Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's Next?

Grapes from your own vines are so much better than the grapes from the store it is amazing.

I received an email today for an opportunity to apply for a grant from Awesome Food. Awesome Food is a chapter of the worldwide Awesome Foundation, a microgrant funder that launched in Boston two years ago and now includes chapters in cities around the world.

When thinking about this I wrote the following:

First a little background - I live in Oceanside. I am an urban bio-dynamic farmer, member of our local botanical garden, Seabreeze CSA, Slow Food San Diego, I am a wife and mother of two young school age boys.
I raise chickens for eggs, support pastured/grass fed livestock, frequent my local farmers market, I've participated in "No impact" weeks and months, I support Old Wagon Dairy (raw goat milk), I use rain barrels, I'm into canning, preserving, and general conservation.
I have arranged field trips for my son's class to Sea Breeze, created scavenger hunts and booklets for the class, and lead the tour. I have also volunteered at Seabreeze during their events.
I taught the garden unit for my son's class and helped them plant their garden. My lecture was interactive, aimed at their age group and I really struck a chord with the kids. They all remember what I taught them.
I sent home a workbook for them to complete with their parents.
I believe in what you are doing. I've attended SD Roots lectures. I'm a huge believer in educating children for a better "food tomorrow".
I am a veteran consultant. At 37, I've lived in three countries, own my own business,  I'm working - most of the time - but in these economic times - it has been tough .
But, even though I have had a great career, it seems shallow, it feels like I have a higher calling. A purpose that is not driven monetarily, but for a cause.
I want to make a difference. I'd like to start an education program that goes to schools and helps teachers with their garden units or even bring garden units to public schools that do not have them.
I would come in, do a "grade appropriate" and in some cases "language appropriate" session with the class, then help them plant their garden either in their plot (we have those here in CA) or in their classroom window. I even know a thing or two about hydroponics, so anything is possible.
Included would be an interactive lesson on eating healthy - the difference between junk, a treat and healthy food. Samples of garden derived foods would be provided with recipes for parents.
Booklets will go home with the children promoting an economically functional bio-dynamic and healthy lifestyle.
I will send proposals to schools/districts and I will give a demonstration to district supervisors. I would like some capital for start up and supply costs.
For example - My son's last veggie garden project was $100.00 - 100% supported by my husband and I. I created a workbook with illustrations and garden oriented songs, lesson on soil, compost, seeds etc. We brought starts and they watched them grow, watered and weeded, then at the end of the school year I gathered the produce and made salsa and strawberry lemonade from the food they grew. They loved it.
It can be reproduced easily and with proper planning made to be more economically feasible.

Maybe I can keep momentum up this time...for our future...

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