USF Community Garden
In 2007, University of San Francisco professors Melinda Stone and Seth Wachtel and eleven students enrolled in the year-long Garden Project living learning community transformed an overgrown lot used by ROTC into a campus organic garden. Over the next four years, Garden Project students and faculty, working with students from art and architecture, installed irrigation and water catchment systems, planted an orchard, painted murals, and designed and built an outdoor kitchen, greenhouse, toolshed, and a solar power system. In 2011, responding to overwhelming student interest, we transitioned the Garden Project into a minor in Urban Agriculture, the first of its kind in the US. Today, the 1/8-acre USF Community Garden provides approximately 450 pounds a year of seasonal vegetables, fruit, and herbs.
Soon after its launch, the USF Community Garden began supplying way more food than the students and faculty growers were able to eat. Thus, we began a monthly campus farmstand, offering the USF community fresh soups and salads, modest entrees, and delicious desserts – all prepared by students with ingredients from our garden. Soon after, we began weekly produce deliveries (by bicycle) to the food bank at Booker T. Washington Community Service Center. And finally, two years ago, we began our free monthly community dinners, at nearby St. Cyprian’s Church, featuring food harvested from the USF Community Garden and gleaned from local farmers markets. Together, these three activities provide healthy, low cost/free meals for approximately 150 people a month.
We are applying for a Sow It Forward Grant to help us grow more food to feed more people. With increased efforts we believe we can provide monthly meals for 250 people. In particular, we seek support to a) increase our current food production, b) start new efforts at vertical gardening, and c) improve our knowledge-sharing at public events.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA