The Backyard Garden Growers Project
* It is our our goal is to build eight (8) more backyard gardens this fall for the 2012-2013 seasons.
The Backyard Garden Growers Project is turning Houston’s unused backyards into eco-friendly, productive vegetable gardens that provide food and exercise for participating families and volunteers; introduces children to gardening and healthier food choices at an early age; and builds community by bringing seasoned gardeners, novices, volunteers, and children together to create Backyard Gardens throughout the city.
America is facing an obesity crisis that most blame on prepackaged foods and not enough exercise. Much of the produce we eat travels around the world before ending up on our dinner table, using much fuel and packaging. Harmful pollutants present in our food supply are the direct result of non-ecofriendly farming practices; and too many children don’t know where their food comes from, having never experienced the joys of growing and tasting fresh, ripe produce straight from the vine, tree, or plant. But what if we can do something to change all of that?
How does it work?
Our concept is simple. First, we find garden host families willing to share their yard for a full year. Second, we design a gardening scheme for their particular yard. Next we recruit experienced gardeners to team up with our host family. We then recruit volunteers who come together to build garden boxes, prepare the yard for planting, help to maintain the garden space, and assist with harvesting at the proper time. Finally, when the fruits of our labors are shared between the host family, master gardeners, and the volunteers. Any excess produce is donated to our local food coop, giving our larger community a chance to receive locally grown foods.
We know, it sounds simple enough. So before doing anything we first tested our concept by going to our coop and asking if there were two families wanting to start a garden but in need of a little help. The response was overwhelming, with 10 families and dozens of volunteers willing to participate. After backyard visits, two families were selected. Our expert gardener then came up with unique, ecologically friendly, and manageable designs. Dates were then set for our volunteer meetings and groundbreaking.
Roles and responsibilities were laid out, and on groundbreaking day everyone came armed with shovels, leaves, grass clippings, and coffee grounds. Bricks, lumber, soil, compost, and seeds were provided to our Backyard Garden hosts free of charge. It was so exciting to see not only children but adults learning about the science, math, and biology that go hand in hand with gardening. At the end of a very exhausting but fun day, we had turned unproductive blades of grass into an urban gardening space that will be utilized to grow a productive harvest. The Backyard Garden Growers project was launched!
How does the Backyard Garden Growers Project benefit the community?
The Backyard Garden Growers pilot project has shown that strangers with a common interest can work together as a community to build something big and wonderful. Our first two gardens are already producing more than just peas, cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes; we’re growing a community! Additionally;
- Families are provided with a well designed and built Backyard Garden that will provide food, exercise, education, and enjoyment for years to come.
- Families can utilize what was unproductive space to exercise routinely without leaving their homes.
- Children are introduced to the concept of gardening at an early age, making it a part of their diet and a way of life.
- Produce from the Backyard Garden project is shared among volunteers, who also gain physical and social benefits from the project.
- Host families can earn additional income by selling excess at local food cooperatives and farmers markets.
- More locally grown produce is made available in our area.
- Over time, a reduction in the amount of pre-packaged processed foods consumed, reducing the amount of trash that reaches our landfills and helping combat the obesity crisis.
We are blessed to be in Houston where space is plentiful and the growing seasons are long.
WILL YOU HELP OUR GARDENS GROW?
With your support of our Kickstarter project, we will:
- Replace approximately 3000 square feet of unproductive blades of grass with eco-friendly Backyard Gardens!
- Engage eight new families and their children in the joys of gardening and all of its healthful benefits
- Recruit and manage up to 40 volunteers as part of our greater gardening community
- Make our planet a little greener, one garden at a time.
Please click on Back This Project Now!
Thank you in advance for your support of this awesome project.
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