RE: land options
- Subject: RE: [cg] land options
- From: "Honigman, Adam" Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com
- Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 14:26:31 -0400
you have several jobs on your plate here:
produce gleaning project is quite fine and sounds like it takes a great deal of
coordination to glean over 17,000 lbs of produce for your food bank and
any of you guys farmers? Because, "ideally growing the 100,000 lbs of produce
that the food bank distributes each year so the food bank no longer needs to buy
it(part of this would consist of a small orchard, we would like 1-5 acres)"
means that you need a real farmer to make this happen at least more economically
than you can buy it. Crunch the numbers and input put all of your food
purchases on an excel spread sheet ( with the timing of your purchases, remember
this ain't pulling cans off of a shelf.) Figure in the weather ( you get
hailstorms sometimes in August, don't you?) insect blights, etc.
your plan to some real farmers and an agricultural expert. My guess is, unless
you want to be Farmer Brown yourself, you may decide to organize your food
purchases a little better, but the set-up costs and maintainance of a
self-supporting farm within your program budget may seem a little
alternative: My opinion of prison gardens has changed a great deal since I
wrote about it last. For the purposes of feeding the hungry in your part
of the world, if the government of British Columbia decided that a prison farm
dedicated to the raising of x 100,000s of pounds of food a year was a social
project that it wanted to engage in, investing moneys for land, equiptment and a
secure environment for the farm, it might be a win-win all around.
prison might be run as a "trustee farm" farmed by inmates on good behavior or
little history of violence. The idea that the food was going to feed
hungry seniors and families might be a way to rehabilitation, "giving something
back." To work well, the program should be voluntary, a
"small farmers market to help raise funds and use the farm/market as a training
and educational site for youth/low income individuals" could be expanded as an
ex-convict halfway house type program.
"The city has also approached us to act as stewards for their community gardens.
We would like to see this happen, if people in the gardens grow a small portion
for the food bank, is this unrealistic?"
take: The city wants you to deal with the headache of managing their
community garden programs and privitize the jobs they had to create to
coordinate these gardens by having you do it for "free." Professional
community garden coordination is a hard job - think
Getting folks in established community gardens to
suddenly start to meet the quotas you would need to grow for your food
bank/community kitchen might be a non-starter, especially as many grow for their
own low-income families. The "grow a row for the hungry" program has
provided some food for food banks, but no where near as much as you would
leasing, purchase, etc is always a challenge. Your solutions would be
local. Not to rain on your parade, but it's a problem that community gardeners
and not-for-profits deal with all the time. It ain't easy.
luck with your plans...hope you prove me wrong.
I work for a nonprofit organization in Richmond, BC(Canada). Just to give
you some background: We are a nonprofit organization that finds people/farms
that have surplus fruit and vegetables and matches them with volunteers who
have the time and energy to harvest it. All of the produce goes to the food
bank and community kitchens. This year we have harvested over 17,000 lbs. We
have a vision for next year of attaining our own land to grow food for the
food bank. Ideally we would like to see us growing the 100,000 lbs of produce
that the food bank distributes each year so the food bank no longer needs to
buy it(part of this would consist of a small orchard, we would like 1-5
acres). So I have a few questions, does anyone know of any similar projects
that we may want to gain some advice from? Also we are thinking that we will
have a small farmers market to help raise funds and use the farm/market as a
training and educational site for youth/low income individuals. The city h! as
also approached us to act as stewards for their community gardens. We would
like to see this happen, if people in the gardens grow a small portion for the
food bank, is this unrealistic? We are also trying to find the best way of
attaining the land. Leasing? Donated(wishful)? Any suggestions or contacts
would be welcome Thanks!
Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing
"teach a person to garden and they will lead a delicious life"
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