borrow. We have a team of experienced, licensed experts who volunteer their time and who come with much of the large power equipment. Still free and you can learn while you watch and assist.
- We have also installed a 40' container to help organizations that are doing "Giveaways" for our families. It is challenging to bring these events to Concow because it suffered complete devastation. These events take days to put together and for Concow there is no space to bring items up in advance. Lake Concow Campground and the Konkow Partners are generously allowing us the space to help the community. This is not a Food Pantry, but a useable secure space for upcoming events.